Ribe the oldest extant Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 town, is in southwest Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 and has a population of 8,192 (1 January 2011). Until 1 January 2007, it was the seat of both the surrounding municipality
Ribe Municipality
Ribe Municipality is a former municipality in Denmark. It was located on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula and belonged to Ribe County. It was abolished effective 1 January 2007. The municipal seat was located in the town of Ribe....

, and county
Ribe County
Ribe Amt is a former county on the Jutland peninsula of southwest Denmark. It included Denmark's fifth largest city, Esbjerg. The county was abolished effective January 1, 2007, when it merged into Region of Southern Denmark .-List of County Mayors:-Municipalities :...

. Ribe is now part of the enlarged Esbjerg Municipality in the Region of Southern Denmark.


Established in the first decade of the 8th century and first attested in a document dated 854 AD; Ribe is the oldest town in Denmark.

When Ansgar
Saint Ansgar, Anskar or Oscar, was an Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. The see of Hamburg was designated a "Mission to bring Christianity to the North", and Ansgar became known as the "Apostle of the North".-Life:After his mother’s early death Ansgar was brought up in Corbie Abbey, and made rapid...

 the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen
Archbishopric of Bremen
The Archdiocese of Bremen was a historical Roman Catholic diocese and formed from 1180 to 1648 an ecclesiastical state , named Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen within the Holy Roman Empire...

, set out on the "Mission to bring Christianity to the North
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

", he made a request in 860, to the King of Denmark, that the first Scandinavian church be built in Ribe. This was not coincidental, since Ribe already at that point was one of the most important trade cities in Scandinavia. However the presence of a bishop, and thus a cathedral, in Ribe can only be confirmed from the year 948 AD.

The town has many well-preserved old buildings, Ribe Cathedral
Ribe Cathedral
Our Lady Maria Cathedral is located in the ancient city of Ribe on the western coast of southern Jutland, Denmark- History :Ribe is Denmark's oldest surviving city. Ribe began as an open trading market on the north bank of the Ribe River where it runs into the ocean...

, and about 110 houses are under Heritage Protection. Denmark's oldest town hall
City hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...

 is found on the town's Von Støckens Plads. The building was erected in 1496, and was purchased by the city for use as a town hall in 1709.


  • Early 8th century AD, founding of Ribe.
  • The Treaty of Ribe
    Treaty of Ribe
    The Treaty of Ribe was a proclamation at Ribe made by King Christian I of Denmark to a number of German nobles enabling himself to become Count of Holstein and regain control of Denmark's lost Duchy of Schleswig...

     was proclaimed in 1460.
  • 3 September 1580: a great fire destroys a large part of the town. 11 streets and 213 houses burn down.
  • 11-12 October 1634: a storm tide
    Storm tide
    A storm tide is a tide with a high flood period caused by a storm. Storm tides can be a severe danger to the coast and the people living along the coast. The water level can rise to more than 5 meters above the normal tide....

     floods the city with waterlevels rising to 6.1 meters above average.
  • 1 January 2007: the Municipality of Ribe
    Ribe Municipality
    Ribe Municipality is a former municipality in Denmark. It was located on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula and belonged to Ribe County. It was abolished effective 1 January 2007. The municipal seat was located in the town of Ribe....

     ceased to exist as it merged with the municipalities of Esbjerg
    Esbjerg Municipality is a municipality in Region of Southern Denmark on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. Its mayor is Johnny Søtrup, from the Venstre political party...

     and Bramming
    Until 1 January 2007 Bramming was a municipality in Ribe County on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. The municipality covered an area of 170 km², and had a total population of 13,638 . Its last mayor was Karl Kristian Knudtzen, a member of the Venstre political...

    , now forming a new municipality of Esbjerg.
  • 4 June 2010: residents celebrated the city's 1300th anniversary with a town-wide party

Cultural and environmental features

There are numerous cultural and environmental features of Ribe. Among the cultural highlights are notable churches and museums. The flora and fauna, while depleted in large part from the man-made development and surrounding agricultural land conversion, retain notable aspects of the natural environment. The Ribe River flows through town and hosts certain elements of riparian habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

. Certain notable birdlife is found in and near the town; the European White Stork
White Stork
The White Stork is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average from beak tip to end of tail, with a wingspan...

, Ciconia ciconia, is one of the historic inhabitants of the town, choosing to build nests atop chimneys. This bird has steadily declined in population throughout Western Europe due to agricultural land conversion as well as droughts in its wintering range in Africa.

