Winter in Ribe, Denmark

Winter and “hygge” in Denmark. Visit the oldest town in Scandinavia: Ribe

Room with a view. Ribe and Ribe Cathedral seen from the hostel's top floor
Ribe in Denmark. View of Ribe Cathedral from Danhostel Ribe

Our tribute to our old and authentic town, Ribe

This view of Ribe old town in Denmark was ours the last 31 years as managers at Danhostel Ribe – the hostel in Ribe.  Now it is time for us to say goodbye, but before a new manager takes over next year, we’ll pay a tribute to our lovely town at wintertime in this last blog post.

Streets of Ribe - a cosy little town in Denmark
Streets of the cosy little town, Ribe in Denmark. This street is Fiskergade (gade=street)

If you like the atmosphere in a smaller town

you’ll certainly like Ribe. Ribe is a beautiful historic town by the North Sea  and the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, not far away from Legoland or the German border.

Winter in Ribe,  Denmark
A beautiful winter’s day in the streets of Ribe, Denmark. This street is Sortebrødregade

Maybe You Should Rethink your Winter Break

If you want a break far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and had enough of noise and crowds, we suggest that you go for a winter break in a smaller town. Why not choose Ribe?
VisitDenmark – The official tourism and travel information guide to Denmark –  mentions Ribe first in “Denmark’s prettiest towns” and Ribe was also recently voted “The winner of Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destinations

The authentic Ribe in Denmark at wintertime
In winter everything seems much slower and Ribe is less touristy and more authentic. This photo is from  Puggaardsgade

The authentic Ribe at wintertime

Winter is a great time to travel if you want to see the authentic Denmark.  In winter everything seems much slower. Also,  travel is cheaper (Link: the hostel’s offers) and Ribe is less touristy, when the peak season is over, and the starlings have danced their last so-called Black Sun dance by the end of October.
Black Sun is Denmark’s biggest natural phenomena. MNS recently mentioned it as one of the “24 of the coolest and most surreal natural phenomena on earth” while linking to our hostel’s explanation of the phenomena: Black Sun

One of many alleys in Ribe, Denmark
One of the beautiful alleys in Ribe

Recommended blog posts about Christmas and winter in Ribe

We can recommend these two blog posts:
– Christmas and winter in Ribe is special. 30 photos from Ribe in Denmark

Christmastime in Denmark – and in beautiful Ribe

Hygge - a new trend. In Ribe town youl'll find it all the time
Danish “hygge” lifestyle is a new trend worldwide. Photo from Fiskergade

Danish “hygge” lifestyle – a new trend worldwide

No doubt that the Danish  “hygge” lifestyle has become a new trend worldwide.
The Danish word “Hygge” made it to the shortlist of Oxford Dictionaries  international word of the year. It lost out to the word ‘Post-truth’ – but no doubt, the “hygge” lifestyle has become a popular gift to the world from Denmark.
Many Danes associate hygge (≈ cosiness) with Ribe old town – where winding cobblestone streets and alleys, half-timbered houses and crooked doors and windows make people feel comfortable and remind them of H. C. Andersen’s fairy tales.

Viking heritage in the Viking town Ribe, Denmark
The Vikings lived, worked and traded in Ribe. This photo is from the street Puggaardsgade, but the street and the buildings are not from the Viking Age

The Viking town Ribe

Ribe is Denmark’s – as well as Scandinavia’s – oldest town. This historic port town has pretty much seen it all.
Vikings lived, worked and traded in Ribe when it was founded early in the 8th century AD, and soon became the largest trading centre of the Nordic countries.
The results of the latest archaeological finds and research convinced some archaeologists that the Viking Era started in Ribe and not in the year 793 AD, after the Vikings landed in England on the first official Viking raid.

Ribe Art Museum, Denmark. Details
Ribe Art Museum in Sct. Nicolai street – Scandinavia’s first pedestrian street

Scandinavia’s first pedestrian street

You will see no buildings left from the Viking Age in Ribe, but when you stroll along Sct. Nicolai street, you walk on top of what was also Scandinavia’s first pedestrian street. In this street Vikings could go shopping food and clothes, but also luxury goods such as jewellery and knives. You can see many of the artifacts found here on display in Ribe Viking Museum at the end of the street.

The medieval Cathedral in Ribe
The Cathedral is the biggest attraction among the preserved medieval buildings in Ribe. Photo from Torvet

The Medieval and Renaissance heritage of Ribe

Ribe has more than 120 preserved buildings, only Copenhagen has more, but they are scattered throughout the city, while in Ribe they are within walking distance from our hostel, Danhostel Ribe.
Many medieval buildings can be seen in Ribe, and according to the Danish Agency for Culture,  Ribe is Denmark’s best preserved Medieval town.
Many of the old buildings are Renaissance buildings from around 1580, due to a big town fire at that time.

Ribe harbour a winter day
Ribe harbour a winter day

Enjoy the silence – it has become a luxury

Peace and quiet has become a luxury in a noisy modern world. In Ribe you don’t have to pay extra to have a little  privacy, space and silence.

Ribe Harbour on a misty winter's day
Enjoy a little peace and quiet on a stroll along the harbour.  Even a misty day is beautiful

In Ribe you can have space and silence

A walk along the river, Skibbroen, is a pleasant and relaxing experience for both mind and body.

The Art Museum's park  in Ribe
Seagulls in the Art Museum’s park Ribe

 A Mindful Walk in the Park

Alternatively, you could enjoy a walk in one of our beautiful parks. By the river in Ribe Art Museum‘s park, where Vikings once were busy traders, you may be lucky to watch several wintering birds, like ducks, swans, geese, and seagulls.

One of the best place to watch wildlife in Denmark is the Wadden Sea National Park
Birdwatching – the Wadden Sea National Park is one of the best places to go birding in Denmark

The best place to watch wildlife

If you really want to go birding in winter, is one of the best places in Denmark the Wadden Sea National Park, which  attract huge flocks of overwintering birds.

The hostel in Ribe, Denmark. The heart of Ribe an the Wadden Sea National Park
The hostel in Ribe, Denmark. The hostel stands in the heart of Ribe and proudly – as the only part of Ribe – in the heart of a national park

A National Park and a UNESCO Site

When you walk along the quay, Skibbroen, you can see our hostel on the other side of the river.  The meadow outside the hostel is part of a national park.
The Danish Wadden Sea National Park is the biggest national park in Denmark, but in Ribe only the meadow outside the hostel is part of it. Several times every winter the meadow is flooded, when the water level in the river rises all the way to the front of the hostel.
Parts of the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2014. For further information and adventures in the national park: Wadden Sea National Park and Storm Surges

Old street lamp on old house
Street lamp in Ribe, Denmark

 Look up to see all the details

Street lamps, guild signs, roofs without gutters, and crosses carved in the timber uprights holding up the roof meant as protection against witches and witchcraft are all good examples of details. But if you want to know some of Ribe’s history, you should study our “self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe in Denmark” or read the story of Maren Spliid and other “witches” in Ribe.   (you can find both articles in German and Danish on the hostel’s homepage too)

Wrap up warm and have a snowball fight
Wrap up warm and have a snowball fight

Wrap up warm and have a snowball fight

Dress in a woolly jumper or a warm coat and have a snowball fight, You can warm up with a  cup of hot chocolate  in one of the many cafés after.

Snowman outside the hostel
Snowman on the meadow outside the hostel

Build a snowman

– or build a snowman on the meadow by the river just outside the hostel.

The pedestrian high street of Ribe in Denmark at Christmas time
The pedestrian high street of Ribe during the festive season

Do your Christmas shopping under festive lights

Christmas shopping always feels a little bit more authentic in the dark and under lovely lights. The pedestrian high street offers good Christmas shopping in the town centre of our historic town.

Christmas shopping during a December weekend in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas shopping in Ribe, Denmark

If you had enough of crowded Christmas markets

If you had enough of glittering and famous, but crowded Christmas markets around Europe, we can recommend Christmas shopping in Ribe. The weekends are a little busier than usual due to the many Christmas events.

A few more winter photos to enjoy

Listen to the organ grinder's music, when he plays his barrel organ in the streets
The organ grinder entertains young and old
 Go sleighing for free with horse-drawn carriage in Ribe
Enjoy a free ride in a horse-drawn sleigh
Meet Santa in Ribe, Denmark
Meet Santa with a bag full of goodies
The pedestrian street in Ribe
The pedestrian high street and the Cathedral in Ribe
Boats in the harbor. Ribe in Denmark
Boats in the harbour
The harbour - Christmas in Ribe
The harbour – Christmas in Ribe
Not all sculptures are in museums
Not all sculptures are in museums. In the background is Sct Catharinæ Church – also from the Middle Ages
Christmas decorations and lights
Christmas decorations and lights
In the park
In the park

 Never mind the weather

….if you stay at the hostel, you can just look out of the window.
But on the other hand: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.

