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

04

Feb

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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  1. Kat says:

    It does look like such a pretty place to go to. I love history, so being able to see the dig and the artifacts sounds so interesting!

  2. Bea says:

    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!

  3. Vanda says:

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

  4. Emma Grace says:

    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 πŸ™‚

  5. Aireona says:

    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.

  6. Aga says:

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

  7. Heidi Roland says:

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

  8. tonya says:

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

  9. Francesca says:

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

  10. Ashley says:

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

  11. Kristen says:

    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!

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