The following list some of the specific town features:
  • Churches
  • Museums
  • The Night Watchman in Ribe. Every evening from 1 May until 15 September you may accompany the night watchman in Ribe on his route through the old town, while he is singing to alert citizens about bedtime approaching.
  • Wadden Sea Center (Vadehavscentret)
  • Mandø Mill (Mandø Mølle)
  • The Mandø House (Mandøhuset)
  • Mandø Island
    Mandø is one of the Danish Wadden Sea islands off the southwest coast of Jutland, Denmark in the Wadden Sea, part of the North Sea. The island covers an area of 7.63 km² and has 62 inhabitants...

     nature reserve
    Nature reserve
    A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

    , about 30 kilometres southwest

Notable people

  • Playwright Kjeld Abell
    Kjeld Abell
    Kjeld Abell was a Danish playwright and theatrical designer. Born in Ribe, Denmark, Abell's first designs were seen in ballets directed by George Balanchine at Copenhagen's Royal Danish Theatre and London's Alhambra Theatre....

  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Pietist clergyman and hymn writer.
  • The poet Anders Christensen Bording.
  • Emil Christian Hansen
    Emil Christian Hansen
    Emil Christian Hansen was a Danish mycologist and fermentation physiologist.Born in Ribe, he financed his education by writing novels and he was awarded a gold medal in 1876 for an essay on fungi....

    , the father of Modern Brewing: At the Carlsberg Laboratories in Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

    , he was the first to discover that yeast
    Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

     was composed of different kinds of fungi and that the yeast culture could be cultivated. With this discovery, he was able to produce hybrid yeast. This yeast, known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, which allowed the brewing of lager beer, is today used in the vast majority of beer
    Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

     production worldwide.
  • Björn Dunkerbeck
    Björn Dunkerbeck
    Björn Dunkerbeck is a professional windsurfer who has won Professional Windsurfers Association Overall World Championships a record twelve times....

    , Windsurfing World Champion.
  • Kristen Feilberg
    Kristen Feilberg
    Kristen Feilberg or Christen Schjellerup Feilberg was an early Danish photographer who is known mainly for his images captured far beyond the borders of Denmark. From the 1860s until the 1890s, Feilberg participated in expeditions to Sumatra, Singapore, and Penang...

    , born in 1839 at Vester Vedsted near Ribe was an early Danish photographer who, from the 1860s, photographed the native peoples and landscapes of Sumatra, Singapore, and Penang.
  • J. Bodewalt Lampe
    J. Bodewalt Lampe
    Jens Bodewalt Lampe was a Danish-born American composer, arranger, performer and band-leader of ragtime and syncopated dance music. With the exception of Scott Joplin, Lampe was possibly the most famous composer of ragtime songs of the early-20th century.Lampe was born in Ribe, Denmark to...

    , American composer, arranger, performer and band leader of ragtime and syncopated dance music. With the exception of Scott Joplin, Lampe was possibly the most famous composer of ragtime songs of the early 20th century.
  • Rued Langgaard
    Rued Langgaard
    Rued Langgaard was a late-Romantic Danish composer and organist. His then-unconventional music was at odds with that of his Danish contemporaries and was recognized only 16 years after his death.- Life :Born in Copenhagen, Rued Langgaard was the only son of composer and Royal Chamber...

     romantic composer and organist, born 28 July 1893 in Copenhagen — died 10 July 1952 in Ribe.
  • Holger K. Nielsen
    Holger K. Nielsen
    Holger Kirkholm Nielsen, known as Holger K. Nielsen for short, is a Danish politician, member of the Danish Folketinget parliament for the Socialist People's Party...

     former leader of the Socialist People's Party
    Socialist People's Party (Denmark)
    The Socialist People's Party is a green and socialist political party in Denmark.-1959–69:The SF was founded on 15 February 1959 by Aksel Larsen, a former leader of the Communist Party of Denmark and CIA agent. Larsen was removed from the ranks of the DKP for his criticism over the Soviet...

    , was born in Ribe and graduated from Ribe Katedralskole
    Ribe Katedralskole
    Ribe Katedralskole is a cathedral school in the Town of Ribe, Denmark. The school was first mentioned in 1145. The oldest building still in use, Puggård, is from the fourteenth century...

     in 1969.
  • Jacob A. Riis
    Jacob Riis
    Jacob August Riis was a Danish American social reformer, "muckraking" journalist and social documentary photographer. He is known for using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City; those impoverished New Yorkers were the subject of most of his prolific...

