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Over the years, many of the city's visitors have arrived by ferry from Harwich, Essex, England, but this service closed in September 2014 having run since 1875.The harbour facilities are being expanded to answer the needs of the wind-turbine industry and container shipping traffic.It is home to the Danish football club Esbjerg f B, who play their home matches at Blue Water Arena, and also has an ice hockey division called Esbjerg Elite Ishockey, which plays at the Granly Hockey Arena.
Before a decision was made to establish a harbour (now the second largest in Denmark) at Esbjerg in 1868, the area consisted of only a few farms.
The Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre was completed in 1997 to designs by Jan and Jørn Utzon.
When approached by sea, the Man Meets the Sea is one of the prominent monuments, consisting of four 9-metre-tall (27 feet) white-coloured men, overlooking Sædding Beach.
Esbjerg developed quickly with the population rising to 13,000 by 1901 and 70,000 by 1970.
In addition to its fishing and shipping activities, it also became an important centre for agricultural exports.