The Mayor's House
The best preserved merchant complex
Built in Aarhus in 1597, the Mayor's House belonged for centuries to the local merchants, several of whom served as mayors - hence the name. The Mayor's House was the first structure rebuilt at Den Gamle By in 1915. The house is the best preserved merchant complex from the Danish Renaissance.
This kind of building would typically have housed a wealthy merchant and his family. Besides the residental section, it contained a shop and a storage space. The complex must have had a stable and warehouse attached, as the owners farmed the common lands of the town. These did not survive.
A typical shop interior from the late 1700s
When entering the Mayor's House from Algade, you step into a typical merchant shop from the late 1700s, with a large counter from the 1790s. Here townsfolk and local farmers could buy or order virtually everything they needed, such as ironwares, specialities and regular groceries.
Arriving farmers from the countryside came in for a bite to eat at the Taproom, before giving the shop assistent their list of items. People with important business or whom wished to borrow money, were allowed at the Merchant's office at the far end of the stone corridor.
Residential interior design from 1600-1850
When entering the Mayor's House from Torvet you can walk through 12 rooms giving you the unique opportunity of seeing how Danish residental interior design changed throughout 250 years. The exhibition shows the homes of wealthy citizens, who typically were merchants.
Following the trail of the exhibition you will come by rooms with interior design from the Danish Renaissance period around 1600s, Danish Baroque style from 1650 to 1750, and rooms in Rococo style from around 1760. From the 1800s you will pass by a kitchen, a drawing room and parlour in Empire style, and much more.