Arhus is Denmark’s second largest city and like Copenhagen, it too melds contemporary architecture with the rich historical heritage. An attraction for us to come to Arhus was Den Gamle By–“the old town”–a living history museum founded in 1909 to depict Danish urban history and cultural development. We have visited other open air museums but their focus has been on Danish agrarian life over the last one thousand years.
Here in Den Gamle By buildings and interiors have come from all over Denmark and are clustered together to recreate and demonstrate the development of a typical Danish market town. Most of the buildings are timber-framed Renaissance structures from a period of rapid economic growth when specialty “industries” were established in the downstairs with living quarters above. The joiner,tailor, apothecary, distillary, tobacco merchant and weaver are all here in wonderful and accessible detail enriched by “people of the period” delightfully interacting and sharing details of daily life of the period they represent.
Tomorrow we have the grand finale with a visit to Louisiana, Denmark’s lovely modern art museum and Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen Museum. Both are very close to where we have been staying on the Oresund coast.