THE SHIPYARD HALL
Entering the first hall you meet a large Photostat showing Aalborg's waterfront as it looked in the 1850´s, presenting Aalborg as a busy port. Here is also a model of a sailing boat, a so-called “Spidsgatter”. This was designed by naval architect Utzon, director of Aalborg Shipyard, and father of the well-known architect Jørn Utzon, who designed the world famous Opera house in Sidney. The shape of his father’s Spidsgatter may have served as inspiration for the design of the Opera house in Sydney.
Most of the exhibits in this room originate from Aalborg shipyard, now closed. This is why the hall is named after I. M. Stuhr, the founder of the shipyard. Other items, connected with the shipyard industry, have been added to this collection since the opening of the museum.
The dominating feature of this hall is the two large paintings, placed at opposite walls, by the late Carlo Wognsen, a local artist. He painted them in 1954 and they used to hang in the shipyard's canteen. The paintings illustrate the evolution of shipbuilding from the oak dugouts of the stone age through the ”Knorr’s” of the Vikings and later the sophisticated square rigged men-of-war of the 18th century to the art of modern shipbuilding as it was executed by Aalborg Shipyard.
The displayed models in the first part of the hall illustrate the development of the building of wooden ships. The large model of an 18th century naval shipyard, illustrates how a shipyard was organized during that time. It shows the various workshops, the carpenters shaping the timber, the planking of a hull, the Rigging-sheers used when the lower masts and the heavy canons were embarked and convicts working guarded by soldiers and many other details.
Another model shows the performance of a careening at the Naval Base in Copenhagen. This operation had to be performed at regular intervals to keep the ships’ bottoms clean from growth and shellfish. The quay and the building by the famous architect Philip de Lange are still there.
Among the treasures of the museum is the "pay drum" which can be dated to about 1800. It was used by the Royal Dockyard in Copenhagen when paying day laborers. It is an exciting thought that this drum probably witnessed the Battle of Copenhagen on 2nd April 1801.
The Stuhr brothers founded the shipyard in 1912. During World War I the shipyard expanded rapidly in order to build the many transport ships required by the war. After the war the demand for ships diminished, and the City of Aalborg had to take over the shipyard in 1927. The shipping company J. Lauritzen bought the shipyard from the City in 1937 and renamed it Aalborg Værft A/S. It became the town's largest employer until it was closed down in 1988. The story of the shipyard is described in a comprehensive photomontage.
The exhibition has a some models of ships built by Aalborg Værft. SS JACQUES DUROUX was a HANSA type built during World War II, when the German Occupation Force ordered this type put into mass production at all Danish shipyards. Aalborg Værft succeeded in obstructing the work so much that only a few of these vessels were actually built there.
The model of the Russian reefer AKADEMIK N. VARILOV is a typical example of the kind of ships built by the shipyard as early as in the 1940's. Aalborg Værft specialized in building refrigerator ships and ships specially designed for arctic waters for the J. Lauritzen shipping company. Two models of this type are on exhibition. The last and greatest performance of the shipyard was the building of two cruise liners TROPICAL and HOLIDAY. You will find a model of the latter in the exhibition.
The boiler-division of the shipyard still exists under the name “Aalborg Industries” (Alfa Laval). There is a model of a Marine-boiler produced by this division on show.
On the end wall of the hall is a model of Aalborg Værft as it looked at the time of its closure, together with a collection of special tools all produced at the shipyard.
The models next to the EXIT show ships which were part of the fleet of "Den kgl. Grønlandske Handel”, (KGH), (The Royal Greenland Trading Company) during the 19th and 20th century. For more than two centuries the KGH were responsible for the trade and supplies to and from Greenland – using Aalborg as a port of embarkation during the last part of this period. In 1992 KGH was transferred to the Greenland Home Rule Authority.
One of the models is of a floating battery called “Det Gernerske Flydebatteri” or the “Naval Battery No. 1”. This battery took part in the Battle of Copenhagen 2nd April 1801, where it was commanded by the 18 years old sub lieutenant Peter Willemoes.
You also see a model of a gunboat, which were built for the Royal Danish Navy after 1807, when most of the ships of the Navy were conquered by the British Navy after the bombardment of Copenhagen.