Ribe - a fantastic medieval and Viking town

Ribe - medieval and Viking town

In Ribe it is as, time stands still, the town is beautiful, the stories are many and magnificent and the experiences lines up.

Ribe is Denmark’s oldest city
The atmosphere of the medieval town center can not be described in words. It must be experienced. The cobbled streets, the wellpreserved houses and the memorial plaques each tell a part of the towns proud history, that dates back to around the year 710. Denmark is world famous for its Vikings, and from Ribe they sailed in wooden ships to Europe to shop - and spread horror. The dramatic past is visible in several places.

Nowadays everything breathes peace and coziness - in the pedestrian zone, by the cathedral, the Ribe Vikings Museum, the Wadden Sea Center, Mandø, the Jacob A. Riis Museum and the old restaurants. Only the roar of the watermills, the bell ringing and the guards evening song break the silence in Ribe.

Set aside plenty of time to visit Ribe Cathedral. The beautiful church requires further exploration. The cathedral - Our Lady’s Church - from the 12th century build in rhinsk tufsten with later gothic additions and changes made in brick - is built as a 3-nave church with two identical towers. From one tower you can look far beyond the Wadden Sea National Park - which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and see the Wadden Sea Center.

Take a look at the Ribe Vikings Museum. Experience the Viking Age brought to life at the center. It tells how it all started in the year 700 and shows the towns development through the times up to the 1700s - and here they have reconstructed and brought to life the Viking Age Ribe in full scale - so all the senses come into use.

See seals, aquariums and get close to the magnificent nature in the Wadden Sea National Park at the Wadden Sea Center, which is located right by the Wadden Sea - Denmark’s largest, flattest and wettest National Park. It is a unique natural area, which was named a National Park in 2010. The dynamic landscape, the biological richness and the many migratory birds make the area something completely unique. From the Wadden Sea Center you can drive in the tractor bus out into the Wadden Sea and the small island of Mandø, where you can experience the special atmosphere and the absolutely fantastic nature. Among other things, seal safari are arranged, Wadden Sea trips, shrimp safari, trips with stories about Mandø’s bird life, trips around Mandø and desert walks.

The newly opened Jacob A. Riis Museum tells the story of the Ribe boy, who became famous in the USA. Jacob A. Riis lived from 1849 to 1914 and US President Roosewelt called him New York’s most useful citizen - in Denmark not many people know him. Jacob A. Riis Museum tells the fascinating story of the boy, who emigrated to America in 1870. About the man who, through his hardhitting articles and photos from New York’s raw and harsh slums, opened the eyes of the bourgeoisie. And about his infatuation with Elisabeth, which he eventually gained thanks to his stubbornness. The story of Jacob A. Riis is the story of almost perishing in New York’s worst neighborhoods and the story of how hard work, the will to create a better society and self-belief made the Ribe boy, what the president called the ideal American.

Guards tour in Ribe
Follow the guard, listen to his songs and stories as he walks his traditional round through the towns historic streets every day from June to October. Ribe’s guards manage to create a very special atmosphere, where you live in a time, that was lived long before modern police officers and alarms. When the guard went his rounds, in order to stay awake and mark the hour beats, he had to sing a verse every hour through the night. The guards also sang, to reassure the citizens of the town, and to remind them, that a guard was kept - but also because not many people at that time had a clock.

The song was an important part of the work as guard, The guards were perceived as a kind of professional street singers. The service was hard work, especially in the winter, as the shift was very long, a full 9 hours. The salary was small and it often had to be supplemented with daytime work. It was the guards task to keep the peace and order as well as to take care of the street lighting at night. The guards also had to sound the alarm in case of fire and storm surges.

Now you can come along on the trip. It starts on Torvet by Restaurant Weis Stue. From May to October at 20:00 - in June, July and August also at 22.00 - and in week 7 and at Easter. The stories is told in Danish and English and lasts approx. 45 minutes. Its free to join.

Ribe Å flows in 4 branches through Ribe town and empties through Kammerslusen into the Wadden Sea. The big stream creates a great atmosphere in the city. Everywhere you hear the trickle and the rustling of the water turbines, when water is forced through the turbine blades. In 1255, Ribe got its first watermill. It was built by King Christoffer 1 in connection with a royal castle in  the 12th century Ribe. The former castle is now just a rampart with a moat.

The pedestrian street, that runs on a dam over Ribe Å, was built in 1250. The king wanted to raise the stream to provide hydropower to run turbines. The dam divides the small river into three narrow, rushing streams, which just allows for three turbines: Ydermøllen, Midtmøllen and Kongens Mølle. Come - and experience it all for yourself ...

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Publisher: Lone Frost Reklamebureau Aps
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Bank: Fynske Bank, Nyborg