Riberhus Castle Ruins

Ribe, Denmark

During excavations at Slotsbanken, proof was found that people had resided there in the 10th century. However, this may not have been in connection with a castle or other building, but historical sources indicate that a castle was situated here in the early 1200s. It was a royal castle with a bailiff, who looked after the King’s interests in the area, collecting taxes from the townsfolk. The bailiff, later called a vassal, was responsible for a geographic area, a so-called fief and Riberhus fief included most of West Jutland up to Nymindegab. One of the best-known vassals of the castle was Albert Skeel, who was buried in Ribe Cathedral. Albert Skeel was vassal under King Christian IV in the 1600 years.

It is unknown how the castle looked originally, but archaeological excavations indicate that the castle consisted of a number of built together houses, surrounding a yard and round towers with canons in every corner for defense. Thick walls and the moat made it hard for trespassers to get into Riberhus. You had to pass the drawbridge and gatehouse in order to get into the castle. In 1400, Ribe was getting poorer and the number of citizens was decreasing, due to several pest epidemics. Copenhagen became capitol of Denmark and Riberhus declined, since there was no activity there anymore. After the Swedish Wars in 1600, the buildings were in such a bad state that the castle was torn down.

Today, you can see a statue of Queen Dagmar, who was married to King Valdemar Sejr on Slotsbanken. Dagmar died in the age of 23 on Riberhus and the statue shows her in front of a boat, sailing to Ribe. The artist Anna Marie Carl-Nielsen, created the statue in 1913 in memory of the young queen. The ruins at Slotsbanken were restored in 1940-1941, where the moats were cleaned and filled up with water, like in the days of glory. Slotsbanken was at the same time restored to its original look; about 8 meters high and over an area of 90x90 meters. The remaining ruin is administrational building.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Denmark
Historical period: The First Kingdom (Denmark)

More Information

www.ribe1300.dk

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

ole schmidtke (5 years ago)
A bit boring place where once a Castle stood
Douglas Sherrod (5 years ago)
Found this place by mistake, but it was a good mistake.
Sven R. (5 years ago)
Good view of the town and domkirke
Lasse Mortensen (6 years ago)
Lots og Danish history and fresh air seasoned with a wonderful view
Russell Holden (6 years ago)
Great place.
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