In the crypt of Budolfi Cathedral visitors can see the remains of the large stones used for the original church that was built at the direction of Bishop Eskil of Viborg no later than 1132. The first church was much smaller than the current church since it was a parish church. It consisted of a short nave and choir built in Romanesque style. That means it had half-round arches supporting a flat timber ceiling.
The existing Budolfi Cathedral was built in the last decades of the 14th century over and around the original St. Budolfi Church and was listed for the first time in the Atlas of Denmark in 1399. The church was named after St Botolph, an English abbot and saint. His reputation as a learned and holy man in Anglo Saxon England as the patron saint of farmers and sailors made him a popular saint in pre-Reformation Denmark.
The church was constructed in the Gothic style out of Denmark's most common building material, large bricks. The nave and choir measure at present 56 meters in length and 22 meters wide, exclusive of the weapons porch and extensions.
In 1554 Aalborg was made a diocese and after consideration St Budolfi Church was made the seat of the Bishop of Aalborg. The tower was added to the west front in 1779 with funds given by Jacob and Elisabeth Himmerig. The square 28 meter brick tower is topped with a 35 meter metallic Baroque cupola and spire. Four identical clock faces were installed on each of the four sides of the tower in 1817. The south side has a sundial mounted on it as well. The tower houses four bells. The oldest cast in 1681 by Rudolph Melchior. The largest bell was cast by B. Løw and Son in 1892. In 1899 a sacristy was built onto the north side aisle. During 1942 and 1943 the choir was extended 14 meters and the ceiling vaulting raised. A chapel was also added to the north side.
The main altar piece was added in 1684, a gift of Niels Jespersen and his wife Margareta Erichsdatter. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen of Essenbæk Cloister near Randers. He also carved the pulpit. The altar was restored in 1980. The altar candelabras were gifted in 1686 by Jens Christense and his wife, Mette Christensdatter. Budolfi Cathedral received the gift of an altar carving from c. 1450 which is placed in the north transept. It came from the estate chapel of Holckershavn also known as Elleborg in southern Jutland.
The black and white marble baptismal font was given to the church in 1728, a gift of the widow Maren Grotum Von Pentz. The pulpit (1692) was a gift from the first apothecary at Jesn Bangs Hus in Aalborg, Johannes Friedenreich and his wife, Magdalena Calow. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen. The ornate Baroque organ facade was constructed for the Hartvig Jochum Müller organ in 1749. The organ has been restored and expanded several times, the latest in 1959 by Th. Frobenius & Sons.
Several epitaphs have been preserved as examples of what once lined the aisles of the church. The 1583 epitaph for Karine Hansdatter is a fine example of renaissance work. The epitaphs for Jacob and Elizabeth Himmerig in 1773 and 1774 are examples of neo-classical design and commemorate the churches greatest benefactors.References:
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 organized into a small town of chiefly half-timbered structures originally erected between 1550 and the late 19th century in various parts of the country and later moved to Aarhus during the 20th century. In all there are some 27 rooms, chambers or kitchens, 34 workshops, 10 groceries or shops, 5 historical gardens, a post office, a customs office, a school and a theatre.
The town itself is the main attraction but most buildings are open for visitors; rooms are either decorated in the original historical style or organized into larger exhibits of which there are 5 regular with varying themes. There are several groceries, diners and workshops spread throughout the town with museum staff working in the roles of town figures i.e. merchant, blacksmith etc. adding to the illusion of a 'living' town.