Viborg, Denmark
Viborg (ˈʋibɒːˀ), a town in central 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...

, Denmark
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...

, is the seat of both Viborg municipality
Viborg municipality
Viborg municipality is a municipality in Region Midtjylland on the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. The municipality covers an area of 1,390 km², and has a total population of 92,084...

 and Region Midtjylland
Region Midtjylland
Central Denmark Region or Central Jutland Region is an administrative region of Denmark established on January 1, 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform, which replaced the traditional counties with five larger regions. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger...

. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court
Courts of Denmark
The Danish Supreme Court is the highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in Denmark. The Kingdom of Denmark, consisting of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, does not have a single unified judicial system – Denmark has one system, Greenland another, and...

 for the 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...

 peninsula. Viborg Municipality is the second-largest 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...

 municipality, covering 3.3% of that country's total land area.


Viborg is one of the oldest towns in Denmark, with Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 settlements dating back to the late 8th century. Its central location gave the town great strategic importance, in political and religious matters, during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. A motte-and-bailey
A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle, with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade...

-type castle was once located in the town. Viborg takes its name from a combination of two words: Wii, meaning a holy place, and berg, meaning a hill.


Viborg is famous for Viborg Cathedral
Viborg Cathedral
Viborg Cathedral, Our Lady Cathedral is the site of one of Denmark's most important historic churches located in the town of Viborg in northern Jutland...

. The construction of the cathedral started in 1130 and took about 50 years. The building has burned to the ground and been re-built several times. Only the crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 of the original cathedral is still preserved. The newest parts of the church are from 1876. The cathedral is famous for its many paintings by Danish painter Joakim Skovgaard, which depict stories from the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. Next to the cathedral is the Skovgaard museum
Skovgaard museum
The Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, Denmark, situated in the former town hall from 1728 next to Viborg Cathedral, holds a collection of works by four generations of the Skovgaard family of artists.-The Permanent Collection:...

, founded in 1937.

Before the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 Viborg was the home of five monasteries
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, about 12 parish churches, several chapels and of course the cathedral. Today only the cathedral and a few remains of the Franciscan and the Dominican monasteries are left.


Viborg has over the last decade
A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek dekas which means ten. This etymology is sometime confused with the Latin decas and dies , which is not correct....

 won a reputation as one of Denmark's leading cities for sports. It started with the city's women's handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 team (a popular sport in Denmark), which continues to be one of Europe's top-5 clubs. Subsequently, both the men's handball team and most notably the professional football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team have established themselves at the top of the Danish leagues. From 1998 to 2008, Viborg FF
Viborg FF
Viborg FF is a Danish professional football club located in Viborg. The full name of the club is Viborg Fodsports Forening , but the name is frequently abbreviated as Viborg FF or VFF. The club was founded in 1896, but would have to wait more than a century before winning its only countrywide...

 was a constant member of the Danish Superliga
Danish Superliga
The Danish Superliga is the current Danish football championship tournament, and administered by the Danish Football Association. It is the highest association football league in Denmark and is currently contested by 12 teams each year, with 2 teams to be relegated, which proves to be one of the...

, reaching an all-time high when winning the Danish cup
Danish Cup
The Danish Cup is the official "knockout" cup competition in Danish football, run by the Danish Football Association. The cup has been contested annually since 1955...

 in 2000.


Viborg is home to a number of educational institutions, including Viborg Katedralskole
Viborg Katedralskole
Viborg Katedralskole is a public gymnasium in Viborg, Denmark. The school is located at Gammel Skivevej 2 in Viborg and supports 760 students.- History :...

 (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...

). Denmark's oldest educational institution celebrated its 900th birthday in the year 2000. The school is believed to have been founded about 1060 - at the same time as the city became a site of a 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...

