Thursday, June 5, 2014

Den Gamle By

Den Gamle By (pronounced, "den Gahm leh booh") is an open air museum consisting of a village set in the time of Hans Christian Andersen's 1800s, including the homes of a mayor, a mintmaster, a tailor, a cobbler, and the dwellings of an impoverished family (with allusions to The Little Matchgirl), as well as an apothecary, bookshop, bakery, tailor, cobbler, among others. 

The apothecary featured jars upon jars for chemical storage, the skulls of many different animals, a walrus head, a sign warning visitors of the poisons therein, and mortars, pestles, and a distillation apparatus. 

We were free to wander the streets of the village, and through our wanderings met a street entertainer with a hand-operated organ,

tried our hand at stilt walking

and bowling against gravity:

We tried out an old time swing ride

and competed with each other in a pendulum rope toss game:

We also took a tour of the nearby botanical garden by horse-drawn carriage.

What was a bit unnerving about Den Gamle By is the fact that it is also the venue for a rock music festival, called Aarhus Rocks, set to start in a couple of weeks. While we were there,  a couple of groups associated with the festival played a small concert of rap and rock songs for visitors. We discovered that an exhibition of rock music history could be found in the basement of an administrative building in Den Gamle By as well, so while we were immersed in the 1800s initially, we were rather loudly and jarringly brought back to the 21st with music, mics, and electric guitars. That made for a very interesting and unique experience!

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