Museums in Denmark

National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum's main domicile is located a short distance from Strøget. It contains exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America. The museum has a number of national commitments, particularly within the following key areas: archaeology, ethnolo ...
Founded: | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Viking Museum

The Viking Museum is built upon the site of anarchaeological excavation that revealed various Viking Age structures, items, and parts of a human skeleton. The museum also provides information regarding the history of Viking Age Aarhus and also features copies of items on display at the Moesgaard Museum, itself located near Aarhus.
Founded: | Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus Old Town

The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark (Den Gamle By), is an open-air town museum consisting of 75 historical buildings collected from 20 townships in all parts of the country. In 1914 the museum opened as the world's first open-air museum of its kind, concentrating on town culture rather than village culture, and to this day it remains one of just a few top rated Danish museums outside Copenhagen. The museum buildings are orga ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Aarhus, Denmark

National Gallery of Denmark

Statens Museum for Kunst ('Statens Museum' or sometimes 'National Gallery of Denmark') collects, registers, maintains, researches in and handles Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century till the present day, mostly with their origins in western culture circles. The museum"s collections constitute almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, approximately 300,000 works of art on paper as well ...
Founded: 1896 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum (Vikingeskibsmuseet) is the Danish national museum for ships, seafaring and boatbuilding in the prehistoric and medieval period. Around the year 1070, five Viking ships were deliberately sunk at Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord in order to block the most important fairway and to protect Roskilde from enemy attack from the sea. These ships, later known as the Skuldelev ships, were excavated in 1962. They ...
Founded: | Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Museum of Copenhagen

The Museum of Copenhagen (Københavns Bymuseum) is the official museum of Copenhagen city. It documents the history from the 12th century to the present day. The museum is located close to the Central Station at Vesterbrogade, in a mansion from 1787 which used to house the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society, and overlooks Skydebanehaven, the former shooting range now serving as a small public park. Outside the museu ...
Founded: 1891 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Frilandsmuseet

Frilandsmuseet (The Open Air Museum), opened in 1897 and covering 40 hectares, it is one of the largest and oldest open-air museums in the world. It is a department under the Danish National Museum. The museum features more than 100 buildings from rural environments and dating from 1650-1950. All buildings are original and have been moved piece by piece from their original location save a windmill that is still found in i ...
Founded: 1897 | Location: Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Moesgård Museum

Moesgård Museum is situated at Moesgård manor near Aarhus. It is both a regional museum and a dedicated museum for archaeology and ethnography. The main part of the museum’s collection of archaeological artefacts is Danish, even though the museum possesses a rather large amount of archaeological material – known as The Ethnographical Collections – from Bahrain and other countries surrounding the Gulf. The Ethnogra ...
Founded: | Location: Højbjerg, Denmark

Skovgaard Museum

The Skovgaard Museum is situated in the former town hall from 1728 next to Viborg Cathedral. It holds a collection of works by four generations of the Skovgaard family of artists. The main feature of the permanent collection is the work of the Skovgaard family. Peter Christian Skovgaard (1817–1875) was the principal representative of national romanticlandscapes of the Golden Age of Danish painting. His sons, Joakim Sko ...
Founded: | Location: Viborg, Denmark

The Funen Village

The Funen Village (Den Fynske Landsby) is an open-air museum located in the neighborhood of Fruens Bøge in Odense. It was founded as a public works project in 1942, during the German occupation of Denmark. The museum"s open-air scene opened to the public already in 1944, and was used for patriotic song festivals (alsangsstævner) during the Occupation. It opened to the public on 1 April 1946. Among the guests att ...
Founded: 1942 | Location: Odense, Denmark

Ribe Viking Museum

Ribe Viking Museum exhibits the history of Ribe from the Viking Age through the Middle Ages down to the year 1700. The museum presents thousands of findings and reconstructed environments from 1300 years old Ribe town in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages.
Founded: | Location: Ribe, Denmark

Bornholm Art Museum

The Bornholm Art Museum was constructed in 1993 and enlarged in 2003. The museum's permanent collection consists principally of paintings by artists with connections to Bornholm from the early 19th century to the present day. Special attention is given to the Bornholm school of painters which emerged at the beginning of the last century when a number of modernists, attracted to picturesque Bornholm and the tiny island of ...
Founded: 1993 | Location: Gudhjem, Denmark

Bornholm Museum

The Bornholm Museum is a museum located in Rønne. The museum gives a history of Rønne and the island of Bornholm, dating from the Paleolithic era to the modern age, including the history of occupied Bornholm during World War II. The museum houses a number of Nordic Bronze Age and Iron Age artifacts relating to the island and uses a Mjolnir, discovered in Bornholm, but now housed in the National Museum of Den ...
Founded: | Location: Rønne, Denmark

Ladby Ship

Ladby Ship is Denmark's only ship grave from the Viking period. Around 925 AD, the king of Ladby was buried in his ship, which was 21.5 meters long and 3 meters wide. A burial mound was raised above the ship. His grave was furnished with all his fine possessions, including 11 horses and 3 or 4 dogs. In the bow of the ship lies the original anchor and anchor chain. Unfortunately, the grave was plundered back in the Viking ...
Founded: c. 925 AD | Location: Kerteminde, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.