The first stop on our weekend break was Lindholm Hoje, a remarkably well-preserved Viking Burial Ground and first class Museum. Yes, my history loving friends, Lindholm Hoje is home to burial grounds from the Germanic Iron Age and the Viking Age dating back over 1000 years.
The Franciscan Friars
Believe it or not but there's an underground city museum accessible only by elevator in the middle of Aalborg! Ok, when it was first described to be it sounded very clandestine, like I needed to know secret codeword or handshake to gain entry. The truth is, it's much easier and far less secretive.
As you can see, it's pretty well advertised so there's not much chance that you're going to miss the elevator but still it was pretty cool that the only way into the museum is via a street-level elevator. Which also doubles as the museum entry fee since it's completely operated without staff, and then you begin your descent into the museum. It's also interesting to note that the fee for the elevator is for up to 250kg so see if can time a lift with someone and split the cost. Just saying.
The museum isn't very big but what is lacks in size it makes up for in its historical relevance - you are literally able to see old Aalborg underneath the city as it exists today. It's as close to time travel as you're going to be able to get.
It was just over 20 years ago in 1994 (oh man, 20 years….. ) that a considerable portion of the town’s city centre was excavated in connection to the construction of a new city building and led to the discovery of a historic Franciscan Friary. The excavations led to new information about the Friary but also revealed many historic layers of old Aalborg.
Once you take the elevator from street level and arrive underground, a long narrow corridor will lay in front of you, take a walk through until you reach the end and that’s where the museum opens up into a larger space where you’ll be able to visit Old Aalborg – parts of buildings from centuries ago.
If you’re keen on history then you’re going to love a visit to the Franciscan Friary but even if you’re not then you’ll have bragging rights about that one time you visited an underground museum which was only accessible by elevator.
Who doesn’t love a good castle? The good news about Aalborghus Castle (Aalborghus Slot) is that it’s located in the middle of town, right near the waterfront, and easily accessible to all visitors. The 16th century castle, originally designed as a fortress (complete with ramparts and a moat) and built by King Christian the Third, took a grand total of 16 years to build and when completed was deemed to be unsuitable as a fortress and instead became the seat of power for the King’s governors. Today it is the site of local state administration (basically, lots of paperwork….)
We visited during winter so that meant that we couldn’t visit the dungeon and underground casemates (not sure what a casemate is? That’s ok, I needed to Google it the first time. Casemate: a small room in the room of a fortress, with openings from which guns or missiles could be fired) but the castle park was worth visiting for.