Contact us or book Online at Danhostel Ribe: Contact

Room with a view at Danhostel Ribe
Room with a view at Danhostel Ribe – a view of the old town and the harbour from the top floor

 

Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’ facebook

Written by Gudrun Rishede and Jens Philipsen, Danhostel Ribe
© All photos: Gudrun Rishede

 

From Japan to Ribe in Denmark

Visiting Ribe in Denmark on a round the world trip

Everyone has a story to tell, and we heard quite a lot of them throughout the 30 years we were hostel hosts in Danhostel Ribe in Ribe, Denmark. Yet our recent guests, the world travellers Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa from Japan, had a rather unusual travel story to tell.

( This blog post in Danish: Amazingcars.dk:  Verden rundt i bil. Pitstop i Ribe )

Japanese travellers outside the hostel in Ribe
Travelling around the world in a Mazda Scrum. Yoshi and Yuko outside Danhostel Ribe

40.000 km in a Mazda Scrum from Japan to Ribe

Yoshi and Yuko started their world tour from Tokyo in August 2015 in this Mazda Scrum 660cc, and a year and a month later they arrived to Ribe and stayed a couple of nights in our hostel.

They have driven about 40.000 km and visited all these countries on their way: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Holland and now Denmark.

It is possible to sleep in the car
It is possible to live in the car – but sometimes it is nice to stay in a hostel or hotel to have a bath, a chair and table – and free Wi-Fi. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

From Ribe they went to Hirtshals to catch the ferry to Island, though travelling north is really out of their way, since their plan is after Iceland to go to Morocco through France and Spain  and end in South Africa around May 2017.

Looking for a home abroad

Yoshi and Yuko tell they want to live abroad, so where they go, they are always looking for a house. They want to stay in a house that “has a good view, is cheap and quiet. If wild bears walk in the garden, it’s perfect!”
It seems to have been very difficult for them to find a home that fulfils all these wished, since Yoshi and Yuko have been around the world since April 2005.
If you can recommend any places, please write it in the comments :-)

Room with a view at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
View from Danhostel Ribe, Denmark. Photo: © Danhostel Ribe

In Ribe we have no bears walking around, but from the hostel we have the most amazing view of Ribe medieval town and Ribe River. The meadow, named  “the Head Meadow” outside the hostel is part of the Wadden Sea National Park and has a horrifying history of beheaded pirates, whose heads were put on stake in Medieval times.

Black Sun - starlings in Ribe, Denmark
Black Sun. Denmark’s most famous natural phenomenon. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

Black Sun – Starlings

Instead of bears Yoshi and Yuko enjoyed Denmark’s most famous natural phenomenon “Black Sun – Starlings”  in Ribe. This photo is one of the photos, they took of this natural phenomenon. See more photos in their photo gallery of their travel blog.

Ribe River in Denmark
Ribe River an autumn evening 2016. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

Visiting Ribe because they love old towns

When Yoshi and Yuko visited Ribe, it was the first town/city they visited in Denmark. They choose to visit Ribe, because it is the oldest town in Denmark. They say “We love old towns. Ribe is beautiful, clean and quiet – very much. The hostel is clean, too, and a good place. We like Ribe and the hostel. We found the hostel using Maps.me (application).”

Ribe Classic. Old cars and motor cycles in Ribe
Ribe Classic. Old cars and motor cycles on the meadow outside the hostel. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

In their photo gallery you’ll notice that they not only love old towns but also old cars and motorcycles, since they took a lot of photos Tuesday evening on the meadow outside the hostel, when Ribe Classic had their weekly get-together. You can often see several hundred old cars these evenings. (See also: 10 things to do for free in Ribe – Denmark )

Working while travelling

Like many other round the world travellers Yoshi and Yuko are working while travelling to help fund their adventures.  As a Graphic designer Yoshi gets orders from Japanese clients by Email. Yuko used be an architect in Tokyo and is now a macrame jewellery designer.

Travelling around the world since 2005
Travelling around the world. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawav

Travelling around the world since 2005

Yoshi and Yuko: “Actually, we’ve been traveling around the world since April 2005.
First of all, we bought a scooter in Los Angels and drove from the Northern tip of Alaska to the South tip of Argentine.
And from Vancouver to the east tip of Canada by another scooter.
From Nordkapp of Norway to South Europe by another scooter.
Around New Zealand by another scooter.
Around Australia by a car.
Around Southeast Asia counties by bus or something….”

Mazda Scrum 660cc on  world tour from Tokyo to Ribe
Mazda Scrum 660cc on world tour from Tokyo. Parked at the hostel, Danhostel Ribe, in Denmark

If you want to know more about Ribe

Storytelling on wheels, Ribe, Denmark

Cycling through history and nature of Denmark’s oldest town Ribe

Ribe Bike Tours – Storytelling on wheels

A view on bike tours and bike tourism out of the bigger cities.
Explore Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park – a UNESCO site – by bicycle

Welcome to Danhostel Ribe‘s guest bloggers: founders of Ribe Bike Tours (Ribebiketours.com) Line Fricke and Leon Walker

Line Fricke and Leon Walker from Ribe Bike Tours
Line Fricke and Leon Walker, Founders of Ribe Bike Tours here having the famous “Isvaflen” ice cream at Skibbroen in the heart of Ribe

Bicycle tours and  bike tourism in smaller towns, national parks and rural areas

Being on a bike with wind in your hair while being guided by a great storyteller is incomparable to any other way of visiting a new city. Or area! Oh yes bicycle tours and  bike tourism is just as attractive, if not more so, for smaller towns, national parks and rural areas as for cities. Here, we share with you why.

Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe - See Ribe and the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage by bicycle
Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe. Ribe old town and Ribe Cathedral seen from Riberhus Slotsbanke – the location of the medieval castle Riberhus, that once stood here. The spirit of Valdemar II The Victorious and his Queen Dagmar still resides here

Ribe Bike Tours: Storytelling on Wheels

Being a green yoga‐ & bike‐loving couple we have been involved with bike‐tours in cities all over the world – both as bike tour guests and also as guides: from Shanghai, China to London, UK to Mount Maunganui, New Zealand to Copenhagen, Denmark.
And now Ribe, Denmark’s oldest town, where we this summer launched Ribe Bike Tours offering guided bike tours or “storytelling on wheels”, as we like to say.

Ribe Bike Tours. The tour takes off at Ribe Viking Museum
Ribes Vikinger – the Viking museum in Ribe is where Ribe Bike Tours city tour takes off – just as Ribe’s history started here over 1300 years ago

Bike Tours without traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds

We’ve always believed that biking in big cities is a great way to be in one with the pulse of the city – and to see more in less time. But this city‐pulse invariably involves traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds – conditions that the ”perfect” bike tour should be without.
And it can be without as we’ve recently discovered. Taking a bike tour in the old town and the surrounding Danish nature of Ribe, conditions suddenly become closer to “perfect”.

Ribe Bike Tours
Ribe Bike Tours – www.ribebiketours.com

 See, hear, feel – when exploring by bike in Ribe

In Ribe we have little traffic, kilometers of bike‐lanes, friendly roads and lots of history to explore along the way. Whether visitors are into the establishment of the Vikings, wars of the Middle Ages or following the trail of famous local personalities such as the Danish-American journalist, photographer and philanthropist Jacob A Riis, Ribe has it all. It’s practically a condensed Scandinavian history lesson in one town… And on a bike the lesson can be felt, heard and seen in a couple of hours.

Book bicycle tours in Scandinavia's oldest town, Ribe in Denmark
After a tour by Ribe Brewery it’s time to get closer to the neighboring and magnificent Ribe Cathedral

Outstanding Danish West Coast nature and views

On the doorstep of Ribe is pure Danish West Coast nature. There’s even more to explore here:  Pedaling through this amazing  West Coast landscape we enjoy  as well the rich animal life; forests as flat marsh land.
Galgebakkerne (the Gallows Hill) where Riberret (the tough Ribe Law) was ”manifested” through witch-burning and other horrors.
From Kammerslusen lock by the Ribe Dike – which has worked as coastal protection and has protected Ribe and its historic treasures from flooding since the beginning of the 1900’s – you have  an outstanding  view over  the UNESCO Wadden Sea outside the dikes and over the Ribe March Wadden Sea National Park all the way to Ribe’s red roof tops and  its soaring Cathedral  inside the dikes.
In fact many of these spots out of Ribe can only be reached by private car or bike – for example Bicycle rental through Ribe Danhostel.

