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Denmark Sampler - Aarhus

 



In August 2015, I had the chance to visit Denmark, particularly Aarhus, Copenhagen, and by cruise ship, under the Great Belt Bridge as well. Nothing was rotten with this visit to Denmark, and here are some pictures from that trip, both of local roads and of other local sights. This article will feature my visit to Aarhus, a fine city on the eastern coast of the Jutland Peninsula in the north of Denmark.

Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city with a population of about 335,000 people. It is a destination brimming with history, forests, beaches, world class architecture and art. Aarhus is also an old Viking city, and you can still see the Viking influence in the streets today. Aros (the Danish word for "river mouth"), as Aarhus was called then, was founded around the year 750 around the area of modern day Aarhus Cathedral. The location was perfect in the middle of Aarhusbugten, which was the perfect spot for trade. The original city grew up around the mouth of the Aarhus River. The Vikings decided to settle here because of the location's excellent potential as a harbor and trading position. During the Viking period of settlement, a cluster of houses along the Aarhus River up constituted a small urban community encircled by an earthen rampart and a moat.

In 1201, the foundation stone for the Aarhus Cathedral was laid, and the city started to expand. During the Middle Ages until the Reformation in 1536, it was the urban life around the cathedral which was the central element of the town. After the Reformation, the merchants' homes gradually began to form the pivotal point for life and trade in the town, but it was not until the middle of the 19th Century that the expansion of Aarhus into the city we know today began to take place. In 1847, a major expansion of the harbor began. This work was completed in 1861, which coincided with the opening of the first section of the railway line in Jutland between Aarhus and Randers in 1862. Aarhus became an important center for trading goods and transport, thereby forming the basis for the development of the city into Denmark's second largest city and the country's second largest harbor.

Today, Aarhus is a vibrant city, hosting cruise ships, a top university and in 2017, Aarhus was named the European Capital of Culture for that year. Aarhus has also been named by the Global Destination Sustainability Index as the third most sustainable city in the world. There is an open air museum in Aarhus called Den Gamle By devoted to different eras of Danish life, as well as a Viking museum. But I found the best way to discover Aarhus was just by walking the streets and capturing the scenery and the architecture.

Ferry terminal signage at the Port of Aarhus.

DOKK1 is a library and O1 is an inner ring road around Aarhus. There is also an outer ring road, numbered O2.

Some streets are cobblestones, and some streets featured overhead lighting. This is common in Aarhus, Copenhagen and I assume other cities in Denmark as well.

One thing I noticed that was common in Denmark (as well as in Iceland, which I've also visited), is that a number of the street signs are low to the ground.

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, one of the largest art museums in northern Europe.

I believe this is Sonder Allé.

I believe this is Vester Allé.

Low to the ground signs for the Den Gamle By (open air museum) as well as to Silkeborg and Viborg, some 43 and 65 kilometers away, respectively.

You can take Route 26 northwest to Viborg or Route 15 west to Silkeborg, and eventually onto Herning, which is the birthplace for the first Danish player in National Hockey League history; Frans Nielsen, who is known as the Danish Backhand of Judgment for his prowess at scoring goals in shootouts.

Vor Frue Church on Frue Kirkeplads.

Stop for blinking signal.


Sailing into Aarhus.



Toldboden.

Rye bread, a Danish food staple.

Some fun facts about Danish people at the harbor of Aarhus.

DOKK1

A quick scan of Google Street View shows that this building at the corner of Europaplads and Mindegade has been knocked down after I took this picture.

The Aarhus River, tamed through downtown Aarhus.

But there are a number of foot bridges.


Hotel Royal.

The famous Aarhus Cathedral (Aarhus Domkirke in Danish), originally built during the 12th Century, but rebuilt in the 15th Century to what you see today. 

I thought the outside of the building looked neat.

Vor Frue Kirke (Church), on Frue Kirkeplads.

Around Aarhus, you'll find architecture that is reminiscent of the Hanseatic League era.

As well as other eras in Danish history, although this one building screams Tudor architecture to me.

Vesterhus.



Folkeoplysningens Hus. It looks like an art gallery and event venue. As for the cyclist, well, bicycles are a very popular mode of transportation in Denmark.

Even the doors are a sight to be seen.

All signs point to Aros.

An Aarhus intersection. Mast arms and pedestal signals seem to be often used in Aarhus, while in Copenhagen, I was seeing traffic signals on span wires.

The enchanting Aarhus River. Molleparken (a park) is to the left.

Aarhus River again. At this point, you'll find a lot of buildings lining the river between Molleparken and the harbor.

With a fair number of bridges crossing the river as well.

You'll see street signs affixed to the side of the buildings, and more people (and bikes) than cars, especially on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the summer.


The Aarhus River makes for an attractive centerpiece of downtown, I think.

DOKK1.

Working my way back to the harbor.

Aarhus has Denmark's first light rail system. The Aarhus Light Rail was being constructed when I visited in 2015 and the project was completed in December 2017.

Boats of different eras.

DOKK1 has some interesting artwork around it. This bear also has duties as a slide for a playground.

DOKK1 also has this eagle sculpture. Time to fly like an eagle to the next blog article.



How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Visit Aarhus - About Aarhus
Flickr / Doug Kerr's Collections - Denmark 
Flickr / Doug Kerr's Collections - Denmark Roads and Bridges

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