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Vikings and the starlings dance - Ribe

Starling murmuration Starling murmuration Creative Common BY-SA

Just because someone couldn’t make it to visit Ribe on the beginning of May, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing interesting left to see in the oldest city of the country famous for Lego. On the contrary – the Viking town has really a lot interesting things to offer.

The oldest town in Denmark, Ribe, is also one of the most beautiful. It lies on the river Ribeå, in the western part of South Jutland. It is located approx. 5 km away from the North Sea. It retains many medieval buildings, which are very popular among lovers of architecture. Every summer Ribe is visited by hundreds of tourists, who want to feel the spirit of old times ruled by the Vikings. The city houses a faithful reconstruction of marine warriors’ sediments - open-air museum called Ribe VikingeCenter.

Ribe VikingeCenter

Each year Ribe organizes the largest Vikings rally in Denmark. It’s organized at the Vikings Center and tourists visiting the resort during this time have the opportunity to see the great battle recreated by the local people. It is also an opportunity to visit artisans in the workshops straight from the eighth century and look at handicrafts, take part in archery tournament or get acquaint with techniques of animal husbandry practiced in the tenth century. During the rally also lovers of botany will find something suitable – they have a chance to become acquainted with the old methods of cultivation of plants.

While visiting the Viking Centre, the youngest guests of the museum can dress up in costumes of the era, together dye wool using the old techniques, bake crumpets by the fire, play games that Vikings children played, or learn archery.

Everyday life in Ribe

Because of the interest of tourists on the streets of Ribe you can hear all sorts of languages, and the service sector is highly developed. The main street of the city is called Overdammen (Pond Street). It runs over the dam dividing the river into three parts with strong water currents. Mills’ wheels built on the arms are still active, and serve today as an attraction pleasing the eyes of tourists.

A place that cannot be missed when visiting the oldest city in Denmark, is the market. It is surrounded by many historic buildings with beautiful cathedral Ribe Domkirke towering above them. On the south side of the square is the old town hall and Den Gamle Arrest, a hotel with rooms located in wards - in the past the building served as a prison.

On the west side we find Weis Stue, the oldest inn in Denmark. In its interiors we can find furniture straight from the early eighteenth century, and the building itself is older by more than a century. In this part of the square market there’s also a sixteenth-century house, inside which Hotel Dagmar is located, and in the immediate vicinity – Porsborg, also dating from this period.

It’s difficult to enumerate all the historic buildings of Ribe, which deserve the attention. There’s simply too many of them.

Campsite in Ribe

If someone decided to visit Ribe and is looking for accommodation, can stay in a hotel or campsite, for example on a year-round Ribe Camping***. Two adult tourists, who came with their own motorhome, will spend a night here for approx. 28-37 euro (depending on the season and the type of the chosen area).

It’s the campsite with traditions - in the next year celebrates half a century of existence. It offers guests shaded spots, large heated swimming pool and a smaller one for children. Kids can also use a playground, while adults a nice terrace with sun loungers and a café with direct access to the pool.

The main thing in Ribe that attracts tourists is Viking Centre, but apart from the museum the city also offers a range of more contemporary entertainment. You can visit them both during the day and at night (Night Watchman with a guide). Tourists can explore the island Mandø on the Wadden Sea, visit the Wadden Sea Centre and participate in numerous concerts. Summer days in Ribe finish with the starlings dancing in the sky - a phenomenon called Black Sun. And this is yet another reason to visit this amazing place.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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