Ribe - the oldest town of Denmark

Well-preserved medieval town

Ribe flourished as a centre for trade until the 16th century, where the Reformation, the sanding up of the river, the plague, fires, flooding and war, irreversibly changed its circumstances. Today's Ribe is characterized by a large number of 16th century houses, many of which had to be rebuilt after the fire that in 1580 swept through the centre of town and burned down 213 houses.

That these houses still stand is due solely to two facts: no large outbreaks of fire have occurred in Ribe sind 1580, and the town lost its economic importance from the middle of the 17th century. There were no finances available nor need for building new houses on a grand scale.

Ribe oplevede sin storhedstid som handelscentrum indtil 1500-tallet, hvor Reformationen, tilsanding af åen, pest, bybrand, stormflod og krig uundgåeligt ændrede billedet.

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Worthy of preservation

In 1899, a tourist and conservation organisation was established, and in 1963, the town council issued a preservation order covering the entire core of the old town. Thus, Ribe is a well-preserved town with more than 100 houses subject to national preservation.

Today the society is called Gammelt Præg - Ribe Bybevaring, and its purpose is to restore and maintain the old buildings worthy of preservation they own, and to support the preservation of old houses and the surrounding environment in Ribe.

The society is behind the following three attractions
Everten Johanne Dan (A special type of flatbottomed sailing ship).
Stormflodssøjlen (The Flood column). Night Watchman's Round.

Everten Johanne Dan, Skibbroen i Ribe

Read more about Johanne Dan - here.

Ribe Dom

Ribe Cathedral

It was around 860 that Ansgar, known as the Apostle of the North, was given permission to build a church in Ribe and to let a Christian priest reside there.