In 1796, though, Vejle was made the seat of the newly founded Vejle County, and the town expanded throughout the 19th century, benefiting from improvements such as a new harbour on the fjord, a railroad station, and modern utilities.From the mid-19th century into the 20th century, Vejle developed from a provincial market town into a busy industrial centre, eventually becoming known as the "Manchester of Denmark" for its many cotton mills.For a country where the highest natural elevation is only about 170 m (558 ft) above sea level, Vejle is known for the forested hills that rise to the north and south of the town and fjord.The two valleys that converge at Vejle are both unique in Denmark: Vejle River Valley (Vejle Ådal) is the longest tunnel valley in Denmark, and the Grejs Valley (Grejsdalen) is the largest ravine in Denmark.
Vejle is known regionally as a vibrant shopping town with a wide and varied offering of both chain and specialty shops, primarily located along the city's central pedestrian mall.Several natives of Vejle have also made a career in national politics, including current Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Liberal), the former Minister of the Treasury Troels Lund Poulsen (Liberal), former Minister of Health Torben Lund (Social Democrat), and former Minister of Transportation Flemming Hansen (Conservative). profiltekst dating Lejre Historically speaking, Vejle's development has been guided by the city's central location in the country and its location on Vejle Fjord.Both empty into Vejle Fjord, which connects Vejle by water through the Little Belt strait to the Baltic Sea, and through the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits to the Atlantic Ocean.Many of Vejle's neighbourhoods began as separate towns or villages that merged with the city as it grew.
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Vejle is also located on Primary Route 28, and the Mid-Jutland Highway (Midjyske Motorvej, Primary Route 18) from Herning.Vejle Station, also known as Vejle Transit Centre (Vejle Trafikcenter), provides 9 city bus lines to various neighbourhoods, as well as national and international coach and train services.The word "Vejle" derives from the Old Danish word wæthel, meaning "ford" or "wading place" due to its location at a busy crossing over Vejle River. During Viking times, the wetlands around Vejle had to be crossed at the Ravning Bridge, a nearly half-mile wooden boardwalk.Recently, in an effort to maintain its position as a premiere shopping destination, the town has invested in several public works projects to improve the city's appearance, including lengthening the pedestrian mall, developing new public art and architecture, and uncovering and beautifying Grejs River, which until recently ran in a culvert underneath downtown.
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Two new shopping centres, Bryggen and Mary's, have also recently opened, offering more shopping and restaurants, etc.
Historically speaking, industry has been very important for the city's development, while today more weight is placed on business and service, as well as high-tech firms. The local rivers provided water power to mills, including the extensive facilities of De Danske Bomuldsspinderier (The Danish Cotton Mills).
In the first half of the 20th century, Vejle was something of a behemoth within the Danish textile industry, with some 25% of the city's workers employed in the industry.
Despite the decline in the industry in Denmark, the last cotton mill in Vejle remained open until 1993.
Today, many of the old mill buildings are used for art studios, office space, and, more recently, apartments. The city is home to one of the largest chewing gum factories in the world, producing Stimorol brand chewing gum.