Skagen is Denmark's northernmost town, located 41 kilometres (25 mi) north of Frederikshavn, 108 kilometres (67 mi) northeast of Aalborg, and 226 kilometres (140 mi) northeast of Aarhus by road. It takes its name from the peninsula which projects into the waters between the North Sea and the straits of Denmark. The oldest areas lie along the south coast. Gammel Skagen (Old Skagen), also known as Højen, is located next to Nordstrand on the western side. Vesterby and Østerby are notable for their little fishermen's cottages and narrow streets. Danish national road 40 to Frederikshavn passes through Skagen.
For generations, Skagen's economy has been based on its fishing industry which continues to prosper today, facilitated by its fishing harbour, the largest in Denmark. Skagen also has the country's main herring processing facility and the world's largest fish oil factory. The town's evolving fishing industry led to considerable growth in the local population which reached some 11,500 in the 1960s. A fish auction is held at dawn in the harbour, and between May and October the harbour also attracts yachting enthusiasts.
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