. The church
Church Body
A local church is a Christian religious organization that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by pastors or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek seek non-profit corporate status...

 needed to educate boys and young men to enter into the church's service, and to that purpose it created a school. Its current monumental home was built in 1926 to accommodate a larger number of students and later the school added a dormitory
A dormitory, often shortened to dorm, in the United States is a residence hall consisting of sleeping quarters or entire buildings primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people, often boarding school, college or university students...

 to house the many students from outer regions or islands not close to a gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

. Although this role is now basically obsolete, the dorm continues to be a popular solution for many students wanting to get away from home or for a small number of students from Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

. Viborg Katedralskole is today one of four gymnasiums in Viborg.

Viborg is also home to The Animation Workshop
The Animation Workshop
The Animation Workshop, is an animation school housed in a former military barracks in Viborg, Denmark. It forms a part of VIA University College. Since the late 1980s, The Animation Workshop has educated and trained animators for the Danish as well as the international animation, computer game and...

, an art school based in a former army barracks on the outskirts of town. The school, which achieved official recognition from the Danish government in 2003, offers students a Bachelor of Arts in character animation.

Notable people

  • Kjeld (died 1150), Archdeacon, canonized 1188
  • Gunner (1152–1251), Bishop, cowriter of the Law of Jutland
  • Knud Mikkelsen (the 15th century), Bishop, contributor to the Law of Jutland
  • Peter von Scholten
    Peter von Scholten
    Peter Carl Frederik von Scholten was Governor-General of the Danish West Indies from 1827 to 1848. He was born in Vestervig, Thy, Denmark as the son of captain Casimir von Scholten and Catharina Elisabeth de Moldrup....

     (1784–1854), Governor-General of the Danish West Indies
  • Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen
    Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen
    Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen was a Danish teacher and ornithologist. He was the first to employ bird ringing for scientific purposes.Mortensen was born in Jonstrup on the island of Zealand, Denmark...

     (1856–1921), ornithologist
  • Benjamin Christensen
    Benjamin Christensen
    Benjamin Christensen was a Danish film director, screenwriter and an actor both in film and on the stage. As a director he is most well known for the 1922 film Häxan and as an actor, he is best known for his performance in the film Michael , in which he plays Claude Zoret, the jilted lover of the...

     (1879–1959), film director
  • Olaf Wieghorst
    Olaf Wieghorst
    Olaf Wieghorst was a painter of the American West in the vein of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell....

     (1899–1988), painter
  • Johann Otto von Spreckelsen
    Johann Otto von Spreckelsen
    Johann Otto von Spreckelsen was a Danish architect.He was born in Viborg and studied at the Viborg Katedralskole and Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, and later served as director up to his death....

     (1929–1987), architect
  • Peter Seeberg
    Peter Seeberg
    Peter Seeberg was a Danish modernist novelist and playwright, inspired by the French existentialists. He made his literary debut in 1956 with the novel Bipersonerne....

     (1925–1999), writer
  • Peer Hultberg
    Peer Hultberg
    Peer Hultberg was a Danish author and psychoanalyst.Peer Hultberg was born in Vangede north of Copenhagen and lived in Horsens and Viborg during his child and teenage years. From 1953 he studied at the University of Copenhagen...

     (1935–2007), writer
  • Ulrik Wilbek
    Ulrik Wilbek
    Ulrik Wilbek is a Danish team handball coach. He has been head coach for the Danish men's national handball team from 2005...

     (born 1958) handball coach

In popular culture

In the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 book The Corridors of Time by Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

, a Danish-American writer who did considerable research on Danish history, a large part of the plot takes place in 16th-century Viborg. The main protagonist - an American time-traveller from the 20th century - arrives in the city in 1535 and gets involved with the adherents of the overthrown King Christian II and of the peasant rebel leader Skipper Clement
Skipper Clement
Klemen Andersen "Skipper Clement" was a Danish merchant, captain, privateer and leader of the peasant rebellion that was part of the civil war known as the Count's Feud .-Background:...

, who face savage persecution in the city.

Viborg is also the setting of Room Number 13, a ghost story by the English writer M.R. James - go to :

See also

  • St. John's Priory, Viborg
  • Chronicle of the Expulsion of the Grayfriars#Chapter 2 Concerning the Friary at Viborg
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