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).
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.
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.
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 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 .
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.
This Viking boy works as a smith’s helper and will probably once become a skilled craftsman himself.
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 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 Vikings
Women and girls also spent much of their time spinning, weaving and making clothing. Sewing and repairing old clothes were important too.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
Also Viking girls played with dolls. This Viking girl is playing with a toy doll made from wool.
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?
Enough – He wants a break!
For small children, Ribe Viking Market can be a little overwhelming – so I’ll stop for a while.
Ribe Viking Market takes place at Ribe VikingeCenter one week around 1st of May every year
Book a guide for a Viking Walk at the Viking Museum or walk the hostel’s self guided Viking Walk in Ribe
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:
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 .
Why the old town Ribe is special and worth a visit for a Christmas break
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 Christmas in Ribe (Peters Jul i Ribe)
“I feel the joy at this time of the year, whenthe 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
High spirits at the Christmas market
and you will often be met with smiles like these.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Every evening from May 1st to October 22th you can join Ribe’s night Watchman as he takes you on a guided walk through the winding cobblestoned streets of old Ribe and tells you dramatic and romantic stories from the history of Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town. He also sings the Night Watchman song to remind the citizens that it is time to go to sleep. Find your tour and read more
2. Ribe Cathedral with Michelin stars
Ribe Cathedral is a 2-starred Michelin Guide attraction – 3 stars are the maximum in the Michelin Guide, that reviews and rates attractions other than restaurants.
Ribe Cathedral is the only 5-aisled church in Denmark and combines old and new in an amazing way. The world famous COBRA artist Carl Henning Pedersen decorated the apse with colourful dramatic modern frescoes, mosaics and stained glass windows, but you can find medieval frescoes, memorials and other artifacts in the Cathedral as well.
There are several free church concerts in Ribe Cathedral during the summer holidays, see: Highlights in Ribe
3. Market day in Ribe every wednesday
Market day in Ribe is every Wednesday from May to the beginning of September. The Market is on the Skibbro quay (the harbour) and you can see it from the hostel’s windows. You might wake up in the morning when the traders are arranging their display of goods. You can buy new and second hand wares and fresh food.
During the Danish summer holidays when schools are closed, you shouldn’t miss the children’s market, where the children have their toys, books, clothes and much more on sale. This is also on Wednesdays and takes place in the town square.
4. Classic, Vintage and American cars
and motorcycles. Every Tuesday from April to September owners of classic and vintage cars from near and far in Denmark meet on the meadow outside our hostel (Danhostel Ribe) to show their cars and admire all the other cars. The car owners have a passion for taking care of their vehicles, and if you like old cars too, come and have a look. The better the weather is the more vehicles will be on display and it is not unusual to see over 100 cars on the meadow.
Mostly cars but also some motorcycles.
5. Ribe town
Ribe town is an attraction in itself. You should spend time strolling around enjoying the beauty of our town, Ribe River, town parks, the beautiful new town square, winding narrow alleys and cobblestoned streets.
Danhostel Ribe has made a self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe. You can find it here: Old Town Walk . Lonely Planet says about Ribe: “This is historic Denmark at its most photogenic, all cobblestones and higgledy-piggledy houses – so pretty, it was recently voted ‘Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination’. Link: “Viking Denmark – following the footsteps of ancient explorers”
Ribe town is also awarded with 2 stars in the Michelin guide of Attractions. The guide writes: “Ribe is probably the best preserved medieval town in Denmark. Its small size has enabled it to retain its architectural unity and old-world charm.”
Ribe is also special for a winter break: Christmas and winter in Ribe is special. 30 photos from Ribe in Denmark
6. Ribelund Animal Park
A visit to the small animal park Ribelund Dyrepark is a must if you are a family with small children. Here you’ll find pet goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, small kangaroos, birds and fallow deer, but also a playground, picnic tables, and benches. Furthermore jogging paths and an observation platform where you can observe the birdlife in and around Ribe Østerå.
7. Ribe Brewery
Ribe Brewery – the Micro-brewery is open for viewing and purchasing every Saturday from 10am to 2pm (All year). If you pass by another day than Saturday and notice the brewers are brewing, you are also welcome – but the brewers are only brewing as a hobby, and therefore they are not working here every day. Ribe Brewery brews: Blonde light Ale, Brown Ale and Black dark Ale – but also seasonal brews, such as Christmas Ale and the Wadden Sea Brew. We also sell Ribe Beer at our hostel, see: Souvenirs
8. Galleries and exhibitions
Take a look at the many galleries with art, glass, ceramics etc. Often you will also find art or photo exhibitions somewhere in the town.
