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View from Nakkehoved Fyr to the northeast towards Kullen: on the left the Kattegat, on the right the Øresund
View from Nakkehoved Fyr to the northeast towards Kullen : on the left the Kattegat, on the right the Øresund
Connects waters Skagerrak
with water Baltic Sea
Separates land mass Scandinavia
of land mass Jutland
Geographical location 56 ° 55 '42 "  N , 11 ° 25' 41"  E Coordinates: 56 ° 55 '42 "  N , 11 ° 25' 41"  E
Kattegat (Denmark)
Coastal towns Gothenburg , Aarhus
Islands Zealand , Funen
Map of the Kattegat
Map of the Kattegat

The Kattegat (Danish Kattegat [ ˈkadəgad ], Swedish Kattegatt ) is a 20,000 km² to 35,000 km² large and on average around 80 meters deep, extremely difficult to navigate sea ​​area between Jutland ( Denmark ) and the Swedish west coast. At Skagen it borders on the Skagerrak .

According to Art. 4 lit. c of Regulation (EU) 2020/123 , the Kattegat is bounded in the north by a line from the lighthouse of Skagen to the lighthouse of Tistlarna and from there to the next point on the Swedish “coast” (meaning the mainland ) and in the south by a line from Hasenøre to Cape Gniben / Gnibens Spids , from Korshage to Spodsbjerg (a lighthouse near Hundested on the Isefjord ) and from Cape Gilbjerg / Gilbjerg Hoved to Kullen . According to other definitions, the border point in the northeast at the Pater Noster lighthouse is 45 km further north; in the south, the border is alternatively drawn from the German coast near Nieby via Lolland to Malmö . The Kattegat is either seen as an arm of the Baltic Sea , an arm of the North Sea, or, according to traditional Scandinavian belief, as neither.


The connection to the open North Sea is via the Skagerrak and, since the February flood in 1825, via the Limfjord . However, the latter connection is only navigable with small ships. Ocean-going ships reach the Kattegat by circumnavigating the northern tip of Jutland , Skagen. The Baltic Sea is connected to the Kattegat by the Öresund , the Great Belt and the Little Belt .


Several larger rivers flow into the Kattegat:


The islands in the Kattegat include (selection, by region):

Northern Gothenburg archipelago South Gothenburg archipelago Halland and Skåne Outer Kattegat Inner Kattegat

Læsø and Anholt form the Danish desert belt , so named because of the dry summer climate, which allows ponds to dry out to the ground.


There are several shoals in the Kattegat :

  • to Denmark (around the island of Hesselø): Lysegrund, Lille Lysegrund, Schultz Grund or Schult's Grund, Briseis Flak and Hastens Grund
  • to Sweden: Fladengrund , Lilla Middelgrund , Stora Middelgrund, and Herthas Flak


In ecological terms, the Kattegat is a transition area between the Baltic Sea, which is less salty, and the Skagerrak, which is dominated by the Atlantic. South of Læsø there are more shallow areas up to a depth of 60 meters; in the north the Norwegian Gully drops steeply to over 600 meters. There is a great abundance of fish, there are also European lobsters and the Norwegian lobster or virgin lobster ( Nephrops norvegicus ). Local museums and aquariums are also concerned with the species-rich world of the Kattegat. B. the Kattegat Center in Grenaa .

Origin of name

The name Kattegat is derived from the Dutch and Low German words Katt "cat" and Gatt "hole". In the seafaring of the Hanseatic era and later, the Kattegat was feared due to its many shallows and narrow fairways. This is how the captains came to say that the Kattegat was as narrow as a cat's hole. Numerous wrecks testify to the previous difficulties of seafaring in the Kattegat.

An earlier name of the water was the Jutland Sea ( Old Norse Jótlandshaf ).

Traffic in the Kattegat

Today the eastern Kattegat in particular is a heavily trafficked sea area, through which a considerable part of the traffic to and from Gothenburg , Copenhagen and the Baltic Sea ports runs. Several important ferry lines cross or drive through the Kattegat, such as the Frederikshavn –Göteborg, Frederikshavn– Oslo , Frederikshavn– Larvik , Frederikshavn– Moss , Kiel –Oslo, Kiel – Göteborg lines.


Offshore wind energy is generated in the Kattegat . For example, the features Anholt Offshore Wind Farm with 111 wind turbines of the type Siemens SWT-3.6-120 with a total nominal output of 400 MW . When it was officially commissioned on September 4, 2013, it was the most powerful offshore wind farm in Denmark .


At the end of the Second World War , the German submarine U 2365 was self - sunk in the Kattegat on May 8, 1945 due to the rainbow order (which had already been canceled on May 4, 1945) - and lifted in 1955.

Web links

Commons : Kattegat  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kattegat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. International Hydrographic Organization : Limits of Oceans and Seas ( Memento of December 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) Special Publication № 23, 3rd Edition 1953, p. 5, accessed on April 8, 2020.
  2. a b Horst Meesenburg: Kattegat. In: Den Store Danske , Gyldendal, accessed April 2, 2020.
  3. ^ National Geospatial Intelligence Agency: Pub. (Enroute) Sailing Directions, Skagerrak and Kattegat, 2008, 11th edition.
  4. Miljøministeriet : Lysegrund ( memento from August 20, 2013 in the web archive archive.today ).
  5. Miljøministeriet: Schultz Grund ( Memento from May 19, 2007 in the web archive archive.today ).
  6. Miljøministeriet: Hastens Grund ( Memento from May 19, 2007 in the web archive archive.today ).
  7. Natura 2000: Fladen (PDF; 946 kB).
  8. Natura 2000: Lilla Middelgrund (PDF; 316 kB).
  9. Completion of the marina utsjöområden i Natura 2000-nätverket Sveriges geologiska undersökning .
  10. Siemens: Denmark's largest offshore wind power plant inaugurated . In: ee-news.ch , accessed on September 5, 2013.