Den Gamle By

Fascinating. Curious. Amusing. Interesting.  These are just a few of the words one could use to describe Den Gamle By.

Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is a national open-air museum of urban history and culture in Denmark. The buildings and exhibits take visitors through three centuries of culture. Amazingly, the structures are largely original and brought to this site from all over Denmark.

When we first read about this site we thought it might be too kitschy.  I am so glad we visited. It was amazing.

There are historic houses and apartments set up as if the 1970s inhabitants just walked out the door. There are shops, bars, a post office, a pharmacy, and a child care center. Each location provides a look at the people of the time through audio and written descriptions.  There is even a cool telephone exchange that allows you to call different locations.

Some of our favorite spots included a 1500s building belonging to a local Mayor, the 1700s Merchant's house with its functioning kitchen, the 1920 car dealer (with classic cars!), the 1970s student apartment, and the jazz bar.

We also had the great pleasure of eating lunch at Den Gamel By.  At The Simonsen's Have Restaurant (Traktørstedet Simonsens Have) we ate a hearty traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches. Delicious!

Den Gamle By is in central Aarhus, a pleasant walk from the train station, and next to the Botanical Garden.

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