The main street of Ribe
|Region||Southern Denmark (Syddanmark)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Ribe is the oldest extant town in Denmark, established in the early 700s in the Germanic Iron Age.
Established in the first decade of the 8th century and first attested in a document dated 854 AD; Ribe is the oldest extant town in Denmark (and in Scandinavia). The town celebrated its 1300th anniversary in 2010.
When Ansgar the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, set out on the "Mission to bring Christianity to the North", he made a request in about 860, to King Horik II of Denmark, that the first Scandinavian church be built in Ribe. This was not coincidental, since Ribe already at that point was one of the most important trade cities in Scandinavia. However the presence of a bishop, and thus a cathedral, in Ribe can only be confirmed from the year 948 AD. Recent archaeological excavations in Ribe have however led to the discovery of between 2,000 and 3,000 Christian graves. They have been dated to the 9th century indicating that a large Christian community was already living peacefully together with the Vikings at the time. Excavations conducted between 2008 and 2012 have also revealed more details of the original church built by Ansgar.
The town has many well-preserved old buildings, Ribe Cathedral, and about 110 houses are under Heritage Protection. Denmark's oldest town hall is found on the town's Von Støckens Plads. The building was erected in 1496, and was purchased by the city for use as a town hall in 1709.
- Early 8th century AD, founding of Ribe.
- Ribe flourished during the early medieval period as an important trading centre, or emporia, primarily connecting Western Europe and Scandinavia.
- The Ribe Cathedral started to be built in 1150 AD under the current bishops reign, which was built on top of an earlier church, most probably Ansgar's Church, built in AD 860.
- The Treaty of Ribe was proclaimed in 1460.
- 3 September 1580: a great fire destroys a large part of the town. 11 streets and 213 houses burn down.
- 11–12 October 1634: a storm tide floods the city with waterlevels rising to 6.1 meters above average.
- 1 January 2007: the Municipality of Ribe ceased to exist as it merged with the municipalities of Esbjerg and Bramming, now forming a new municipality of Esbjerg.
- 4 June 2010: residents celebrated the city's 1300th anniversary with a town-wide party
Cultural and environmental features
There are numerous cultural and environmental features of Ribe. Among the cultural highlights are notable churches and museums. The flora and fauna, while depleted in large part from the man-made development and surrounding agricultural land conversion, retain notable aspects of the natural environment. The Ribe River flows through town and hosts certain elements of riparian habitat. Certain notable birdlife is found in and near the town; the European White Stork, Ciconia ciconia, is one of the historic inhabitants of the town, choosing to build nests atop chimneys. This bird has steadily declined in population throughout Western Europe due to agricultural land conversion as well as droughts in its wintering range in Africa.
The following list some of the specific town features:
- The Night Watchman in Ribe . Every evening from 1 May until 15 September you may accompany the night watchman in Ribe on his route through the old town, while he is singing to alert citizens about bedtime approaching.
- Wadden Sea Center (Vadehavscentret) 
- Mandø Mill (Mandø Mølle)
- The Mandø House (Mandøhuset)
- Mandø Island nature reserve, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest
- Playwright Kjeld Abell.
- Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Pietist clergyman and hymn writer.
- The poet Anders Christensen Bording.
- Emil Christian Hansen, the father of Modern Brewing: At the Carlsberg Laboratories in Copenhagen, he was the first to discover that yeast was composed of different kinds of fungi and that the yeast culture could be cultivated. With this discovery, he was able to produce hybrid yeast. This yeast, known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, which allowed the brewing of lager beer, is today used in the vast majority of beer production worldwide.
- Björn Dunkerbeck, Windsurfing World Champion.
- Kristen Feilberg, born in 1839 at Vester Vedsted near Ribe was an early Danish photographer who, from the 1860s, photographed the native peoples and landscapes of Sumatra, Singapore, and Penang.
- J. Bodewalt Lampe, American composer, arranger, performer and band leader of ragtime and syncopated dance music. With the exception of Scott Joplin, Lampe was possibly the most famous composer of ragtime songs of the early 20th century.
- Rued Langgaard romantic composer and organist, born 28 July 1893 in Copenhagen — died 10 July 1952 in Ribe.
- John Lauridsen football player. Played for Esbjerg fB, Espanyol and CD Malaga.
- Holger K. Nielsen former leader of the Socialist People's Party, was born in Ribe and graduated from Ribe Katedralskole in 1969.
- Jacob A. Riis, an American immigrant photographer famous for his book How the Other Half Lives, a pioneering work of photojournalism. He was also a longtime friend of Theodore Roosevelt.
- Maren Spliid (Splids) was burned at a fire at the Gallows Hill near Ribe on 9 November 1641. She was probably the most well known Danish victim for persecutions of witches.
- Hans Tausen, protagonist of the Danish Reformation was the Bishop of Ribe from 1542–1562.
Official Honorary Citizens
The following have been declared Honorary Citizens of Ribe: (By year)
- Stiftsfysikus J.J. Kiær (1911)
- Town Archivist C.N. Termansen (1934)
- Editor C. Willemoes (1946)
- Chairman of the Ny Carlsbergfondet, H. E .Nørregård-Nielsen (2005)
The town of Ribe has a long history as a center of learning. The cathedral school of Ribe Katedralskole has its roots in the Latin School of Ribe, dating back to at least 1145, when the bishop officially handed over the chapter's school. The school provided religious education of priests and clergymen up until 1805 and is nowadays a gymnasium (Danish high school). Ribe Katedralskole celebrated its 850th anniversary in 1995, and is the oldest continuously existing school in Scandinavia.
- Ribe Katedralskole. 
- The State College of Education in Ribe (Teacher Training College) , part of The University College of West Jutland 
- Ribe Business College.  (Danish)
- VUC (Adult Education Center). 
The following table shows the population of Ribe. Data from before the 18th century are estimates, the rest are taken from the official census.
Twin cities and towns
- Balleroy, Basse-Normandie, France
- Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
- Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.
- Krems, Lower Austria, Austria.
- Leikanger, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.
- Ratzeburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
- Strängnäs, Södermanland, Sweden.
- Tainan City, Taiwan.
- "BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areas" database from Statistics Denmark
- The New Cambridge Medieval History. 1995. Page 205
- "Ribes 1300 års jubilæum". ribe1300.dk (in Danish). Esbjerg Municipality. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Lisbeth Quass (24 July 2014). "Danskere var kristne længe før Harald Blåtand´" (in Danish). Berlingske.
- "Danskere var kristne længe før Harald Blåtand" (in Danish). Kristeligt Dagblad. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Medieval Sourcebook: Rimbert: Life of Anskar, the Apostle of the North, 801-865: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/anskar.asp
- Celebration site
- Tom Buk-Swienty. 2008
- C. Michael Hogan. 2009
- "Ribe Katedralskole" (in Danish). The Danish National Archives. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- C. Michael Hogan. 2009. European White Stork: Ciconia ciconia, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- The New Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-521-36292-X.
- Tom Buk-Swienty. 2008. The Other Half: The Life of Jacob Riis and the World of Immigrant America, 331 pages
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ancient See of Ribe". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. s:Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Ancient See of Ribe in Denmark (Jutland)
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