Visitors want authenticity

In terms of what visitors want, we are seeing people preferring less “cookie-cutter” mass tourism with big groups on busses just stopping to take a photo to more authentic, personal, unusual and fun ways of exploring, learning and doing.
Something bike tours can offer and which is what we want Ribe Bike Tours to offer. We make the very famous, the less famous and the very worthy stories come alive for visitors and cycling enthusiasts. We share the beauty of Danish nature, Danish history and Danish “green” bike mentality. A mentality that most people take for granted also exists outside of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

“Come bike with us in and around Ribe where we can promise visitors clean air, almost empty roads and a positive green experience with biking!”

Xx Line & Leon

Vikings and Middle Age Kings & Queens in Ribe, Denmark
Whether guests are into the Vikings, the Middle Age Kings & Queens or ghosts of the past Ribe Bike Tours’ guides Line and Leon will bring the stories to live

Facts:

  • Line Fricke from Ribe, Danmark and Leon Walker from Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
  • Line is Master in Social Science Service Management and Leon is Bachelor of Commerce – International Business
  • Both have worked and lived in Shanghai, China the last 4 years
  • Line is also a yoga teacher in Ribe and blogs about yoga, travel and life at ShantiHabits.com
  • Leon enjoys talking about the stock market and kite surfing on the windy West Coast
  • The main languages on a guided bike tour with Ribe Bike Tours is Danish, Swedish and English but even a tour with some Chinese can be arranged
Ribe Bike Tours. www.ribebiketours.com
Ribe Bike Tours: www.ribebiketours.com

Links

© All photos belong to Ribe Bike Tours – You are welcome to link to this blogpost, to Ribe Bike Tours or to Danhostel Ribe

New architecture in old town. Ribe, Denmark

How new architecture fits into Ribe, Scandinavia’s oldest town

In terms of historical sights, Ribe is a town without compare in Denmark. It is Denmark’s, and Scandinavia’s, oldest town and every corner oozes history. Ribe has the largest number of preserved buildings in Denmark outside Copenhagen, but in Ribe you can walk to them all, while in Copenhagen they are spread over a much larger area. You’ll find about 120 preserved buildings in Ribe.

Ribe, Denmark. This is the view of Ribe old town from the hostel, Danhostel Ribe
Ribe’s old town, from the hostel, Danhostel Ribe

Walk from our hostel, Danhostel Ribe, right into the heart of Ribe and visit all the best sights: A self-guided old town walk

Ribe Art Museum, Denmark
Ribe Art Museum (left in the photo) reopened 2010 after a major repair and renovation project

Urban renewal in Ribe

Although Ribe is old, development hasn’t stalled. Urban renewal is ongoing, fitting respectfully into the old city, while differing in both design and materials.
Here are a few examples from the past year.

Ribe Cathedral Square, Denmark
Ribe Cathedral Square, Denmark

Ribe Cathedral Square

Where Ribe Cathedral was formerly in a hollow following centuries of accumulation of surrounding deposits (the cultural layers), you will now find the paving sloping down.
The renovation of Ribe Cathedral Square, designed by the Danish Schonherr Landscape Architects (Schønherr),  rewarded the citizens with a lovely square for events all year round and for hanging out in cafes and restaurants during summertime. The town square is now a beautiful and functioning public space with the Cathedral as a natural centre.
The renovation also improved vehicular and pedestrian movement and appearance, though  the outcome has proved controversial and started a debate about the proper balance between the rights of the vehicles and pedestrians.

Kannikegaarden in Ribe, Denmark
Kannikegaarden in Ribe, Denmark

Kannikegården – The Canon Monastery

Kannikegården is a building of visionary new architecture on the town square opposite Ribe Cathedral. It is designed by the Danish architects Lundgaard and Tranberg. It belongs to Ribe parish’s parochial church council and houses the parochial church council and the staff at Ribe Cathedral. The building is raised above Denmark’s first Christian cemetery, dating back to the Mid-800s, when the German Apostle Ansgar – known as the “Apostle of the North” – was permitted by King Horik of Denmark to built the first Danish Christian church  in Ribe.  Nobody knew if and where this church was built in Ribe, until the former building at this place burned down and archaeologists were allowed funds to  excavate the area. Here they found  the cemetery with these early Christian-Viking graves.
Outside Ribe Cathedral facing Kannikegården is placed a new and modern statue of Ansgar, the “Apostle of the North”.

Outside Ribe Cathedral is a statue of Ansgar, the “Apostle of the North” facing Kannikegården
Outside Ribe Cathedral is a statue of Ansgar, the “Apostle of the North” facing Kannikegården

A later canon’s monastery dating back to the mid-1100s was found in the same excavation and gave the building its name, Kannikegården. Some of the excavation has been preserved , so you can have a look through the building’s perimeter glass facades and see walls from the canon monastery’s dining room. In this way these ancient walls are integrated into the new building, telling a very important part of ancient Danish history to the public.

Kannikegaarden, Ribe, Denmark
Kannikegaarden. Lecture room

If you want to know more about Ribe Cathedral, the town square and the statue of Angar, the “Apostle of the North”: Ribe Cathedral.
If you want to know more about the Christian Viking graves: Vikings

Ansgar, the “Apostle of the North”
Ansgar, the “Apostle of the North” . Ribe, Denmark

 Chilling by the river

Chilling by the Ribe River, Denmark
Chilling by the Ribe River, Denmark

A new wooden terrace by Ribe River only a few steps from the hostel was inaugurated a month ago. The terrace is the result of an exemplary collaboration between citizens of Ribe town and Esbjerg municipality. It is a great place for chilling out with a glass of wine or an ice cream cone while enjoying the view of Ribe River, the old town or the sunset over Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park.
Both Ribe citizens and guests of Ribe have immediately  taken the terrace into their hearts.

Ribe River and the new wooden terrace
Ribe River, the new wooden terrace and the bridge over the river to the hostel

Do you want to know more about Ribe ?

Useful links:

Moped at Ribe Cathedral Square
Moped at Ribe Cathedral Square

Book a room at the hostel in Ribe

You don’t even have to leave your room to enjoy the beauty of Ribe’s skyline – the most photographed view in town.

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark. Click the photo, read more about accommodation at Danhostel Ribe hostel, and book your room online.

 

Viking children from Ribe in Denmark

Viking Children. 26 Photos from Ribe in Denmark

Viking child exploring the world outside the Viking house
Viking child exploring the world outside his home at Ribe VikingeCenter

Vikings  in Ribe – a favourite subject to photograph

Those who follow this blog will probably have noticed a long time ago, that Vikings are one of  my favourite subjects to photograph (I am Gudrun from Danhostel Ribe – the hostel in Ribe, Denmark).

Viking children do also see the beauty of dandelions
Viking child exploring the big world

Photos of Viking children

Throughout the years I have also photographed Viking children.   In this new blog post I will  show you some of my less known photos  –  most of them never published before.

Viking woman with child at Ribe Viking Market
Viking woman with child at Ribe Viking Market

Ribe International Viking Market

I hope these photos will remind you of the big international Viking Market in Ribe. In 2016 it will take place from the 2nd of May to the 8th of May at Ribe VikingeCenter. The market brings 500 Vikings from all over Europe to Ribe in Denmark.

Viking boy with sword and drinking horn
Viking boy with sword and drinking horn

Similar Viking photos

A few of the photos might look like photos you saw before. Maybe you have seen  one similar to this one here: Vikings 

Viking food at the Viking market in Ribe, Denmark
Viking food at the Viking market. Viking woman and her son cooking Viking food at the market

Viking photos I never stopped liking

Most of these photos I took over the last couple of years, but a few are older. Like this one – it is almost 10 years old. The boy is now an adult, and maybe you’ll meet him as a Viking warrior or a tradesman in Ribe .

Viking children learn early to work with their fathers or other grown ups
Viking child learning carpentry

Learning Viking’s skills at an early age

During the Viking Age it was common for the children to start helping their parents from a very early age. They had to learn skills as farming, trading and also fighting.  In Ribe VikingeCenter you will see Viking children work with real axes and hammers.

Viking boy working as as a helper or a smith's apprentice
Viking boy working as a smith’s apprentice

This Viking boy works as a smith’s helper and will probably once  become a skilled craftsman himself.

Viking girls had to learn to milk the cows
Viking children. Girls help at the farm

Skills of Viking women and girls

Most of a Viking woman’s life was bounded by working at home. She was responsible for the household, and had all the keys to the house in her belt. She was cooking and taking care of the smaller children. If they were farmers, she milked the cows and made the cheese, but she should also be able to run all the farm while her husband was away.

Viking child baking bread
Viking girl baking bread

Viking cooking and brewing

Viking girls helped their mothers. They had to learn to cook and brew beer and mead. They would also learn to make cheese from milk.

Handwork of a Viking girl
Handwork of a Viking girl – while she is keeping an eye on her younger brother

 Handwork of Vikings

Women and girls also spent much of their time spinning, weaving and making clothing.  Sewing and repairing old clothes were important too.

Viking boy selling Viking beads at the market
Viking boy selling Viking jewelry at the market

Selling Viking jewelry at Ribe Viking Market

At the big international Viking Market in Ribe are many wonderful things for sale – and Viking children are taught to be skilled tradesmen.

 to start a fire and keep it going
A Viking child had to learn how to start a fire and keep it going

Keeping the fire going – a vital knowledge

Viking children and fetched water and collected sticks for firewood, but it was also vital for the older children to learn how to start a fire and keep it going.

Viking baby at the Viking Market in Ribe
Viking baby at the Viking Market in Ribe

A  Viking baby

This little Viking baby is lucky. At the Viking Market in Ribe he was cared for and admired. If he had been born in the Viking Age his first challenge would have been to survive.  Many children did not survive infancy and childhood.

Viking children also learn to be a warriors
Viking children learn to be warriors early in life

Viking children – Playing and learning Viking life

Viking children had to learn many skills necessary for survival in the Viking Age – for the boys one of them was to be successful warrior. Also some Viking girls learned to fight.

Viking boy on guard against enemies
Viking boy on guard against enemies

Boys were taught to use sword, spear, battle-axe and shield at an early age. The youngest boys had toy weapons, but the toys were an important part of learning real-world survival.

Viking boy playing by the river bank
Viking boy playing by the river bank

In the blog post Our best photos from Ribe Viking Market you can see a photo of Viking Boys  playing the the Viking board game Tafl (- or Hnefatafl) and another photo of Viking boys playing by a river bank trying to reach the other side with a rope without getting wet feet.

Viking girls made and played with dolls
Viking girl with Viking toy doll made from wool

Also Viking girls played with dolls. This Viking girl is playing with a toy doll made from wool.

Viking instruments - castanets
Viking boy with castanets. Viking instruments

Viking instruments

Vikings liked music and had a variety of instruments –  castanets were some of them. A wonderful photo of a boy playing a Jew’s harp a can be seen here Our best photos from Ribe Viking Market

Viking childr with dandelion
Viking child with flower
Viking girl at Ribe Viking Market
Viking girl at Ribe Viking Market
Viking child picking dandelions
Viking child picking dandelions
A viking drinking horn
A viking boy with a drinking horn
Viking boy in Viking ship at Ribe Viking Museum
Viking boy with the Ribe cup in Viking ship at Ribe Viking Museum

Viking raids

When Viking children grew up most of them would be farmers, traders and craftsmen, but some of them would also sometimes join Viking raids and bring back treasures from abroad. This boy is admiring the Ribe cup. This beautiful little silver bowl was part of a silver hoard from the 700s found in Ribe. The cup has a Christian motif and was originally used in church ceremonies. The cup is Frankish and produced in southern Germany or the Alpine region. How it ended in the pagan Ribe is still all in the air. Was it stolen goods of a Viking raid or part of a trade?

Weeping viking child
Weeping Viking child

 Enough – He wants a break!

For small children, Ribe Viking Market can be a little overwhelming – so I’ll stop for a while.


Viking Places in Ribe


Viking girl - Ribe, Denmark
Viking girl in tent. Ribe, Denmark

Hope you have enjoyed my photos. Please like and share with other Viking freaks – but please don’t copy.
Here are links to more of our blog posts with Viking knowledge and Viking photos from Ribe in Denmark:

– And don’t forget to book your room at the hostel in Ribe

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’ facebook

© All photos were taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Jazz Camp Ribe at Danhostel Ribe, Denmark

Jazz Camp Ribe photos. Danhostel Ribe

Jazz Camp RibeJazz camp every spring the last 5 years

The hostel has been the setting for  Jazz Camp Ribe for kids every spring the last 5 years. The camp is organized by Ribe’s jazz club Jazzin’Ribe, the culture school of Esbjerg (Esbjerg Kulturskole) and “Jazz Hostel” Danhostel Ribe, Ribe’s hostel.
High spirits at Jazz Camp Ribe in Denmark

The hostel really comes alive with jazz

When students from schools of music from all around the Southern part of Jutland come together at Danhostel Ribe to play  jazz the hostel really comes alive.

The youngest participants at Jazz Camp Ribe

Passionate and enthusiastic musicians

The age range for participants at this year’s jazz camp ranges from 9 to 19. The youngest to have ever participated was only 8 years old. All the students are passionate and enthusiastic about their music.

Professional instruction at Jazz Camp RibeProfessional music instruction

Students of all levels receive mentoring and professional instruction to develop their musical skills and enhance their knowledge of music.

classes in ensemble playing,  jam,  workshops and master classes.

Jazz classes

During the weekend the kids attend classes in ensemble playing,  they jam and they take part in different workshops and master classes.

The jazz camp is also for vocalists

Jazz vocalists

Both instrumental musicians and vocalists participate in the music camp. Some of the participants train their skills both as vocalists and musicians.

Jazz workshops only for girlsJazz camp for both boys and girls

In general the jazz genre is dominated by men, but at JazzCamp Ribe, the girls represent almost half of the participants. The girls play all kinds of different instruments as well as sing –just like the boys.

At Jazz Camp Ribe you'll meet hand-picked jazz teachers

Hand-picked jazz teachers

All the teachers are handpicked by Jazzin’Ribe to ensure qualified, talented and experienced teachers and the highest level of education for the students.

Studying music with the top jazz artists in Denmark

Top jazz artists and teachers

Every year the students study with some of the top jazz artists and teachers in Denmark during the day, and see some of them perform at night at public concerts in Ribe.

The camp is also having fun and making new friends

Meeting old friends and making new friends

On top of the music, the camp is also about meeting old friends and making new ones, having fun, and playing in our sports hall, Ribehallen

Jazz Camp Ribe is also having fun

 Planning next year’s camp?

Maybe they are planning next year’s camp, composing new music – or maybe they are just having fun.

Jazz Camp Ribe and delicious food

Delicious hostel food

Last but not least, the camp is also eating and enjoying the delicious hostel food.

Jazz Camp Ribe concert

 Rising  jazz stars

On the third day of the jazz camp all the students will show to the public how the new rising stars of jazz play at a concert at SeminarieHuset in Ribe.All that jazz at the hostel

Looking forward to Jazz Camp Ribe 2017

After 3 days the kids leave the camp with jazz dancing through their heads, already looking forward to seeing each other again at next year’s Jazz Camp.

Jazz Camp Ribe 2016

The hostel host is a jazz lover

It’s no secret that Danhostel Ribe‘s host, Jens, loves Jazz. Jazz Camp Ribe was his idea from the very beginning. He is  already looking forward to next year’s camp – and to the jazz camp for adults at the hostel this autumn.

Jazz camp video

Feel the vibes of  Jazz Camp Ribe in this video.

A few more jazz camp photos

Jazz Camp Ribe photoJazz Camp Ribe photoJazz Camp Ribe photo

Jazz Camp Ribe, Denmark

Jazz Camp Ribe – See you next year 

Christmas view from Danhostel Ribe

Christmas and winter in Ribe is special. 30 photos from Ribe in Denmark

Winter travel in Europe. Christmas market in Ribe is special
Winter travel in Europe. Christmas time in Ribe in Denmark is special (1)

The best Christmas markets in Europe

When you are looking for the best Christmas markets in Europe you will usually see the big Christmas markets in European cities like Nuremberg, Dresden, Lübeck, Strasbourg, London, Vienna, etc. highlighted. In Denmark the Christmas market in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen is famous – and sometimes you will also see the Christmas market in Den Gamle By in Aarhus (The Old Town Museum) and the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market in Odense mentioned .

Christmas Cheap Breaks and Holidays in Denmark. Stay with this view at Danhostel Ribe
Christmas Breaks and Holidays in Denmark. Stay with this view in A++ rooms at Danhostel Ribe (2)

Why the old town Ribe is special and worth a visit for a Christmas break

But in this blog post we will tell you why the old town Ribe is special and worth a visit for a Christmas break through the festive season – though Ribe is a smaller town on the west coast of Denmark situated by the Wadden Sea National Park – now UNESCO World Heritage.

