Århus, Denmark is a city full of dichotomy. It is both the oldest city in Scandinavia (dating back before 770 AD) and the one with the youngest population (due in part to the large and popular Århus University); a city that is building for the future without forgetting its past. As the second largest city in Denmark, Århus is often called the Capital of Jutland (the northern peninsula in Denmark).
From amusement parks, to historical villages and museums, Århus has something to entertain almost every age and interest. But one of the high points of Århus culture is its music scene. For years, Århus has been known as a breeding ground for young musicians in pop and rock such as the popular Hatesphere and the influential new wave band Kliché. On any given night, it is common to walk the streets, or along the canal, and hear music wafting from bars, even karaoke.
Because of the heavy musical influence in Århus, the city is home to concerts throughout the year as well as festivals such as the Århus International Jazz Festival and Århus Festuge, which literally translates to Århus Partyweek. Established in 1964, the Århus Festuge is the biggest festival in Scandinavia, taking on a different overall theme each year. The 2010 festival takes place from August 27th to September 5th with the theme of Neighbors. It will feature a week of concerts and art exhibits all over the city.
In a city filled with so many people passionate about culture, there is a plethora of art museums to fit any taste. From one of the largest museums in Denmark, the Århus Art Museum, to the Moesgaard Museum, which takes care of Danish pre-history and where you can see the Grauballe Man, the only completely preserved bog body in the world. Contemporary art is everywhere in Århus and in 2009; the city was the only location outside of Australia to host the large scale, outdoor exhibition Sculpture by the Sea.
Museums and churches:
- ARoS (Aarhus Art Museum), Tu-Su 10-17, except W 10-22.
Aros Allé 2, +45 8 730 66 00
- Bymuseet, M-Su 10-17, except W 10-20.
Carl Blochs Gade 20, +45 86 13 28 62.
The town museum of Århus placed in a very nice modern building. 30 DKK.
- Den Gamle By (The Old Town), Viborgvej 2, +45 86 12 31 88.
Collection of 75 original Danish buildings dating from 1597 to 1909 moved to create an open-air museum village; there are shops and restaurants, some true to the period. Not to be missed by lovers of art and history but also great for children.
- Moesgaard Museum, Apr-Oct 10-17, Nov-Mar Tu-Su 10-16.
Moesgård Allé 20 – +45 89 42 11 00.
- Rådhuset (The Town Hall)
Rådhuspladsen 2, +45 89 40 20 00.
- The University Park by C.F.Møller, Kaj Fisker (buildings), and C. Th. Sørensen (landscape).
Here you find the State Library, a Natural History Museum and the Steno Museum with collections on science and medicine.
- Vor Frue Kirke
Vestergade 21 – +45 86 12 12 43
Church with an interesting crypt church in the basement, built about 1060. It is one of the oldest still existing stone churches in Scandinavia, maybe the oldest.
- Århus Domkirke (Aarhus Cathedral), May-Sep 9.30-16,Oct-Apr 10-15.
Domkirkepladsen 2 -+45 86 20 54 00
The beautiful cathedral is over 800 years old, and the longest in Denmark. Next to it, Aarhus Cathedral School is situated, also over 800 years old and the oldest still existing high-school in the world.
As a primer on the people of Århus, check out the film Århus by Night, a popular movie from 1989 shot right in Århus, it shows the perspective that native Jutlanders have on their cousins to the south in Copenhagen. Århus also hosts a popular film festival each year, 2010’s is November 10 -14.
Access: Århus Airport and Billund Airport are 45 minutes and 90 minutes away, respectively, and Århus is about three hours from Copenhagen. Trains run 1-2 times an hour from the city center and the benefit of train travel is that you can use your ticket on the city’s buses for free the rest of the day.