Skærbæk, Hjemsted Oldtidspark
Hjemsted Oldtidspark is an Iron Age archaeological open-air museum located in the village of Skærbæk (part of Tønder municipality) in Jutland, Southern Denmark, near the German border, where an Iron Age village was situated about 2000 years ago. Hjemsted Oldtidspark belongs to a "new generation" of archaeological open-air museums in Denmark, which were sponsored in the mid 1990’s by a large Danish Holiday Fund, and meant to make the cultural tourism offer for tourists more attractive and interactive. Hjemsted present itself more as a family park rather than a museum only, and “activity and experience” is its motto.
Hjemsted Oldtidspark consists today of a traditional museum, underground, and the proper open-air museum outside. The visitors have the exciting opportunity to travel through time starting from the underground museum and going on through the Iron Age farms, defensive systems and Ancient Roman artillery.
The underground museum, Denmark’s only one, covers an area of 1000m2, and features life as it unfolded at Hjemsted Hill in the Iron Age. The floor contains graves and burial urns, and along the walls, cases showing the original finds are displayed. Archaeologists have, so to speak, dug it all up, for then later to have placed all the items back again. The spiral staircase leads directly from the museum into a reconstruction of a large farm from about 450 A.D., from where the visitors will enter the great activity park.
The 13 hectares large open-air museum outside includes several “Iron Age” houses. The Northfarm is a replica of the large farm that was located at Hjemsted in the late Roman Iron Age around 450 AD, while the Southtfarm is a replica of a farm from found on the Wadden Sea island of Sylt/Sild around year 0. A number of other, smaller Iron Age houses - from both the early and lete Roman iron Age - are situated around both Northfarm and Southfarm. The smith, the leather workshop and the fishing house are smaller park houses offering several live-in activities. All these buildings have been constructed according to Iron Age construction principles, materials and methods. Finally there is also an Iron Age fortress which has been built between the farms according to the typical model of the Danish Iron Age fortresses, which were strongly inspired by the Roman Limes.
The Hjemsted Oldtidspark offers a variety of leisure and educational activities for different ages and interests: the visitors can enjoy hunting with bow and arrow in the Iron Age style, sailing on the lake in a dugout canoe borrowed from the fishing house, or also trying to catch trouts, pikes or eels in the lake with an Iron Age fishing rod. The park presents also a staged excavation sand box, where children can excavate, thus learning first-hand more about the whole archaeological process.
During the season the farms are inhabited by Iron Age families representing the ancient life - crafts, work, fishing, cooking. Roman legionnaires also visit the park during the summer to display their war techniques and equipment. Finally the service area contains the shop, the entrance and the restaurant. It also holds a room for presentations and a room for temporary exhibitions. Everything is bilingual Danish & German.
Info & Contact
Tønder Town Council
Address: Kongevej 57 - 6270 Tønder, Denmark
Tel.: +45 74929292
Skærbæk, Tønder and the Hjemsted Oltidspark on Google Maps:
Exploring the Hjemsted Oltidspark: