Town of Felsted
The town of Felsted is well situated between Aabenraa, Sønderborg, Gråsten and Flensburg. Felsted has existed for more than 1,000 years, originally as a village with farms side by side on both sides of the then only two streets in the town. It remained this way until the great redistribution of the land in 1784, at which point most farms were relocated from the village to the surrounding farmland.
In the centre of town, you will find the community centre Damms Gård, which used to house a smithy and inn. In 1899-1926, the Aabenraa County Railway connected Felsted with Aabenraa and Gråsten via a way station across from Damms Gård.
This meant that the farm’s thatched roof had to be replaced by a solid roof due to the danger of fire caused by flying sparks from the steam locomotive. In connection with the recent revival of the town centre, Aabenraa Municipality purchased Damms Gård, removed the outbuildings and launched an extensive restoration co-financed by the Maersk Foundation and the European Fund for Rural Development. The farm was put to use as a community centre in March 2014. Felsted Church is dedicated to Saint Dionysius, who died a martyr on Montmartre in Paris. Legend has it that the church was meant to have been built on Kirkebjerg around two kilometres to the east in a site where archaeologists have found a series of urn graves.
The church was built around 1250 on a safe, strategic location surrounded by streams on all sides. The stone building is likely to have replaced one or two wooden churches.
Meaning of the name of the town: The first mention of the name was in 1287-1307 in the Latin accusative form Felstedensem. Later sources refer to the town as Veddelsted (1436), Veddelstede (1462) and Feelstede (1543). The name is a compound of the Old Danish noun fætil (ford), meaning “the settlement by the ford”. However, the name may also simply consist of a similar Old Danish compound noun, fætilstath, meaning “ford”, most likely referring to a path across the marshland of Tumbøl Mose.