A spring day in mid-April. The bridge and the stone circles by the locks in Copenhagen’s South Harbour are a hive of activity. Adults and children stand shoulder to shoulder with their fishing rods. The news has spread: the garfish are here! In one of the newest parts of the city, one of the oldest ways of procuring food is still practised.
Less than a decade ago, the idea of eating fish from the harbour would have been a utopian dream. But now that the heavy industry and ships have gone, the water is so clean that you can fish (and swim) in it.
Sluseholmen is one of the most popular places to do so. Just make sure you have your fishing permit and remember to throw back species like flounder, eel and herring – they still contain high levels of heavy metals, so are not yet safe to eat.
However, there are no such worries with garfish, trout and cod, all of which are safe to cook in the kitchen, or to throw on a barbecue on the nearby Amager Common.
The bridge provides views over some of the newest parts of Copenhagen. In the lively Sluseholmen canal district, built by the water in the Dutch style, more than 1,000 people have already made their homes.
The red sheds in front of the buildings were originally fishing shacks used by taxi drivers from Valby. The sheds are still the home of Valby Boat Club, which has helped bring new life to this area, but the new residents are members now as well.
If you’d rather swim than fish, Sluseholmen has excellent facilities.
DATA & LINKSSluseholmen
2450 Copenhagen SV
- The sluice was built in 1900–1903 to make it easier to sail into Copenhagen Harbour from the south. Landfill at Islands Brygge had created a strong current in the harbour entrance, making it difficult for ships to manoeuvre. The sluice regulated the water level and current. It is operated by volunteers and still used by smaller boats when they sail in and out of the harbour.
- The Lock Keeper’s house was designed by Dahlerup in around 1900.
- Sluseholmen used to be part of the industrial port, and was home to Aalborg Portland silos and a DFDS cargo terminal.
- As industry moved out, the idea of building homes was suggested. In 2006, the first residents of the new canal district moved in.
- The Brickwords Bridge (Teglværksbroen), which connects Teglholmen and Sluseholmen, was the first new road bridge to be built over the harbour in more than 50 years. It was completed in 2011.
- The asphalt roads in the area are suitable for wheelchairs.
- The area has several cafés and a supermarket.