Förden and East Jutland Fjorde

Mariager Fjord

The eastern coast of the Jutland Peninsula, consisting of Danish Jutland and German Schleswig-Holstein features a type of narrow bay called Förde (plural: Förden) in German and fjord (plural fjorde) in Danish. These bays are of glacial origin, but the glacial mechanics were different from those of Norwegian Fjords and also from those of Swedish and Finnish Fjards.

The words Förde, fjord and fjard are of the same origin as the English word firth, but today there are differences in the meaning between firth (Förde) and fjord in general.


Europe during Weichselian- & Würm-Glaciation

When the area of the present Baltic Sea was covered by an ice sheet during the Weichselian glaciation, about 20,000 to 70,000 years ago, the edge of the ice moved on land as tongues of glaciers; these carved out channels. When the ice retreated it created a large lake. The water level rose and the channels were filled by water. The material removed formed moraine hills near the sides and ends of the channels.

Some of these Förden and fjorde are believed not to have been carved out by the ice directly, but to have been washed out by flows of water below the ice (tunnel valleys). Alternatively they have been interpreted as 'beheaded' river channels preserved beside a tideless sea.[1]


Fjorde of East Jutland and Förden of Schleswig-Holstein

The present day firths of this region includes:



The inner part of Flensburger Förde has been used as a harbour since the Middle Ages.



  1. ^ Gregory, J.W. (1913). The Nature and Origin of Fiords. London: John Murray. pp. 128–133.