Ribe in Denmark. Winter in Denmark's best preserved medieval town
Ribe in Denmark. Winter in Denmark’s best preserved medieval town (3)

Christmastime is magical in this old town

When Christmastime comes around Ribe, the town takes advantage of being the  best preserved town in Denmark and according to the Danish Agency for Culture it is also the best preserved Medieval town in Denmark.
Year round, Ribe exudes charm from every corner, but during Christmastime, it is even more magical.  On a stroll through the historic town centre you will undoubtedly enjoy the beauty of the old and well-preserved houses and  the narrow streets and alleys paved with cobblestones.

In Ribe town you'll find more than 100 preserved houses
In Ribe town you’ll find more than 100 preserved houses (4)

Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town – but also the oldest town in all of Scandinavia

Ribe has been an international market town since the Viking Ages. Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town – but also the oldest town in all of Scandinavia. While you soak up the ambience of the old town, you will probably notice that Ribe is not a museum like the Old Town in Aarhus (Den Gamle By i Aarhus). The houses are lived in and the love and care the citizens show their town is unmistakable, when you see the well-maintained houses and streets.
Join us for a self-guided town walk in the old town: Town Walk

Peter's father with the book Peter's Christmas (Peters Jul)
Peter’s father with the Christmas book “Peter’s Christmas” (Peters Jul) (5)

Peter’s Christmas in Ribe (Peters Jul i Ribe)

“I feel the joy at this time of the year,
when the white Christmas snow is falling down,
then I know it’s Christmas time.
My father goes out every day,
and when he comes home, I stand
looking at his big pockets.”

Christmastime in Ribe is named “Peter’s Christmas in Ribe” (Peters Jul i Ribe). The name comes from one of the best known Christmas stories for children in Denmark through the last 150 years “Peters Jul” written by Johan Krohn in 1866. The author is supposed to have had family in Ribe and have had celebrated a Christmas here.
Peter’s father will guide you through Christmas Ribe on the 4 Saturdays before Christmas.

Christmas holidays and shopping in Ribe, Denmark. Photo from the pedestrianized high street.
Christmas holidays and shopping in Ribe, Denmark. Photo from the pedestrianized high street. (6)

A vibrant town centre all the year round

While shops and stores in many town centres close down facing serious challenges from out-of-town shopping centres and the growth of online shopping, Ribe has managed to keep its town centre vibrant by adapting to meet the changing demands of the customers’ shopping habits.
This, along with  the ancient medieval architecture of the town draws many people from the surrounding area to shop here on a regular basis.

Ribe town square and most of the town centre has been  pedestrianized and beautifully paved
Ribe town square and most of the town centre has been pedestrianized and beautifully paved (7)

Sustainability and development go together

Ribe town square and most of the town centre has been  pedestrianized and beautifully paved.  Restrictions on shop signs and street displays help to make the beautiful old town centre more authentic. The shops go very well together with the historic environment and make it attractive for both residents and tourists to go shopping or just walk around.

Ribe town centre is offering a unique shopping experience
Ribe town centre is offering a unique shopping experience (8)

Lovely places to meet and socialize

A successful mixture of specialty shops, clothes shops, galleries,  jewellery stores, gift shops,  barbers, restaurants and cafes treat you with the ultimate shopping experience in the heart of Ribe town centre.  Most of the shops are independent shops – very few are shop chains.
Cafes and restaurants in the high street and at the town square are great places to meet and socialize  while enjoying a cup of coffee or a pint of beer in pleasant surroundings – in summertime outside and in wintertime inside.

Parmo's old grocer's shop in Ribe town centre. Here you can buy Danish butter cookies made in Ribe and Parmo's own famous fruits in port. (9)
Parmo’s old grocer’s shop in Ribe town centre. Here you can buy Danish butter cookies made in Ribe and Parmo’s famous fruits in port wine (9)

This old grocer’s shop smells like Christmas

Parmo Pedersen’s old grocer’s shop in Ribe town centre smells like Christmas.  You will probably be tempted by the smell of all sorts of Christmas spices that meet you when you step inside, simply because in this old shop you can still purchase spices by the weight. You can also buy good old-fashioned sweets, Parmo’s home-made and famous fruits in port wine, and local produced Danish butter cookies in cake tins.

Ribe town square where Ribe Cathedral towers above the town
Ribe town square where Ribe Cathedral towers above the town (10)

Norse Vikings and Christian Danes in Ribe

Ribe town centre is built around the town square where Ribe Cathedral towers above the town. At the same place the first Christian church in Denmark was built around 855 and the norse Vikings in Ribe were the first in Denmark to be Christianized. Ribe Cathedral is one of Denmark’s biggest attractions and like Ribe town it has been awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide for Attractions.

Christmas card from Ribe in Denmark
Christmas card from Ribe in Denmark. Photographed by Ribe hostel’s photographer, who also took all the other photos in this blog post (11)

Ribe Cathedral seen from one of the parks

Ribe Cathedral can be seen from everywhere in the town. This photo is from one of the many parks in town and was used as Ribe’s Christmas card of the year a few years ago.

Christmas view of the old town and Ribe Cathedral from Ribe's hostel, Danhostel Ribe
Christmas view of the illuminated old town from Ribe’s hostel, Danhostel Ribe (12)

Ribe Cathedral seen from the hostel

Stay in one of Danhostel Ribe’s top-floor rooms and you will see Ribe at its most dazzling when the town switches on its Christmas lights.
See the hostel’s Christmas short break offers.

Santa is handing out candy to the kids. Ribe hostel, in the background
Santa is handing out candy to the kids. Danhostel Ribe in the background (13)

Hostel room with a sea view

With a dusting of snow, Ribe looks like a Christmas card, but sometimes you will get “sea view” from the hostel instead. In the background you see Danhostel Ribe last December with a view of a flooded meadow. This meadow is now part of the Wadden Sea National Park as the only part of Ribe Town, but during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance  decapitated pirates, had their heads put on stake here.
(“Sea view” is often the hostel’s winter view, see: Storm surges)

Christmas Parade in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas Parade in Ribe, Denmark. All ages will gather along the streets of Ribe to watch the Christmas Parade – and many resident families will be represented in the parade (14)

Ribe citizens are very dedicated and active

Ribe has a long tradition of citizens with a strong sense of community. Tourism, trade, cultural, and natural institutions have been  working together in an exemplary manner for many years, and dedicated and active citizens full of ideas think up many different ways to give the town a year-round bustling energy to the great delight of residents as well as tourists.

In the weekends you can see Christmas street theatre
In the weekends you can see the Christmas street theatre (15)

Street theatre on Advent Sundays

On the four Sundays of Advent children and adults from the local amateur theatre group DRAKOMIR will romp about in town making fun and performing Peter’s Christmas street theatre.

A choir singing Christmas carols outside the tourist office in Ribe, Denmark (16)
A choir singing Christmas carols outside the tourist office in Ribe, Denmark (16)

Christmas music and Christmas carols

E.g. this year the second Saturday in December Denmark’s biggest choir sings Christmas carols at Ribe town square, Ribe Chamber Choir sings in Ribe Cathedral and Esbjerg Railway Orchestra plays Christmas music in the streets.

Moped gang of moped idealists
Moped gang in Santa disguise driving old moped through Ribe town (17)

Moped gang in Santa disguise

Maybe you will also meet a moped gang in Santa disguise in town.  Usually mopeds and teenage boys go hand-in-hand, but the gang in Ribe consists of adult moped enthusiasts, who  all drive old mopeds from when electric starters and cheap plastic parts were unknown to true moped owners.

Christmas booth at the town square
Christmas booth at the town square (18)

Christmas markets and Christmas shopping

Tune into the Christmas Spirit the four weekends before Christmas. The town is full of life and the Christmas shopping is done in shops,  at Christmas markets in town, and at small Christmas booths  around town where citizens will sell handicraft, home-made Christmas cakes, Christmas gnomes, etc.

Christmas trees for sale in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas trees for sale in Ribe, Denmark (19)

Enjoy Christmastime with all your senses

But even though you are not a big spender there is so much to watch and enjoy if you have an interest for adventure, culture, and good food

Christmas market for all ages in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas market for all ages in Ribe, Denmark (20)

Christmas market in the old grocery store

An event that has proved very popular at Christmastime is the Christmas market at the old grocery store Quedens Gaard the 1st weekend of December every year. This is a market that all ages enjoy, here you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

Christmas market in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas market in Ribe, Denmark (21)

High spirits at the Christmas market

and you will often be met with smiles like these.

Honey hearts are very popular in Denmark at Christmastime
Honey hearts are very popular in Denmark at Christmastime (22)

Share a  honey heart (honninghjerte)

Honey hearts or gingerbread hearts (Danish: Honninghjerter) are very popular in Denmark at Christmastime. Why not share a heart with the one you love?  The words “Glædelig Jul” mean “Merry Christmas” – this honey heart was bought at the Christmas Market at Quedens Gaard, but you can also buy honey hearts from the bakers and supermarkets in town. They are usually covered with chocolate and has a Santa sticker.

