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Queen Margrethe opens new permanent exhibition on the history of Aarhus

On 11 April, Danish Queen Margrethe, who is spending her Easter holiday at Marselisborg Slot in Aarhus, opened the new permanent exhibition called “Aarhus Story/Aarhus Fortæller”, which gives an overview of the city’s history from the Viking age until the present day.

By Inger Stokkink                Pictures: Michael L. Laursen

“Aarhus has gone underground”, joked Queen Margrethe in her opening speech. In Danish, the joke also means that Aarhus has done a thorough job.

The exhibition is part of the existing open-air museum ’Den Gamle By/The Old Town’, and has indeed found a place under the ground.

Beneath the 70s quarter of Den Gamle By, more than 800 square meters have been dug out to enable the creation of this new museum location.

It shows the development of Aarhus, seen through the eyes of its citizens and consists of six spaces in history: a Viking village street, a medieval chapel, a 16th century trader’s courtyard, an industrial workshop, and finally a couple of corners with recent history: the make-shift shelter of a homeless man, for example.

But also the most unknown and most famous ’Aarhusianer’ Anne Lund, who designed the “Atom energy – no thanks” pin in the 1970s.

And there is the story of dock worker Peter Mogensen and his fellow workers and how they started out carrying burlap bags to the present day, where they navigate large lorries carrying Mærsk’s containers.

And so history suddenly becomes everyday reality – and that is precisely what the museum had in mind, says curator Anneken Appel Laursen.

”We want to form a connection between what happened then and what is happening now. We want all visitors to feel part of the history of Aarhus, and to see how the developments that shaped this city have a connection to their own lives.”

Visit the Open Air museum if you go to Aarhus – and remember to put in a whole day for the Old Town with its many building and museums. You can find out best tips for what to do in Aarhus in our Spring/Summer 2017 issue, written by our expat write co-editor Adriana Alciana – read more here