A few weeks ago, I had business to attend to in the Aarhus area. My wife is American and had never been to Jutland, and therefore we decided that she would come along, and we would make it into a small weekend vacation.
We only had one day to enjoy Aarhus as tourists and we chose to use that day in “Den Gamle By.” It was a great choice. If you only have one day and the weather is nice and sunny, like it was when we were there, then Den Gamle By is the perfect place to use your time, especially if you are just a little interested in history.
A Danish open-air museum representing life from the 1800s, 1920s and 1970s
Den Gamle By is exactly what its name indicates it is, “The Old Town.” It is an open-air museum where you walk around in a town that looks just like a Danish town from the 1700s, 1800s, 1920s and 1970s. In many museums, you walk around in a modern building, and look at individual things from olden days. In Den Gamle By, however, you walk around among old houses, and that way you get a whole other experience. You can go inside most of the buildings, which you will see decorated just as they were back then. You can see an old-fashioned pharmacy, a bakery and the mayor’s house from the 1800s. If you move on to the two newer areas, you will see stores such as a bookseller (both the 1920s and the 1970s version). Or what about visiting an old museum inside the museum?
I was not born in the 1970s
Many people probably think it is a little weird that they have a section dedicated to the 1970s. I did quite enjoy it though. Everything seemed so familiar to me as a Dane, but there were still some things that we don’t do and see anymore. I was born in the 1980s, and therefore I only recognize the 70s from movies, and other small things that were carried on into the 80s. Life has actually changed a lot in the past 40 years, and it is funny to see how. For instance, there is the museum has both a travel agency and a photo shop, which look exactly like they looked back then. You can still find both things today, but it is starting to become very rare, thanks to computers and the internet taking over those areas. Therefore, it is great that a whole part of the story is saved in Aarhus.
An amazing place for all ages
We visited Aarhus a little early for the tourist season to set in, but there are supposed to be a lot more activities now in the warmer months. Den Gamle By has a lot to offer its visitors, and it is guaranteed to be a lot more fun for all ages than traditional museums are. It is definitely a place to visit!
If you only have one day, like we did that weekend, I would strongly recommend that you use the time in Den Gamle By.
You can read more about Den Gamle By on their own website.