Vinderup, Hjerl Hede
Vinderup is a railway town belonging to the municipality of Holstebro, an industrial, trading and cultural center located on the western Jutland peninsula, in region Midtjylland. Hjerl Hede is one of Denmark’s most beautiful nature reserves, where extensive heath-lands and almost impenetrable oak scrub encircle Denmark’s largest heath lake Flyndersø. In the middle of this unique heath-scenery in Western Jutland is located the Hjerl Hede’s Open-air Museum, the largest of its kind in Denmark, consisting of the Old Village, the Jutlandic Forestry Museum, and the Museum of Peat Production.
The ethnographic museum is aimed to maintain, develop and communicate its collection of things and knowledge about building style, the history of the village, the crafts and the cultural landscape, portraying the history of rural life in Denmark with a main focus on the period from approx 1800 until 1950.
The museum was founded in 1930 by the nouveau-riche Hans Peter Hjerl Hansen (1870-1946) with business in Copenhagen. He bought the Jattrup Heathland with the heathland farm Vadsøgård in 1910. This happened in order to reclaim heathland with plantations. H.P. Hjerl Hansen renamed the site with his own name Hjerl. After some years he also became interested in the protection of some heathland between the plantations.
The museum shows the development of a Danish village from 1500 to about 1900 AD, featuring a forge, an inn, mills, a school, a vicarage, a church, a dairy, a grocer's shop, and many old farms, that have been moved to his museum (and rebuild). There are over 50 different buildings showing the traditional style of building and furnishing in the rural areas. There are also a reconstructed 10th century stone church with elements from original churches, and a Stone Age settlement featuring prehistoric houses reconstructed according to information from findings and interpretation of findings on other locations.
The first living history event was carried out at Hjerl Hede in 1932. Since then the tradition has been developed, and today the museum offers living history events organized in the most comprehensive way and aimed to provide a unique insight into the peasant culture and its life conditions, handicraft traditions and customs. All over the summer the visitors can meet the masters artisans in numerous workshops, such as coach builder, cooper, shoemaker, clog-maker, turner and blacksmith. There is atmosphere and life in the old village, when about a hundred volunteer children and adults put on time typically peasant clothing and bring life to houses and workshops.
Especially for children there is a wealth of leisure and educational activities. In the historical playroom, children can dress up in old-fashioned clothes and go with bazaar clogs, or lie down in an alcove and see how people slept back in the old days. They can also try a school hour in the old school, take part at Stone Age activities grinding grain into flour and creating jewellery or making arrows, or also visit the historical playground where they can compete in boot throwing, penny-farthing race or ”go to Iceland for fish” and much more.
Vinderup and Hjerl Hede Open-air Museum on Google Maps:
Exploring the Open-air Museum on YouTube: