Ribe, Denmark: Visiting the Oldest Town in Denmark and Exploring the Beautiful Walking Streets!

February 4, 2019 20 Comments

Jelling might be the most historically significant place in Denmark, but Ribe is the oldest town in Denmark! It dates back to the Viking Age (so of course I loved it) so there are archaeological digs and historic spots, but it’s also a pretty town with beautiful churches and walking streets! 🙂

Ribe, Denmark: Visiting the Oldest Town in Denmark and Exploring the Beautiful Walking Streets!

History of Ribe, Denmark

Ribe is an important historic town in Denmark, and it’s believed that Ribe dates back to the beginning of the 8th century and was first documented as a town in 854. Because having a central town instead of farms spread out in the countryside was a fairly new concept to Scandinavia during the Viking Age, Ribe is the oldest town in Denmark still in existence. It was a big port and one of the most important trade cities in Scandinavia. Since my professor in Aarhus is an archaeologist, we actually got to see where they’re digging right now and see some of the artifacts they’ve uncovered from the Viking Age!

Archaeological dig in Ribe, Denmark

Archaeological dig in Ribe, Denmark

River in Ribe, Denmark

River in Ribe, Denmark

Ribe, Denmark

Ribe, Denmark

River in Ribe, Denmark

Yellow house in Denmark

Historic church door in Denmark

Doors of the Town Hall, dating back to 1496

Archaeological dig in Ribe

Ribe, Denmark is also known for the famous Saint Ansgar (or Anskar). He was the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen and one of the first missionaries to Scandinavia. He came to Denmark in 826 and built the church in Ribe in 860. Since there aren’t many documents from that time, it was disputed whether or not people in Ribe actually converted to Christianity until they discovered thousands of Christian burials from that time period (which is right across the street from the church and you can see in the photo above).

The wooden church that Saint Ansgar built didn’t last through the centuries, and the Ribe Cathedral still stands today today dates back to 1110. There was a fire in the town in 1176, but most of the church was undamaged!

Ribe Cathedral

Ribe Cathedral

Ribe Cathedral

Statue of Saint Ansgar

Ribe Cathedral

Ribe Cathedral

Half-timber house in Denmark

Exploring the oldest town in Denmark

After getting the historic tour of Ribe, I got to walk around the town. There are lots of restaurants and shops, and it’s such a pretty town to explore! Many of the buildings are hundreds of years old, and 110 houses are protected by the Heritage Protection.

If you have time to see more attractions, there is a Viking museum and a Viking center and an art museum. There’s also an abbey that you can tour, which I did get to see briefly.

Downtown Ribe

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Historic door in Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

The Ribe River flows through the center of town

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Historic town in Denmark

Ice cream shop in Ribe, Denmark

Ice cream shop in Ribe, Denmark

It was a hot summer day, so I stopped for ice cream, of course!

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

The abbey of Sct. Catharinæ

Pink roses

Pink roses

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Decorative door in Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

Downtown Ribe, Denmark

If you’re looking for a small town in Jutland to explore, I highly recommend Ribe, Denmark! It’s such a pretty, historic town in Denmark to see, packed with so much history 🙂

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20 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bea

    February 9, 2019

    I’ve been wanting to visit Denmark for so long! I think I should just stop thinking about it and book a flight this weekend! Thanks for inspiring me!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2019

      Yes you should go!! It’s such an amazing country!

  2. Reply

    Vanda

    February 9, 2019

    What a beautiful place! I love historic towns – makes you feel like you’re traveling back in time! Great photos too 🙂

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂

  3. Reply

    Emma Grace

    February 9, 2019

    I love the design of Denmark so much. The architecture and vibe of Copenhagen totally sucked me in and now I’m dying to see Ribe! Gorgeous photos 🙂

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2019

      Thank you! Danish architecture is my favorite! 🙂

  4. Reply

    Aireona

    February 9, 2019

    I was in Denmark last year and we totally missed this town! I am so sad! I love the architecture and color. It is amazing.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2019

      I hope you can go back! 🙂 It’s one of my favorite places in Denmark!

  5. Reply

    Aga

    February 9, 2019

    So pretty! I really want to go back to Denmark. I loved Copenhagen, and would love to see more of the country.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2019

      There are so many amazing places to see in Denmark! 🙂 I hope you can see some more of the country!

  6. Reply

    Heidi Roland

    February 6, 2019

    This looks like a fun adventure exploring the oldest city in Denmark!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 23, 2019

      Thanks! 🙂

  7. Reply

    tonya

    February 6, 2019

    They have some of the coolest doors! I love the buildings that have the wood and brick designs.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 6, 2019

      Me too! I wish there were more like that in the US!

  8. Reply

    Francesca

    February 6, 2019

    Julia – these images are beautiful and the information so interesting. I will be keeping this town in mind for future travels!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 6, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂

  9. Reply

    Ashley

    February 6, 2019

    Your posts always make me want to pack a bag and travel to Denmark! I love all of the historic buildings that you share!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 6, 2019

      Thank you! 🙂 I hope you can go!!

  10. Reply

    Kristen

    February 6, 2019

    I love how charming all the buildings are! It’s so cool that you got to see the dig site that your professor was working on! Soo cool!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 6, 2019

      Yeah it was so cool to see in person! 🙂

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