About Den Gamle By

Den Gamle By in Aarhus
Den Gamle By - open-air museum of urban history and culture in Denmark and with Living history.

Open-air museum

Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is a national open-air museum of urban history and culture in Denmark through three centuries. The museum consists of more than 75 historic houses relocated from all over Denmark.

Besides the historic houses and the appartments in the 1974 section, there are more than 34 workshops and shops as well as a pharmacy, a school, a post office, a telephone exchange, a jazzbar and much more. Furthermore the museum has its own theater, the Elsinore Theatre, which is used for opera, chamber concerts, festivals etc. 

Living History and national collections

From Easter to New Year you can experience Living History, which is an interactive presentation, where historical tools, activities and costumes are incorporated to tell the story and give the visitors an autentic sense of stepping back in time. Read more about Living History at Den Gamle By.

The museum houses a comprehensive national collection of clocks and watches, as well as silverware and delftware at The Gallery of Decorative Arts. Besides that the museum houses furniture, stoves, clothing, bicycles and toys. Museums in the museum, the Aarhus Story, the jewellery box, the Toy Museum, the Danish Poster Museum and a Museum as in 1927 are here as well. Read more about the museums.

Danish Center of Urban History and 3-star attraction

Den Gamle By is the home of the Danish Center of Urban History, which is founded in cooperation with the History Department of the University of Aarhus. The museum has a research library with more than 100,000 volumes.

The museum is under the patronage of the Danish Queen Margrethe II and is a 3-star attraction in Guide Michelin.

Den Gamle By won the Danish Museum Award as museum of the year in 2009, and is a museum with a designated and outstanding collection, according to the Danish Consolidated Act on Museums. 

The organization behind the museum

Den Gamle By is a self-governing non-profit institution founded in 1909 by Peter Holm, and is the first of its kind in the world.

The museum has many employees ranging from curators, researchers and conservation technicians to administrative staff, craftsmen, security, cleaners and visitor service staff.   

Den Gamle By is headed by Museum Director and CEO Thomas Bloch Ravn, and the board of directors include 12 board members with Peter Kjær as Chairman of the board. 

Thanks to the many sponsors, the companies, foundations and private persons, who make a contribution to Den Gamle By on a yearly basis, the museum can keep on restoring the buildings.