Gode råd (good advice) is a cookie from South Jutland in Denmark
Gode råd (good advice) is a biscuit from South Jutland in Denmark. Here served at the Christmas Market at Quedens Gaard in Ribe, Denmark (23)

Christmas food and drink

Gode Råd (Good Advice) is a thin and crunchy Christmas biscuit – more like a waffle. It was typically served at Christmas in South Jutland, but now is not very common anymore.  Even though it is biscuit it has the size of a dessert plate and is made in a special waffle iron.
An obvious choice when you are out and about on a cold day would be warm and sweet æbleskiver (Christmas Dumplings) and a warming glass of Gløgg (mulled wine) containing raisins and almonds. It is served in many of the cafes and restaurants in Ribe. Another warm drink is the German  Glühwein.

Christmas beer is brewed and tasted
Christmas beer is brewed and tasted (24)

The best Christmas beer

Christmas beer is brewed and you can taste it at the Christmas Market in Quedens Gaard the first weekend of December. The second weekend you can taste and vote for the best Christmas beer of the year “Årets Emil” at the Old Town Hall in Ribe (Det gamle Rådhus).
And beer lovers don’t forget that every Saturday year round you can visit the micro-brewery Ribe Brewery. It is open from 10am to 2pm.

Santa Claus is everywhere in town
Santa Claus is everywhere in town and has a chat with everybody (25)

In Ribe Santa Claus sleeps in a hotel

Santa Claus is everywhere in town and everybody knows him. Johannes was Santa Claus in Ribe the last 29 years. He has a chat with all of us, and hands out candy to all ages in Ribe in December – but off course mostly to the children.
Friday 4 weeks before Christmas children in Ribe wake up Santa Claus.  In Ribe we don’t believe that Santa arrives from the North Pole, we know that he sleeps in Denmark’s oldest hotel, the  Dagmar, next to the tourist office. The children shouts as loud as they can to wake him up – and when he comes out the door, he hands out candy generously and takes care that the lights of the huge Christmas tree on the town square are switched on (photo at the top). At the same time you can enjoy Christmas music, a cup of warm cocoa and a biscuit.

Christmas - Father and child
Christmas – Father and child (26)

Christmas events within walking distance

Maybe a child gets a little tired and need to be carried on her father’s shoulders, but actually all the places, streets and Christmas events mentioned in this blog post can be reached within a (slow) 5 minutes walk from the hostel.

Go sight-seeing on a horse-drawn sleigh ride
Go sight-seeing on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. The sleigh in front of the old Town Hall in Ribe (27)

The importance of Ribe’s historical heritage

Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town, and the recognition of the value of Ribe’s historical heritage, and the way it has been implemented in a far-sighted urban  planning and sustainable strategy, has probably also made it the most beautiful.

Ribe harbour by night during the festive season (28)
Ribe harbour by night during the festive season (28)

Ribe’s awards the last 2 years

No wonder Ribe was awarded with a lot of prizes:

Christmas hearts. Ribe, Denmark
Christmas hearts. Ribe, Denmark (29)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

from Ribe’s Santa Claus, Johannes and the hostel host, Jens Philipsen

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
(Yoko Ono and John Lennon)

Glædelig jul – Frohe Weihnachten – Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Santa Claus and the hostel host in Ribe, Denmark
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Santa Claus and the hostel host in Ribe, Denmark (30)

Go social with Danhostel Ribe

– and don’t forget to book your room in Ribe

at Danhostel Ribe, the hostel in Ribe. Read more about the hostel on our homepage (this is our blog): Danhostel Ribe
All rooms have bath/toilets and half of them have a view of Ribe old town and the Wadden Sea National Park

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe

© Hope you have enjoyed our photos.
All photos were taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Black Sun - starlings. Denmark's most famous natural phenomenon

Wadden Sea National Park UNESCO World Heritage. Year round adventures

The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. This photo is taken from Låningsvejen to Mandø. From here you can easily look all the way to Esbjerg. It's about 20 km (12,5 miles) as the crow flies
The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This photo is taken at “Låningsvejen” to Mandø. From here you can easily see all the way to Esbjerg, a distance of  20 km (12,5 miles)

Amazing nature adventures in Denmark

A first impression of the Wadden Sea may be that it is an endless mudflat without life. The sea and the sky merge into one and the horizon goes on forever. But the area is full of life – so join us on an amazing wildlife experience in the Danish part of the Wadden Sea  near Ribe, Scandinavia’s oldest town. Find inspiration for tours all year round – such as culinary adventures, family-friendly outings and incredible tours for all bird and wildlife lovers.

The UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea in Denmark. The ebb path to Mandø – 10 km from Ribe.
The UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea in Denmark. The ebb path to Mandø. 10 km from Ribe.

The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

But first – let’s tell you a little about the importance of the Wadden Sea, which is a natural wonder of unique global importance. It is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Wadden Sea  extends 500 km/310 miles along the North Sea coast of the Nederlands, Germany and Denmark, which makes it the world’s largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats. It is home to more than 10,000 species of plants and animals ranging from tiny microscopic creatures to snails, crabs, oysters, birds and seals – many of which are rare or endangered. In 2014, the Wadden Sea World Heritage was extended with the Danish part.

The UNESCO WADDEN SEA World Heritage logo
WADDEN SEA World Heritage logo

Read more about the UNESCO WADDEN SEA World Heritage on their own homepage: www.waddensea-worldheritage.org

A huge flock of sandpipers foraging in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park
A huge flock of sandpipers foraging in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park

Buffet for 10 to 12 mill. migratory birds

Twice a day the seabed is revealed by the low tide, exposing a veritable buffet for birds foraging on the mudflats. Hidden in the mud, there are up to 100,000 crustaceans, worms, snails, and clams living in one cubic metre of water, mud and sand.
10 to 12 mill. migratory waterbirds stay here every spring and autumn to rest and forage before flying on to their breeding grounds in north in spring, or back to their wintering grounds in the south in autumn.
6 million migratory birds can be present in one place at the same time.
Follow the migratory birds from the Arctic to Africa and back again in this little cartoon: Flyway Bird Migration

Giant flocks of barnacle geese forage in the Ribe marshland during autumn and spring. As the winters have not been as cold the last few years, many of them now also stay  through winter
Giant flocks of barnacle geese forage in the Ribe marshland during autumn and spring. As the winters have not been as cold the last few years, many of them now also stay  through winter

Not all birds choose to stay in the same place

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth, then I ask myself the same question”. A travel quote by Harun Yahya.
Migratory birds are capable of flying incredible distances.  An example is the small sandpiper called a red knot (Calidris canutus), which travels up to 15,000 km/9300 miles twice a year. After arriving in the Wadden Sea it weighs only 100 grams, when it leaves again its weight has increased to 230 grams.

Black sun starlings in Ribe, Denmark.See also the top photo on this blog post.
Black Sun – starlings in Ribe, Denmark. See also the top photo on this blog post.

Black Sun.
Denmark’s most famous natural spectacle

The most famous natural spectacle in Denmark is called Black Sun  (Danish: Sort Sol) and attracts thousands of tourists to the Wadden Sea National Park every spring and autumn.
Just before sunset hundreds of thousands of starlings gather from all corners of the sky to perform an impressive aerial ballet, during which they make constantly changing shapes in the sky. You can say that the starlings darken the sky, when they are circling around, that’s why we call this nature phenomenon Black Sun.

The range of the tide is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides  you shouldn’t walk out on the sea bed yourself
The range of the tide is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides you shouldn’t walk out on the seabed yourself

Beware of the tides. Join a guided tour

The range of the tide in the Wadden Sea near Ribe is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides you shouldn’t walk out on the seabed yourself, as you might be caught too far out when the high tide starts rolling in.
We suggest that you join one of the guided tours.
At the bottom of this blogpost we have listed a number of tourguides, who arrange tours in the Wadden Sea National Park close to Ribe.

See the largest oyster in the world at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe)
See the largest oyster in the world at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe)

The world’s largest oyster found near Ribe

A staff member at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe) found the largest oyster in the world in the Wadden Sea about 10 km/6 miles from Ribe. The record is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.  For your chance to improve the record, you can join an oyster tour during the winter months – October, November, December, January, February, March and  April . All months with a “r” except September. You might even be lucky enough to find pearls in your oysters, like the  very lucky oyster hunter on a tour with Mandø Event who found 30 pearls in one oyster.
Fresh oysters with a little squeeze of lemon is a delicacy – a glass of champagne is the finishing touch. You can  eat as many as you want  and collect all you can carry in your bag.