    , an American immigrant photographer famous for his book How the Other Half Lives
    How the Other Half Lives
    How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York was an early publication of photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s...

    , a pioneering work of photojournalism
    Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism...

    . He was also a longtime friend of Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

  • Maren Spliid (Splids) was burned at a fire at the Gallows Hill near Ribe on 9 November 1641. She was probably the most well known Danish victim for persecutions of witches.
  • Hans Tausen
    Hans Tausen
    Hans Tausen , the protagonist of the Danish Reformation, was born at Birkende on Funen in 1494 and died in Ribe in 1561.- Life :...

    , protagonist of the Danish Reformation
    Reformation in Denmark
    The Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein was the transition from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism in the realms ruled by the Copenhagen-based House of Oldenburg in the first half of the sixteenth century...

     was the Bishop
    A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

     of Ribe from 1542–1562.

Official Honorary Citizens

The following have been declared Honorary Citizens of Ribe: (By year)
  • Stiftsfysikus J.J. Kiær (1911)
  • Town Archivist
    An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media...

     C.N. Termansen (1934)
  • Editor
    Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete...

     C. Willemoes (1946)
  • Chairman of the Ny Carlsbergfondet, H. E .Nørregård-Nielsen (2005)


The town of Ribe has a long history as a center of education, namely the Gymnasium (High School) called Ribe Katedralskole (cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

) has its roots in the Latin School of Ribe, dating back to at least 1145. Although confirmed to be older, this is the date for the oldest still existing document that confirms the school’s existence. Ribe Katedralskole is more than 850 years old, and is the oldest continuously existing school in Scandinavia.



The following table shows the population of Ribe. Data from before the 18th century are estimates, the rest are taken from the official census.
> Year Population
1500 ~5,000
1591 ~4,500
1641 ~3,500
1672 ~2,000
> Year Population 1769 1,827 1801 1,994 1850 2,984 1901 4,243 > Year Population 1976 7,452 1981 7,646 1986 7,709 1990 7,636 > Year Population 1996 8,105 2000 7,984 2001 8,031 2002 8,033 > Year Population 2003 8,006 2004 7,990 2006 8,081

Twin cities and towns

(alphabetic list) Balleroy
Balleroy is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.-Population:Its inhabitants are called Biardais.-Administration:...

, région Basse-Normandie
Lower Normandy is an administrative region of France. It was created in 1956, when the Normandy region was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy...

, France Ely
Ely, Cambridgeshire
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...

, county
Counties of England
Counties of England are areas used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation. For administrative purposes, England outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly is divided into 83 counties. The counties may consist of a single district or be divided into several...

 of Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, United Kingdom. Güstrow
Güstrow is a town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany the capital of the district of Güstrow. It has a population of 30,500 and is the seventh largest town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Since 2006 Güstrow has the official suffix Barlachstadt.-Geography:The town of Güstrow is located...

, state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a federal state in northern Germany. The capital city is Schwerin...

, Germany. Krems, federal state of Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, Austria. Leikanger
is a municipality in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center is the village of Leikanger, which is also the administrative center of Sogn og Fjordane county....

, county
Counties of Norway
Norway is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties . The counties form the primary first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 430 municipalities...

 of Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
is a county in Norway, bordering Møre og Romsdal, Oppland, Buskerud, and Hordaland. The county administration is in the town of Hermansverk in Leikanger municipality while the largest town is Førde....

, Norway. Ratzeburg
Ratzeburg is a town in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is surrounded by four lakes—the resulting isthmuses between the lakes form the access lanes to the town. Ratzeburg is the capital of the Kreis of Lauenburg.-History:...

, state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

, Germany. Strängnäs
Strängnäs is a locality and the seat of Strängnäs Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden with 12,296 inhabitants in 2005. It is located by Lake Mälaren and is the episcopal see of the Diocese of Strängnäs, a former Roman Catholic and present Lutheran Diocese, with the Strängnäs Cathedral, built...

, county
Counties of Sweden
The Counties of Sweden are the first level administrative and political subdivisions of Sweden. Sweden is divided into 21 counties. The counties were established in 1634 on Count Axel Oxenstierna's initiative, superseding the historical provinces of Sweden to introduce a modern administration...

 of Södermanland
Södermanland County
Södermanland County is a county or län on the south east coast of Sweden. It borders the counties of Östergötland, Örebro, Västmanland, Uppsala, Stockholm and to the Baltic sea....

, Sweden. Tainan , Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...


External links

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