At the hostel we have our own permanent photo exhibition of Ribe and Wadden Sea motives shot by the same photographer, who took all the photos on this page.
During Easter the “Art Tour Southwest Jutland” takes place. Along the South West Coast of Denmark more than a 100 galleries, studios and museums welcome you to visit them.
Ribe’s Craftmans Market takes place during the first weekend in October.
9. Entertainment for children
And a little more for the children. Every Thursday in July and the first Thursday in August they can enjoy entertainment for children at Ribe’s town square. 4pm
10. Danhostel Ribe’s sports hall
Danhostel Ribe’s guests have the opportunity to play ball or badminton in Ribehallen (our sports hall) for free when it is not in use. And during the school holidays it will be possible much of the time. Our guests can also play table tennis and table football for free or borrow one of the many board games. If you want to try our rock climbing wall – one of the best in Denmark – you will have to pay.
Nature is free to enjoy, but we recommend that you also join one of the guided tours. Oyster hunting in winter, Black Sun – the starlings’ spectacular air shows spring and autumn , Wadden Sea walks and seal watching in summer. See photos and video from a Sea Explorer Tour
Remember to book your room or bed
at Danhostel Ribe. The hostel has Ribe’s most photographed view and is placed both in the town centre and in the Wadden Sea National Park: Danhostel Ribe
About Ribe town Lonely Planet writes: “The jewel in Jutland’s Viking crown is Ribe, the country’s oldest town which was founded around 700 as a Viking marketplace. This is historic Denmark at its most photogenic, all cobblestones and higgledy-piggledy houses – so pretty, it was recently voted Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination”
You can also choose to join the free guided tour with Ribe’s Night Watchman every evening from 1st of May to 18th October 2014
Viking sites in Ribe
Ribe is also nowadays a hive of Viking activities as it was in its Viking heyday, and your research into Ribe’s Viking Era could start at Ribe Viking Centre (Ribe VikingeCenter). The reconstructed Viking village is like a living museum with hands-on experiences.
– afterwards you can continue your research by visiting the Viking Museum (Museet Ribes Vikinger) with thousands of artefacts found during archaeological excavations in Ribe.
The special exhibition in 2014 is called ” The Christian Vikings”.
Excavations around Ribe Cathedral from 2008-2012 revealed a Christian cemetery from around 850, more than a 100 years before Denmark was officially Christianized according to the UNESCO World Heritage rune-stone of Harold Bluetooth in Jellinge.
Video: The dicovery of a dark age horse burial in Ribe, Denmark.
Much of the time archaeological excavations are going on in Ribe, and maybe you will be lucky to see one, when you visit our town. The finds from this Viking-Age period are numerous when archaeological excavations are going on in Ribe. The newest is unique and less than a week old, when a fully equipped warhorse from around 700 was found . (See the video)
Here you can read about the rune stone, that was found in Ribe: Rune stone found in Ribe
Every year the first week of May Ribe’s International Viking Market, Denmark’s most authentic Viking market is taking place at Ribe Viking Centre – don’t miss it . It’s 7 incredible days with hundreds of Vikings, craftsmen, warriors, archers, riders, jesters and many others from all over Europe
At last we will mention a Viking Walk in Ribe. You can pay for your own guide at the Viking Museum, who will take you to all the places in Ribe where the Vikings lived, worked and was buried 1300 years ago – you can also walk Danhostel Ribe’s self guided Viking Walk: Viking Walk . On this walk you will hear about horse sacrifices and if you follow our blog www.danhostel.org we will later this year tell you more about horse sacrifices and show you a video
Look inside the hostel
Now you can take a walk through Danhostel Ribe– and since the virtual tour is made by 360⁰ photos, you can decide to be a fly on the wall, to look in the corners – and go wherever you want to go.
Go into our rooms, our backyard, our dining room, our sports hall, our sitting room, guests’ kitchen, conference rooms and look out the windows to see the hostel’s view
Virtuel rundtur på Danhostel Ribe Nu kan du gå en virtuel tur gennem Danhostel Ribe – turen er lavet af 360⁰ fotos, kan du vælge at være en flue på væggen, at kigge i hjørnerne – og gå hvorhen du ønsker på vores vandrehjem. F.eks ind på vores værelser, i vores gårdhave, vores spisestue, vores sportshal, vores dagligstue, gæstekøkken, konferencelokaler – og du kan kigge ud af vinduerne for at se vandrerhjemmet flotte udsigt
3. Here you can decide to go to the right and see our sports hall or to the left and see the hostel’s dinning room and breakfast table, from the dining room you can walk up the stairs to the sitting room