A family explorer tour in the Wadden Sea National Park, UNESCO World Heritage, Ribe, Denmark
A family explorer tour in Denmark

Sea Explorer.  A family friendly activity

At first glance you won’t see many of the small animals living on the seabed, but by joining one of the most popular guided tours,  the Sea Explorer family tour arranged by Vadehavscentret in Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre), you will see them. These tours take place in the summer months and are the perfect family tour.  Walkíng barefoot through the soft mud,  you and your children will have a blast exploring the Wadden Sea, while trying to find beach crabs, small shrimps, mud snails and all the other creatures living here.

Seal tour with a horse-drawn carriage from Mandø
Seal tour with a horse-drawn carriage from Mandø. See “Explore with a professional guide” at the bottom of this blog post

Seal tours in the Wadden Sea National Park

From August when the seals have finished breeding and feeding their baby seals the Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret ved Ribe) arranges seal tours to the seal banks. It’s a challenging  hike and you must be able to walk at least 6 km/3,6 miles on the seabed. The tour includes an introduction of the biology of the seals at the Wadden Sea Centre and tickets to the tractor bus to Mandø. Don’t forget your binoculars.
Tour operators on the island Mandø also arrange seal tours in the Wadden Sea (read: “Explore with a professional guide” at the bottom of this blog post)

Mudflat walking during sunset
Mudflat walking during sunset

A guided mudflat hike during sunset

Another adventure you will never forget is to cross the seabed on foot to the Wadden Sea island of Mandø during sunset. As you walk the 8 km./5 miles to Mandø during low-tide, the tranquility of nature surrounds you and gives you tremendous sense of peace. The quiet beauty is only interrupted by the wind and the birds and now and then by the guide’s voice explaining about things you might see during your walk.
The tour is arranged by Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe) and mostly takes place during the summer months. The Mandø tractor bus takes you back to the mainland.

The Mandø tractor buses bring tourists from the mainland to the Wadden Sea island Mandø
The Mandø tractor buses bring tourists from the mainland to the Wadden Sea island Mandø

Island of Mandø – only accessible by low tide

No real roads lead to  Mandø (Mandoe), but the Mandø tractor buses – Mandøbussen and Mandø Traktorbus – bring tourists from Vester Vedsted (10 km./6 miles from Ribe) over the seabed/ebb road to  Mandø during low tide. From the beginning of May till mid-October the tractor buses departe by low tide most days, though sometimes only once per day.
It is also possible to access the island by Låningsvejen, which is usually passable for private car, though not bicycles, during low tide if the westerly wind is not too strong. It is strongly advised that you  consult tide and weather conditions before you set out. We think the best way to enjoy the island is to take one of the tractor buses.

Sheep and lambs on the Wadden Sea and North Sea island Mandø
Sheep and lambs on the Wadden Sea and North Sea island Mandø

Mandø – a paradise for nature lovers

Mandø is the smallest of the 3 inhabited Wadden Sea islands in Denmark. Around 30 people live on the island,  and they are forced to adapt their daily lives to fit in with the tides and the storm surges in the Wadden Sea.  As Mandø is the most difficult island to reach, it is an unspoiled paradise for bird and seal  watchers and those who want to collect oysters.

National Park Partner, Danhostel Ribe is a great stopover for bicycle tourists in Denmark
National Park Partner, Danhostel Ribe is a great stopover for bicycle tourists in Denmark

Cycling – a great way to get out and about in the National Park

Why not do as these five young French travelers and rent a bike at Danhostel Ribe,  and enjoy a beautiful sunset picnic while sitting on  the dike at Kammerslusen ( the Ribe Lock) – where the Ribe River flows into the North Sea (6 km = 3,5 miles).

Spend a day cycling through the Ribe Marches along Ribe River to the Wadden Sea Coast at Kammerslusen, then follow the dike along the North Sea Cycle Route south to Vester Vedsted and back to Ribe.  Approx. 25 km./15,5 miles (In Denmark is the North Sea Cycle route identical with the Danish National Cycle Route no. 1)
The National Park stretches all the way from the meadow outside the hostel and all the way to the coast, from where the area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can cycle the whole distance – bring your own bike or rent one at the hostel, where you can also get a map.
Danhostel Ribe, a National Park Partner, welcomes cycling tourists and is quality labeled with both Bed+Bike and Cycling Denmark

The view of Ribe hostel from the harbour, in winter with the flooded meadow
The view of Ribe hostel from the harbour, in winter with the flooded meadow

The National Park in Ribe, Denmark

One part of Ribe town is included in the Wadden Sea National Park, called Hovedengen (Meadow of the Heads) outside the hostel, where pirates where once decaptiated as punisment. Some of the hostel is even included in The National Park. The hostel is the only eco-friendly accredited accommodation in The National Park (Green Key, Flower or Swan) and makes it an obvious choice if you are looking for sustainable accommodation.

The guides from Vadehavscentret arrange tours that are open to anybody as well as  group tours
The guides from Vadehavscentret arrange tours that are open to anybody as well as  group tours

Explore with a professional guide:

  • Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (The Wadden Sea Centre) in Vester Vedsted 10 km./6 miles from Ribe arranges tours including Black Sun Magic, starling migration (March, September and October), other bird watching tours, Sea Explorer (Summer), seal tours (August, September and October), oyster tours ( October, November, December, January, February, March and April, mudflat hike to Mandø (summer), tours on Mandø (summer), herb picking tours for making your own schnapps.  Vadehavscentret schedules tours during periods which present the least disturbance to nature and wildlife
  • Tours from Mandø. 22 km/13,5 miles from Ribe (remember to be aware of the tides and weather conditions )
    • Mandø Event arranges tours with horse carriage in the Wadden Sea around Mandø: seal tours (May-October), oyster and champagne tours  (from September until spring) as well as sunset tours
    • Mandø Traktorbusser arrange seal tours with a tractor bus to the sand bank Koresand south west of Mandø. Koresand is flooded by high tide and can only be  visited during low tide. (May-October)
  • At the Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet i Esbjerg ( Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg ) 34 km/ 21 miles from Ribe you can see the seals being fed in the sealarium every day at 11am and 2.30pm and go on mudflat walks in the Wadden Sea during July and August
  • 50 km (= 31 miles) south of Ribe (towards Germany) Sort Safari arranges  tours including Black Sun, Bird Watching, winter geese and swans tours, Oyster and Seal tours
Oyster catcher with a lugworm in its beak and a redshank in the Wadden Sea. Ribe, Denmark
Oyster catcher with a lugworm in its beak and a redshank in the Wadden Sea. Ribe, Denmark. (Photo taken on the ebb road , Låningsvejen, to Mandø)

– don’t forget to book your room

at Danhostel Ribe. Read more about the hostel: Danhostel Ribe
All rooms have bath/toilets and half of them have a view of Ribe old town and the Wadden Sea National Park

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe

© Hope you have enjoyed our photos.
All photos were taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Roses in a cobbled street of the Viking town Ribe, Denmark

Roses and hollyhocks in the cobbled alleys of the Viking town Ribe, Denmark

Hollyhocks and a timber framed house in Ribe, Denmark
Hollyhocks and a timber framed house in Ribe, Denmark

Ribe is a unique historic town and one of Denmark’s prettiest

All these flower photos are from Scandinavia’s oldest town, Ribe.
Already in the early 700s Vikings in Ribe lived in a vibrant and international town with commercial relations far beyond Scandinavia’s borders. Ribe is now Denmark’s best preserved Medieval town and one of Denmark´s most pretty and picturesque with narrow cobbled streets and roses and hollyhocks climbing up the walls of old and crooked half-timbered houses. Ribe is so pretty that it won the title of: Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014″

Ribe is a historic town - Denmark's and Scandinavia's oldest town
Ribe is a historic town – Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town

Ribe is not an open air museum, but a lived-in old town

Wandering around the historic centre of Ribe on foot, taking in the atmosphere and sights of Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town, you will notice that people actually live in these old houses.
Ribe has many preserved houses and buildings, but it is not an open air museum like the Old Town Museum  (Den gamle By) in Aarhus

Hollyhocks and gossip mirror in one of Ribe's picturesque streets
Hollyhocks and gossip mirror in one of Ribe’s picturesque streets

Denmark’s best preserved town or city

Ribe has approximately 120 listed houses and even more are declared worthy of preservation. The only place in Denmark you’ll find more listed houses than in Ribe is in Copenhagen, but in Copenhagen they are spread over a  big area, while in Ribe they are all within a short walking distance from our hostel, Danhostel Ribe

Hollyhocks in flower fit lovely together with the old idyllic Ribe town
Hollyhocks in flower fit lovely together with the old idyllic Ribe town

Blooming hollyhocks and roses

The hollyhocks and roses in flower during the summer months fit lovely together with this old idyllic town.
In this blog post we will show you some of the streets and alleys with blooming flowers. Find the streets or houses yourself – or find some that are just as pretty.

Ribe is one of Denmark´s most picturesque towns with cobbled streets and narrow alleys
Ribe is one of Denmark´s most picturesque towns with cobbled streets and narrow alleys

Ribe citizens are proud of their town and maintain their houses well

Though many of the houses in Ribe centre (old town) are very small it is a very popular choice for the citizens to live in these houses and the residents are making an effort to maintain their houses well and make them fit into the picturesque oasis of tranquillity and perfect idyll in Ribe.

In Denmark’s most ancient town, Ribe, you have the chance to learn more about the country’s Viking and medieval history.
In Denmark’s most ancient town, Ribe, you have the chance to learn more about the country’s Viking and medieval history.

A walk through Danish history

Many of Ribe’s houses have a history of interest, like one of the houses on this photo from approx. 1540. It was once a pub and has a stone close to the entrance door. This stone was placed there to help drunken pub guests to throw themselves up on their horse when leaving the pub. Read more: Old Town Walk. A self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe. A Two-Hour Walk Through Danish History

Ribe's biggest attraction is RIBE - a town awarded with  Michelin stars
Ribe’s biggest attraction is RIBE – a town awarded with Michelin stars

Ribe’s biggest attraction is RIBE

Ribe has many  museums and activity centres and a cathedral with Michelin stars in the Michelin Guide to Sights and Attractions, but an examination among tourists in Ribe revealed that  Ribe’s biggest attraction is: RIBE.
Ribe town centre is besides from being a well preserved town –  which is also awarded with  Michelin stars – also a busy town with many cafes, restaurants and specialty shops in the town centre. Many festivals and events also attract visitors.

Sit down on a bench and enjoy life in the peaceful cloister garth at St Catherine's Church and Abbey in Ribe, Denmark
Sit down on a bench and enjoy life in the peaceful cloister garth at St Catherine’s Church and Abbey in Ribe, Denmark

Time for reflection in the cloister garth

Save the most peaceful place till the last. Sit down on a bench  under an arcade in the cloister garth of St Catherine’s Church and Abbey. In  this  relaxing, peaceful and historic atmosphere it’s time for reflection. By now we guess that you have also fallen in love with Ribe like the hostel’s guest blogger Josephine (Instagram: @adayinthelifeofafool ), a young Copenhagen newcomer in Ribe did. Read her story here:
Denmark’s oldest town seen through the eyes of a young Copenhagen art historian and newcomer

A summer walk in the streets of Ribe in Denmark
A summer walk in the streets of Ribe in Denmark

These links might also interest you:

In spring and autumn you'll see other beautiful flowers in Ribe . Enjoy this lovely spring photo from a garden in Ribe
In spring and autumn you’ll see other beautiful flowers in Ribe. Enjoy this lovely spring photo from a garden in Ribe

Go social with Danhostel Ribe

– and don’t forget to book your room in Ribe

at Danhostel Ribe, the hostel in Ribe. Read more about the hostel on our homepage (this is our blog): Danhostel Ribe
All rooms have bath/toilets and half of them have a view of Ribe old town and the Wadden Sea National Park

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe

© Hope you have enjoyed our photos.
All photos were taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

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Denmark’s oldest town seen through the eyes of a young Copenhagen art historian and newcomer

Welcome to Danhostel Ribe‘s guest blogger Josephine Nielsen-Bergqvist 

Historical Ribe - Denmark's and Scandinavia's oldest town
Historical Ribe – Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town. The picture is from 2015, but I think the street – Præstegade – has looked like this for many years.  © adayinthelifeofafool

From Copenhagen to Ribe

I moved to Ribe in April. I used to live in Copenhagen, where I worked and studied for five years. I had not researched a lot on the town before I left my home – I just knew that they got a splendid collection of Danish Art at Ribe Art Museum. So I wrote to the director and asked if she could use a newly graduated art historian in her staff and she said yes. So here I am: 28, art historian and newcomer to the oldest town in Scandinavia. I have lived here for two and a half months now, and I have to say…I am certainly in love with this place.

Tulips in the garden of Ribe Art Museum
Tulips in the garden of Ribe Art Museum. © adayinthelifeofafool

What to do in a small town?

In Copenhagen I went to concerts and visited friends all the time, and I was a bit scared, that I would have nothing to do in this small town. I was wrong.  Almost every weekend there is some kind of event fx when 300 travelling journeymen met during the Ascension Holiday (Himmelfahrtstreffen), the nordic barrel organ festival and – of course – the traditional Tulip Festival with music everywhere in town, fair and the tulip parade. I have met some really nice people who take me out meeting new cool people. So actually I am not lonely. But it IS a different way to live. In Ribe there are not that many people of my own age, not that I can’t hang out with people of other ages, but it is not entirely the same… Ribe is full of openminded citizens and as time goes by, I have more and more people to talk to and to drink coffee – maybe a beer – with.

Travelling journeymen get a beer and a ride with a vintage fire engine
Travelling journeymen get a beer and a ride with a vintage fire engine © adayinthelifeofafool

Ribe is something you can’t really explain

Ribe is a unique place to live. When you arrive at the station you are instantly caught. I went to a job interview at Ribe Art Museum (called “the castle” because it is so damn beautiful and classy) and when I saw the building and the garden, I thought: “Ok. If I should move from Copenhagen, this would be the place”: ‘Cause Ribe is not just a place far away from Copenhagen.

The garden pavilion in Ribe Art Museum's  garden
Blooming lilacs and the summer-house in Ribe Art Museum’s garden © adayinthelifeofafool

Relaxed atmosphere

Ribe is something you can’t really explain. It is the atmosphere that makes you feel entirely relaxed even when you are busy. It is the cobblestone streets where you can’t walk in high heels and where you feel every bump on the road if you dare to ride a bike. It is the old half-timbered crooked houses standing as they have done for some hundred years. And it is the small brooks and the river, which you have to cross all the time to get around. It is the feeling when your colleague says: “I know someone who you should meet” or “We are going to the wine bar – do you want to join?” (there is a wine bar in Ribe, how cool is that?!). It is when you see hundred thousands of starlings just five minutes away from the city centre and at the same time hear a bittern from the reeds. It is when you are on your way home and you meet the night watchman.

When you walk home you might meet Ribe's night watchman
When you take a stroll in Ribe at night, you might meet the night watchman © adayinthelifeofafool

One of the biggest differences between Ribe and Copenhagen is that you just can’t be anonymous in a town like this. It took six days from when I arrived to when an acquaintance heard in a local shop that they had hired a new girl at the art museum. From a person I haven’t met. That was a bit of a culture shock.

Passion for photography

As long as I can remember I have had a passion for photography. I have combined my interests and have taken lots of photographs of art works – mainly sculptures – but I really like to catch details from the urban space as well.

April sky in Ribe seen from the Art Museum
April sky seen from the office at Ribe Art Museum © adayinthelifeofafool

One of my main hobbies is to edit and crop my images and Instagram has become my favourite social media, I think… The images in this blog post is taken from my account: Adayinthelifeofafool . I am aware of the compositions, the light and especially the shadows.

Sculpture of Queen Dagmar and a dramatic sky
Sculpture of Queen Dagmar – made by Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen in 1913 – and a dramatic sky © adayinthelifeofafool

The sky and the dramatic clouds

One of the first things that caught my eye when moving to Ribe was the sky – the dramatic clouds, which you can see nearly in every kind of weather. This picture is shot on Riberhus Castle Hill (“Slotsbanken”) at sunset. Out here you really can breathe and watch the clouds go by and there is even a sculpture. What’s not to like?! So many extraordinary motifs in this town.

Me on one of my favourite places at Riberhus Casstle hill
My friend at Riberhus Castle Hill – one of my favourite places in Ribe © adayinthelifeofafool

Adopting the best of both worlds

In fact I don’t miss Copenhagen, rush hour and the hectic atmosphere. I miss my friends and family a bit, but Ribe is not that far away. I can go to Zealand and they can visit me. And the social medias makes it much more easy to feel as a part of my old group of friends. I am not completely isolated.
In fact I think, that I have adopted the best of both worlds.

Josephine
Me at work with Lundstrøm’s model from the National Gallery of Denmark – we just opened the exhibition “Transfigurations” at Ribe Art Musem and I am very excited about all the works that you’ll find in here. © adayinthelifeofafool

Facts:

Ribe hostel in Denmark: News from Ribe and UNESCO Wadden Sea