Historical Architectures Walking Tour, Aarhus

Historical Architectures Walking Tour (Self Guided), Aarhus

Among other attractions, Aarhus, Denmark, boasts a variety of eye-catching historical buildings, a good number of which were designed by the famous Danish architect, Hack Kampmann.

Among such landmarks is the Aarhus Custom House (Toldboden), standing as a testament to the city's maritime heritage. The Aarhus Theater, with its elegant facade, showcases the city's commitment to the arts and culture. Nearby, the imposing Aarhus Cathedral is a symbol of faith and architectural prowess, dating back to the 12th century.

Moving through the city, one encounters the grandeur of Hotel Royal, a historic hotel that has welcomed guests since 1838. Juul's House (Juuls Gard), its timber-framed structure, offers a glimpse into Aarhus's merchant history, while the Gothic Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), a serene oasis amidst the city bustle, inspires reverence and awe.

For those interested in the city's economic history, the Danish National Business Archives offer a wealth of information and insight into Aarhus's commercial evolution. Meanwhile, Aarhus City Hall, a symbol of civic pride, showcases a distinctive design, blending modernity and tradition.

Finally, Aarhus Central Station serves as a gateway to the city, its architectural style reflecting the importance of transportation in Aarhus's development.

The historical architecture of Aarhus is a living reminder of the generations who came before us, shaping this lovely city's identity and character. We hereby encourage you to take a stroll through Aarhus and discover the beauty of its historical architecture firsthand to enrich your understanding of its remarkable legacy.
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Historical Architectures Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Historical Architectures Walking Tour
Guide Location: Denmark » Aarhus (See other walking tours in Aarhus)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Toldboden (Aarhus Custom House)
  • Aarhus Theater
  • Aarhus Cathedral
  • Hotel Royal
  • Juuls Gård (Juul's House)
  • Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady)
  • Danish National Business Archives
  • Aarhus City Hall
  • Aarhus Central Station
Toldboden (Aarhus Custom House)

1) Toldboden (Aarhus Custom House)

Toldboden, located at the port quay, served as a customs house for many years. Inaugurated in 1897, it was designed by famous Danish architect Hack Kampmann. In recent years, this red brick structure with three towers houses an architecture school, a student hostel, and a restaurant.
Aarhus Theater

2) Aarhus Theater

The Aarhus Theater is the largest provincial theater in Denmark. Designed by Danish architect Hack Kampmann, construction began in 1898 and was completed in 1900. This Art Nouveau structure was built with an emphasis on natural materials, and its interior was designed by artists Hansen-Reistrup and Hans Tegner. In 2007, the Aarhus Theater received an audio make-over.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Aarhus Cathedral

3) Aarhus Cathedral (must see)

Aarhus Cathedral is a Church of Denmark cathedral that was previously a part of the Roman Catholic church. The Gothic and Romanesque cathedral was completed in 1300 and dedicated to St. Clement, the patron saint of sailors.

Construction of the church started around 1190. It was built around St. Clement's church, a timber church built in 1102. The Romanesque architectural style included half-rounded arches, a flat timber ceiling and four chapels.

The cathedral suffered great damage in 1330 when a fire burned much of Aarhus. It was abandoned until 1449 when it was renovated and enlarged. The new design of the church used Gothic vaulting with high windows and a lengthened nave. It is now both the tallest and longest church in Denmark at 305 feet long and 315 feet high. The current, 314-foot tower was built in 1931.

There are more frescoes in Aarhus Cathedral than in any church in the country. They were painted between 1470 and 1520. Likewise, the painting of St. Christopher and St. Clement are the tallest in Denmark. The cathedral's one stained glass window was created by Emanuel Vigeland in 1926. At almost 46-feet tall, it is the largest stained glass window in Denmark.
Hotel Royal

4) Hotel Royal

Hotel Royal is a historic hotel in the heart of Aarhus, in the central Indre By neighborhood. It overlooks Aarhus Cathedral and the large Store Torv square. The hotel is among the highest ranked hotels in Denmark with a history as the most prestigious in the city.

The hotel was constructed in 1838 from two existing buildings in Neoclassical style. One of the two buildings was the King's House (Danish: Kongens Gaard) which was the inspiration for the name of the hotel. At the time there was only one other place for lodging in the city and In 1881 the hotel was expanded with an extra floor and the facade was renovated in 1865 and 1868. In 1902 a new building was added by designs of Eggert Achen and Thorkel Møller. The new building faces Store Torv and Bispetorv and replaced half of the hotel.

