Image: a view from the Ribe Vikingecenter with a Viking trading ship and farms. Copyright and source http://www.danmarkstur.no/
Ribe, Esbjerg (Syddanmark region), DENMARK
Ribe, a town located in southwest Jutland and part of the Esbjerg municipality, has been founded as a market place by the Vikings at the beginning of the 8th century and first attested in a document dated 854 AD. With its 1300 years long history Ribe is the oldest extant town in Denmark. The area around Ribe played an important role in the Denmark of the Viking Age as witnessed by the many archaeological findings from the excavations carried out by archaeologists since about 1980. Almost every year, new and exciting finds are made, confirming that Ribe is one the world's most important regions for the documentation of trade, craftsmanship and farming in the Viking Age.
The town Museum “Ribes Vikinger” tells about the story of Ribe showing its development through time until the 18th century, while the Ribe VikingeCenter provides the visitors with a unique interactive experience, bringing to life the Viking Age. The visitors can really step into the world of the Vikings with no glass or fence to separate them from getting close up and trying everything for themselves!
The Ribe VikingeCenter was established in 1992 with the main purpose to communicate Ribe's Viking Age history by bringing it to life in faithfully reconstructed environments, and consists today of three different Viking environments based on Viking Age sources: the early Viking Age market, an authentic copy of a site from the 8th century, the great farm dating 980 AD, a long-house with 5 connected buildings (including stalls and a smithy, barns, workshops and pit-houses), and a collection of 8 town-houses from the year 825 AD. All the life-sized wooden buildings are fully furnished and have been reconstructed in accordance with the archaeological excavations carried out in the area and under the supervision of the archaeologists themselves.
A visit to the VikingeCenter provides the guests with a unique experience and an exciting deep insight into the Viking Age thanks to hundreds of volunteers, interpreters and reenactors coming from all over Denmark and Europe to people the open-air living museum. Wandering round the reconstructed life-size estate, the visitors can imagine how the Inn, the silversmith, the cobbler's house, and the streets would have appeared in the past, and have the chance to meet the Vikings dressed in authentic clothing, using reconstructed tools and ancient techniques, telling about their work and inviting the public to join in several leisure and educational activities. Viking clothes are offered for renting in the Thing House for an even more immersive experience, while archery and falconry displays take regularly place, as well as several workshops and live-in activities. The playground invites the children to take part in exciting activities and games. In the miniature Viking world kids can busy themselves making wooden nails, getting firewood, cooking and visiting each other in the small houses.
Alongside the presentation, theories are tested and developed through experimental archaeology, and not just as regards the reconstruction of buildings, garments, tools and equipment but also in relation to the sociological side of history. What makes the VikingeCenter quite unique is the formula of “learning and working” for teenagers who have the chance to combine school with a job experience, be it construction work, live interpretation roles or work in the museum shop.
Finally every year in May the Viking Centre is home to a great living history event, the international Viking Market, featuring hundreds of Viking reenactors from all over Europe in a quite authentic and inspiring setting. To find out more about the event please visit our dedicated page, click here.
Address: Lustrupholm, Lustrupvej 4, DK-6760 Ribe, Denmark
Tel.: +45 75411611
Fax: +45 75411620
VisitRibe - Tourist Information
Address: Torvet 3, DK-6760 Ribe, Denmark
Tel.: +45 75 42 15 00