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 Skovgaard (1856–1933), who created the mural decorations in Viborg Cathedral, and Niels Skovgaard (1858–1938) also worked with landscape painting. However, their work is characterized rather by Symbolism and burgeoning Modernism. The collection holds exquisite examples of landscape painting as well as religious and mythological subjects.
The circle of artists surrounding the Skovgaard family is also represented in the museum's collections, with works by, among others, the renowned Danish artists Niels Larsen Stevns,Viggo Petersen and Thorvald Bindesbøll. The Skovgaard Museum shows three to four temporary exhibitions a year, ranging from art from the beginning of the nineteenth century to contemporary art. The permanent collection is on display all year round.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).