It quickly established a reputation for luxury with clients including royalty, politicians, writers, film stars and singers. It became the foremost hotel in the city and the place for local high society to socialize.

Today Hotel Royal is an important city landmark.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Juuls Gård (Juul's House)

5) Juuls Gård (Juul's House)

Juul's House is a historical building in Aarhus. The house was built in 1629 and was listed on the national Danish registry of protected buildings and places by the Danish Heritage Agency. The building is one of the oldest in the city. It has been a paint shop since 1842 and it is the oldest paint shop in the country.

The building was previously two houses from the years around 1600 that were joined together around 1629. It functioned as a store and home for the first 200 years of its existence, but not many specifics are known.

In 1830 the Jewish merchant Abraham Lewis bought the house and opened a store but in 1837 he went bankrupt. Lewis could not pay his debts and wound up in debtors prison and disappeared from public records. In 1842 I.C. Juul bought the house and opened a new store selling, among other things, paint. The first years Juul sold a variety of items: herring from Trondheim, cigars, lemons, leather, and aged cognac. Eventually the focus shifted to paint which was imported and then mixed in the store.

The house has functioned as a paint shop to this day and still bears the Juul name. The long history of the house can be witnessed by entering the store. There's a paint bucket signed by most employees since 1880 and paint samples from a century.

Juul's House is a well-preserved example of an old half-timbered Renaissance house. The house has four wings in a square with an internal courtyard, constructed at different periods. The storefront facing Mejlgade Street is two former houses joined into one around 1629. The wing along the neighboring house in no. 23 was constructed some time around 1600 but the main building is a few decades younger. In the late 1700s the back building was added and in 1851 the low, narrow wing along Graven Street was added, creating a four-winged estate with an internal courtyard.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady)

6) Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady)

The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), located in the city center, is one of Aarhus’ largest churches. Originally called St. Nicholas' Church, it was expanded by the construction of a Dominican priory in 1240, Vor Frue Kloster (Our Lady's Priory), of which the present church formed the southern wing. After the Reformation its name was changed to the Church of Our Lady and King Christian III decreed that the surrounding buildings, formerly a priory of the Dominicans, should function as a hospital for the sick and poor.

The church was subsequently granted congregational privileges which officially made it the center for clerical activities in its area. Between 1250 and 1500 the church was heavily expanded by the addition of, among other things, the large tower. In the 1950s a crypt was rediscovered beneath the church during renovations.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Danish National Business Archives

7) Danish National Business Archives

The Danish National Business Archives, constructed in 1902 in a beautifully decorated Romanesque style, was designed by architect Hack Kampmann. Until 1963, it had housed the National Library of Aarhus.
Aarhus City Hall

8) Aarhus City Hall

Aarhus City Hall was completed in 1941 from a design by architects Arne Jacobsen and Erik Moller. It was designed to replace the Old City Hall, built in 1857, which is now home to the Museum of Women's History.

The building includes a 196-foot tall tower and a tower clock with a face that is almost 23-feet wide. The city hall is made with concrete plated with grey marble imported from Porsgrunn in Norway. Architectural details are completed on the exterior in copper that has since been covered in verdigris.

The entrance of the Aarhus City Hall is in the City Hall Park. The park includes a cobbled plaza and an avenue lined in linden trees. City Hall Square offers a fountain and a sculpture known as Ceres Bronden.

The interior of the city hall has oak parquet floors, patterned ceramic tiles, glass walls and a large number of brass and bronze accents. Visitors can take guided tours inside the city hall on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Aarhus Central Station

9) Aarhus Central Station

Aarhus Central Station, built in 1927, is the city’s main railroad station. It was designed by the State Rail Company's architect K.T. Seest. Serving as the main hub for rail traffic between Aarhus and the rest of Denmark, the station is used by an average of 6.3 million people per year, making it the busiest train station outside of Copenhagen. The station is connected to a shopping center with 93 stores. The station itself has a few shops and a grocery store.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Aarhus, Denmark

Create Your Own Walk in Aarhus

Create Your Own Walk in Aarhus

Creating your own self-guided walk in Aarhus is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Aarhus Introduction Walking Tour

Aarhus Introduction Walking Tour

Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark. It is also one of the oldest cities in the country with roots that date to the 8th century when Vikings built a small settlement at the mouse of AArhus River encircled by an earthen rampart and a moat. Back then, Aarhus was called "Aros" which was the old Danish word for "river mouth".

During the Middle Ages, Aarhus was a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles