The Story About the Whale Fish

 In February 2003, Svendborg had its 750th anniversary.

It was a huge celebration that I unfortunately missed, as I had moved to Ireland well before in 2003.

As part of this achievement, The Albani Fond donated a sculpture to Svendborg and has links to Svendborg’s history.

Albani Fonden is a Danish establish fond, started in 1956 and is linked with the (surprise) Albani Brewery in Odense.

For those people mad into diving and marine biology, the whale fish is mythical creature that DOES NOT exist and should not be mistaken for the whale shark.  It is just an old seaman story or fantasy animal.

The sculpture is linked to a ship that was built in Kalmar, Sweden, in 1801.  The ship was originally called Zenogen (no particular meaning according to the Web).  In 1802 is was sold to the Royal Trade of Greenland and this is where it had its name changed to “Hvalfisken” (aka. the Whale fish), mainly because the galleons figure was shaped like a whale fish.

The ship sailed until 1899 and was sold in 1914 to Seamen’s Missions School in Svendborg as stationary training ship.

The school was later named Svendborg’s School of Navigation.  The school has a copy of the figure plus a little model of the ship.

Ring-Andersen’s Shipbuilding company inspected the ship every year, to ensure it was still safe to use, it was presented with the ship’s galleons figure when it was sold in 1936 to Strib city, on the north west part of Funen.

Here it was used as a contractor’s ship in Fredericia, in Jutland, and later used as a barge in the building of the Limfjord Bridge between 1930-1933.  It was destroyed with TNT 1942 and the wood is used in a school and in Wigger’s corner, in Svendborg.

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