A trip down Strandvejen, between Snekkersten harbor and Espergærde harbor, is a trip through a vibrant strip of Northern Sealand, with well preserved harbors, clean beaches and exclusive mansions down Strandvejen.
When considering the small, bobbing leisure boats in Snekkersten harbor, it is hard to imagine that the area was, in the middle of the previous century, a maritime centre with widespread tune fishing, and quick ferry access to Helsingborg. Today, the ambience of the harbor is peaceful and idyllic rather than busy and effective.
The peace and quiet is a constant companion when taking the trip down Strandvejen, but the history of the village is always along as a passenger. Between Snekkersten and Skotterup, locals have spent a great deal of time trying to maintain the small fishing town ambience, for example my preserving a number of old fishing tools, two old staking fields for drying nets, and the old tar wagon from the 1900 has been reestablished.
The small, low-roofed fishing houses in Snekkersten and Skotterup, with their white fences and well-maintained front yards, displays a romanticism much unlike life in the fishing village of the past, with their low-roofs, poverty and hardship. The cosy ambience has also replaced the business in Espergærde harbor. Both during the weekdays and weekends, when locals and visitors come to buy fish, eat ice cream or just relax in the sun during the parties in the harbor, held each year down the southern coast.
Espergærde harbor was established in the 1880s, when the fishermen of the area wanted more than the one landing bridge. They began to collect money in the hopes of establishing an actual harbor, and in 1883 enough money was collected that the landing bridge could be expanded into a large pier. In 1904, the northern pier was moved farther to the north, and the harbor now had its current appearance. Today the major fishing business has moved elsewhere, and the harbor is primarily used by leisure boats. The same happened around Espergærde harbor, where numerous summer mansions were constructed around 1900.
Thousands of Danish Jews fled, in October 1943, over the straight to Sweden. Many from Gilleleje, Helsingør, Snekkersten and Espergærde.
In Snekkersten, Jews were ferried from the beach and harbor over the straight. H.C. Thomsen, innkeeper from Snekkersten Inn (later known as Kystens Perle) founded the well-known Thomsen-route. The organisation of the escape routes from the Elsinore/Snekkersten area was fairly complex, and often overlapping.
The 11th of November 1943, H.C Thomsen was arrested when Gestapo was informed of the transports, that often went on right in front of German noses. H.C. Thomsen went free, but during the month of May 1944, most of the routes had been discovered and closed. When H.C. Thomsen was arrested again, in August of 1944, a sad, definitive end was put to the activities in Snekkersten. H.C. Thomsen was sent to the concentration camp Neuengamme in Germany, where he perished in December the same year.