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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Ruins in Denmark
Historical period: The First Kingdom (Denmark)

More Information

www.ribe1300.dk

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lasse Mortensen (2 years ago)
Lots og Danish history and fresh air seasoned with a wonderful view
Russell Holden (2 years ago)
Great place.
Lilia Hickey (2 years ago)
Very good nice harbour and not far away from the town about a ten minute walk. Mermaid was very busy though. But apart from that great.
René Hopfe (2 years ago)
It's a small hill northeast of the city center with a moat around it. It features some ruins of a former royal palace and also a beautiful statue of Queen Dagmar who allegedly visited Ribe in 1205. The statue was erected in 1913 by Anna Marie Carl-Nielsen.
Lachezar Asenov (2 years ago)
Nice place for tourists
Powered by Google

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.