In the 12th century the town was founded and a castle erected on Knudshoved (Canute's Head) by Knud, nephew of Waldemar the Great; and from the 13th to the 15th century Nyborg was one of the most important places in Denmark.
Though a place of considerable antiquity - being mentioned in 1086 as the meeting-place of insurgents against Knud, the saint - Randers has few remains of old buildings and bears the stamp of a compact, modern manufacturing town that owes its importance to its distilleries, manufactories of gloves, railway carriages, &c. St Marten's church dates from the 14th century, but was frequently altered and enlarged down to 1870.
Under the altar lies Canute (Knud), the patron saint of Denmark, who intended to dispute with William of Normandy the possession of England, but was slain in an insurrection at Odense in 1086; Kings John and Christian II.
The earliest work known to have been written in Denmark was a Latin biography of Knud the Saint, written by an English monk iElnoth, who was attached to the church of St Alban in Odense where King Knud was murdered.
Knud Lyne Rahbek (1760-1830) was a pleasing novelist, a dramatist of some merit, a pathetic elegist, and a witty song-writer; he was also a man full of the literary instinct, and through a long life he never ceased to busy himself with editing the works of the older poets, and spreading among the people a knowledge of Danish literature through his magazine, Minerva, edited in conjunction with C. H.
In 1910 Knud Rasmussen founded the station of Thule in North Star Bay, Wolstenholme Sound, as a trading station and a base for researches.