Aarhus Old Town

Aarhus, Denmark

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.

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Address

Viborgvej 2, Aarhus, Denmark
See all sites in Aarhus

Details

Founded: 1914
Category: Museums in Denmark

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ron Nicholas (3 years ago)
This assembled village demonstrates more than 300 years of history in Denmark. It's a living museum with homes and shops and other historic buildings from around Denmark. In 3 or 4 hours here you get a great idea of Danish history and life style. Actors in period costumes show and tell what life was really. Don't miss this special place and tell your friends about it.
KT Hue (4 years ago)
I love this place! It takes you back to hundres year earlier and shows people's daily life vividly. You can see how people work and live. There are a lot of inter-action programs, they're attractive and interesting and make yourself immerse to their stories.
Andrea Huérfano (4 years ago)
The place is amazing. You get to know and live what it was like to be part of the Danish society in prior centuries. It almost feels like being in a movie. And the idea of the actors works just perfectly. If you ask them something, they will answer and keep in character. You must plan in advance and devote at least 3|4 hours, otherwise you won't be able to walk the whole place.
Morten Nielsen (4 years ago)
An amazing place which impresses me always. The surroundings of the old (original) houses, the atmosphere and the exhibitions all add up to a unique experience, a brush of traditional Denmark. Combined with christmas exhibition currently running it is amazing - also in cold and rainy weather there is plenty to see.
Niraj Shah (4 years ago)
A great place to visit on a sunny day. This open air museum has plenty of buildings and shops to visit, and gives you a nice insight into traditional Danish life. The museum has old buildings from earlier periods and more modern ones, including a TV shop from the 80's complete with working retro televisions (and the prices they would have cost you). You can easily spend a few hours here, and the entrance fee is well worth the cost.
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.