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Admire grand churches, learn about Viking history and dig for fossils in a town that boasts more than 1,300 years of history.

Ribe is a picturesque place with a lot of history. The oldest town in Denmark, Ribe was founded by the Vikings in the 8th century and is dotted with many historical buildings. Tour these well-preserved reminders of the past and learn about Ribe through the ages.

Glimpses of the town’s Viking past can be in the Ribes Vikinger, which follows 1,000 years of the town's development. See Viking tools, instruments and everyday items, and view the facsimile of a Viking ship. Then visit the Ribe Vikinge Center, an open-air museum that recreates life in Viking times. There are replica buildings, staff dressed in period costumes, falconry, archery and demonstrations of Viking-era crafts.

One of the buildings to survive from the Viking Age is Ribe Cathedral (Ribe Domkirke). Admire its mix of architectural styles from several centuries and then climb up the 14th-century tower. Take in sweeping views of Ribe from the top of this 170-foot (52-meter) structure. 

Investigate some of the town’s other historic buildings. Go to St. Catharine Abbey and Monastery. It was founded in  1228 but the current church was built at the beginning of the 15th century. Explore Gram Castle, a stately building that took three centuries to build, starting in 1470. Come back at night for the ghost tours. Stop by the Gothic-style Gamle Rådhus, the 15th-century town hall.

Get interactive with history by digging for fossils at Gram Lergrav, a geological site. This is a popular attraction with children. They will also enjoy experiencing Iron Age life at Hjemsted Oldtidspark. Wear period costumes, visit the underground museum and take part in such activities as grinding grain and cooking over a fire. Another highlight for younger visitors in particular is Ribelund Mini Zoo, where you can pet goats, red deer, donkeys and small kangaroos.

Ribe is situated in southwest Denmark and can be reached by bus and train from many other Danish towns. The main international airport serving the area is in Billund, approximately 39 miles (63 kilometers) northeast of Ribe. Come to experience more than 1,000 years’ worth of history inside this fascinating town.

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