The Capper Nomads Europe Adventure travel blog

First sight of the cathedral

Another view of the cathedral

One of the old buildings now a hotel

Tony and Daisy having their morning coffee!

Old buildings on the sqaure

Hotch potch of styles

A model of the cathedral in the museum

Looking down on the nave

Looking down on the modern altar

One of the bells






In the nave

The modern altar

Is that George and the dragon?



The old harbour area

The water was that high!



The water tower that made us feel dizzy1




Wonky house built in 1550

Taarnborg 16th century manor house- no corner was 90 degrees.


Today we visited the oldest town in Denmark Ribe. According to our guide books it was a place not to miss.

Ribe began as an open trading market on the north bank of the Ribe River where it runs into the ocean around 700AD.The development of the town started when the Apostle of the North, Ansgar was given a parcel of land by the Danish king around 860AD and was given permission to build a church. It is believed that a church was built but so far no archaeological evidence has been found. The town, because of its location, became an important trading centre and a royal residence for the King’s of Jutland which resulted in the town flourishing until the 16th century. In 1580 a fire ripped through the town and the royal family moved to Copenhagen. The town was also devastated by a great flood in 1634 which it said killed 8,000 people in the town and the surrounding area. Hence the town went into decline. In 1899 a tourist and conservation group was established to protect the old town.

Dominating the town is the Ribe cathedral. This was not your usual cathedral. The cathedral is a hotch potch of building styles. The main core of the cathedral was built between 1110 and 1134 from tufa a soft porous rock quarried near Cologne and shipped north. The cathedral was built in the Romanesque style with half-rounded arches supporting a flat timber ceiling,.After damage from a fire in 1176 the original cathedral was blended with a new construction in a new building material for the time, large red bricks. The church was enlarged so that the nave was flanked by double aisles on each side. In parts of the church, the old flat ceilings were raised and Gothic vaulting installed. Further adaptations over the centuries have occurred resulting in the cathedral seen today.

The cathedral had a very interesting museum outlining the history of the church and its construction .Also by walking up the 248 steps of the Commoners Tower there was great views across the surrounding area.

After exploring the cathedral it was pleasant stroll through the old cobbled streets. In the river front area we found a wooden flood column commemorating the numerous floods which have occurred in Ribe. The top ring on the column showed the water depth of 1634 flood- scary!

Some of the old buildings were rather wonky and the old water tower made us feel dizzy as it seemed to move when you looked up at it.

This was a lovely town to wander around and the cathedral was just magnificent. Well worth a visit.

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