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 ...
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

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

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.