About 160 meters of track towers over the Sydhavnen (South Harbor) district, eight meters above the harbor front. This concrete structure is what has since been nicknamed Kulbroen - which translates to the Coal Bridge. Kulbroen used to be a track for cranes to transport coal to the city’s power plant during the industrialization.

In 1855, Aarhus got its first gas plant at Sydhavnen which delivered gas for lighting, heating, and cooking through 165 meters of underground pipes. 44 years later, an electricity power plant was added. And from 1928, the excess heat from the production of electricity was used for district heating.

In 1950, the collection of plants was named Midtkraft. Two years later a new gas plant, running on coal, was added. It was then that Kulbroen was erected.

Whenever large amounts of coal arrived by ship to the harbor, the coal was unloaded along Sydhavnsgade. From here it was picked up by cranes and sent towards the coal gas plant, storing it by Kulbroen. The coal was crushed here before being transported to an oven for burning. The burning created gas which was distributed to the citizens of Aarhus. Burning the coal turned it into coke which could then be used for heating furnaces in the homes of Aarhus. Hence, the cranes of Kulbroen were also used for moving the piles of coke. 

In 1969, the coke gas plant was replaced by a split gas plant, which extracted gas from oil - this meant Kulbroen and its cranes were no longer as important and phased out. Just ten years later, gas production was shut down completely and Midtkraft’s production focused on coal-burning for electricity and district heating. By 1995, this production was also halted and Midtkraft decided to move north of Aarhus and become the Studstrup Power Station instead. Many parts of the enormous Midtkraft plant were gradually removed until 1997 and only a few physical remnants of the plant can be found at Sydhavnen today - Kulbroen being the most remarkable.