Flights Nice Aarhus
Fancy a holiday in Denmark: why not head to… Aarhus?
Also dynamic but more intimate than Copenhagen, Aarhus, the country's second city, makes you want to step into its bohemian world. European Capital of Culture in 2017, it is a city of a thousand beauties which will satisfy both history and nature lovers!
From the Viking Age to the present: treasures of art and architecture
Most likely built by the Vikings in the 8th century under the name of Aros, Aarhus is a city steeped in history. Start by exploring the heart of the city, near the port. It is the pleasant pedestrian street of Søndergade that continues into Sankt Clemens Torv (the entire pedestrian zone is known as Strøget) which, after crossing the friendly Åboulevarden where the river is bordered by cafe terraces, leads to the square outside the Saint Clement Cathedral (Bispetorvet).
Erected in honour of the patron saint of sailors, it dominates the city with its beautiful tapered spire. Another area not to be missed: the Latin Quarter. The narrow streets around Rosensgade form the city's oldest quarter, built from the 14th century after the destruction of the walls from the Viking era. Go back to the time of storyteller Hans Christian Andersen by wandering through the cobbled streets, and discover the cafes, shops and art galleries which invite you to shop and stroll around. As the beating heart of the quarter, the small square of Pustervig Torv is the ideal place to have a drink.
Make sure you go past the Town Hall, one of the most beautiful examples of functionalist Danish architecture.If you're passionate about the history of the Vikings, you've come to the right place! The Viking museum, located in the Nordea bank, provides an insight into the origins of Aarhus, while the Gamle By open-air museum takes you back in time with its 75 ancient houses and reconstructions of traditional habitats from different eras (e.g. that of the writer Hans Christian Andersen, in the 19th century).
But the city is also home to other magnificent museums. In a more contemporary style, the ARoS Fine Arts Museum offers a good overview of Danish creation since the 18th century, with an important part dedicated to modern art. On the top floor, artist Oliafur Eliasson has decorated the museum's panoramic walk-through in rainbow colours (Rainbow Panorama). Come and discover the expressionists of the CoBra movement.
Also note, a Women's Museum, which focuses on the status of women through the ages. Plant lovers of all kinds will be able to take a tour of the Botanical Garden, but if you have a taste for adventure, go and explore the bay of Aarhus, and why not head to the small island of Tunø?
Top 10 must-sees in Aarhus
- Town Hall: Designed in the 1940s by the great architect and Danish designer Arne Jacobsen in a very functional style, this Town Hall is covered with grey Norwegian marble. From the top of the tower, the panoramic view embraces the entire city.
- Saint Clement Cathedral: Dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, this magnificent red brick building (12th-14th centuries), which stands at the heart of the former Viking enclosure, today presents essentially Gothic architecture. Its nave which measures 93 metres in length, the longest in Denmark, is characterised by beautiful painted arches.
- Viking Museum: It was during the construction of a bank, opposite the cathedral, that traces of the former Viking city were found. The museum occupies the basement of the building. Part of the walls has been updated, as well as important archaeological material and the remains of houses of which you can see their restoration.
- ARoS Fine Arts Museum: In a spectacular building, with a multi-coloured circular glass roof, the collections of this museum feature the Danish Golden Age (1770-1900), Danish Modernism (1990-1960) and a contemporary section open to international art.
- Gamle By: This historic village recreated by the city is one of the most beautiful open air museums in Denmark, with cobbled streets punctuated by buildings from the 16th to the 19th century from all over Denmark, which have been carefully restored.
- Botanical Garden: This sumptuous garden, which belongs to the University, overlooks the "Old Town". In the middle of the garden, the 2,000 m² greenhouses house more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, as well as parrots, perched in a forest of excessively high plants.
- Latin Quarter: Around Rosensgade lies the city's oldest and most trendy quarter! Amongst its narrow streets, it houses numerous cafes, trendy shops and art galleries which attract young people and give the place a lively atmosphere.
- Sea Excursions: Discover the bay of Aarhus to understand the city's development, its port activity, Viking past and the bay's marine life.
- Moesgaard Museum: A few kilometres to the south of the city, this museum is one of the best places to discover Danish prehistory and the Viking culture. The venue's star is the Grauballe Man, a mummy which is perfectly preserved in peat from the 3rd century B.C. and was discovered in 1952.
- Marselisborg Palace: Given as a wedding present to Prince Christian X and Princess Alexandrine, it is the Danish Royal couple's summer residence. The English style garden with an area of 13 hectares features extensive lawns, ponds and hills planted with shrubs, as well as works of art, a rose garden and a vegetable garden.
Even if Denmark is not originally known for its cuisine, your stay will be the perfect opportunity to discover new flavours. Breakfast (morgenmad) is a hearty meal, usually consisting of cheeses, meats, rugbrød (rye bread), cereals and wienerbrød; these Danish pastries are made from puff pastry, almond paste, cinnamon, cardamom, pecan nuts, almonds, etc.
At noon, people traditionally eat a smørrebrød, an open sandwich made with buttered rye bread and covered with herrings (sild), cured meats, eels, fish eggs, hard-boiled eggs, beetroot, onions, etc. To be configured according to your taste and appetite!
You must also try frikadelles, meatballs, sometimes made with fish. (But be careful: they have nothing to do with the fricadelles in the North and Belgium!) For dessert, it's risalamande that dominates. It is a type of rice pudding, to which crushed almonds and cherry jam is added. The tradition is to slip a whole almond inside and whoever finds it wins a small gift.
Aarhus events calendar
May: Spot Festival
Since 1995, the Spot Festival has been in full swing with the rhythms of the best artists and new talents of Scandinavia. It supports current talent and helps those of tomorrow to emerge. Also on the agenda: readings and debates on the music industry in Scandinavia and the future of new stars.
July: Jazz Festival
During the 3rd week of July, for a week, groups play in all the clubs and in the street. This festival represents various musical genres, from traditional jazz to electronic experimentation through Danish song and world music.
December: Christmas in the old town in Aarhus
In keeping with 300 years of Christmas tradition in Denmark, the old town in Aarhus (Den Gamle By) hosts a Christmas market with seasonal stores, decorations, entertainment, exhibitions and music. More than 80 stalls present all the handmade Danish crafts.
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