Tag Archives: Kannikegården

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.