The Star Route i N R a n d e rs
The stars will show the way through the historical centre of Randers
The Star Route The Star Route will show the way to the good stories in the city centre and to places, which contribute to telling about the history and the exciting sights of Randers. In this brochure you can read about the various sights, that you will meet along the Star Route. What to do:
Follow the small brass stars, which are marked in the pavement and in the pedestrian streets. The numbers in the descriptions do not refer to a specific order, but are used to find the same place on the map on pages 16-17. The tour on foot is approx. 2.5 km long and is very suited for handicapped people. You can start and end where you wish. Have a good trip!
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Rådhustorvet is the central square of the town, and thus it often creates the setting for musical events and theatre and not the least for the cheering of the local sports heroes. The Danish builder Chr. Mørup designed the old town hall from 1778. Originally there was no need for a new town hall, but only for a restoration of the old town hall. Tenders were invited for the restoration, but after all these formalities the county governor nevertheless insisted that the restoration should be stopped, because he regarded it as useless and preferred a totally new building, and Chr. Mørup produced a sketch in only 6 days. It was approved by the mayor, and the building was started. Until 1930 the town hall was situated 3 metres further south. Because of the increased car traffic, it became necessary to make the approach roads wider. The town hall was lifted, and huge iron girders were placed under the house, so that it could be drawn by means of ropes. A granite angle in the pavement south of the building marks the former location of the house. Nowadays, the old town hall is used for council meetings, weddings and official receptions. The statue of the Danish nobleman Niels Ebbesen is situated in the square in front of the town hall. It was made by F.E. Ring and was revealed in 1882. The statue was casted by material from the canons of the warship Dannebrog. After the loss of South Jutland to the Germans in 1864, a wave of romantic nationalism swept across the country. The statue was designed in this style, and Ebbesen faces south to keep an eye on the Germans. Read the story about Den Kullede Greve (the bald count) and Niels Ebbesen on page 12.
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Sct. Clemens Gaard, Rådhustorvet 4
The building was erected by Københavns Handelsbank in 1905-06 and was designed by the Danish architect J.P. Jensen Værum. The style is a kind of Venetian Renaissance. The site was formerly used as a churchyard and as the fire pumps station of the town. On top of the building you can see the God of the sea, Neptune, the commercial God, Mercury and the God of the iron art, Vulcan as symbols of the most important trades of that time: shipping, commerce and industry. The name Sct. Clemens Gaard probably arose as a misunderstanding, as Saint Clement, the seafarers’ patron saint, was confused with Neptune. Today the building houses a lawyer’s office and VisitRanders.
You should also see:
The oldest house of the town, Paaskesønnernes Gaard, with a bay gable, is approx. from 1463, and it is one of the four known stone buildings from the medieval times. Stone buildings were rare, and consequently it attracted attention when the three merchants Anders, Peter and Niels Paaske built their large merchant´s house. Today only a part of the front building of the house is preserved, and it houses a Deli Café. From the northern end of the square you will enter what was the old Jewish quarter of Randers in the mid-1800s. At that time the Jewish congregation was the largest outside Copenhagen. Nygade 6 is one of the few high-timber framing buildings in Denmark with a high-post construction. The house, which is the oldest preserved half-timbered house of the town, has a complicated building history from the beginning of the 1500s until approx. 1760, and the latest renovation took place in the 1990s. The house was the most outlying building inside the ramparts in medieval Randers. Formerly Helenestræde was called Helvedesgyde, and it had the reputation of being the place, where the women of easy virtue could be found.
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Østervold og Den Jyske Hingst (Østervold and The Jutland Stallion)
Den Jyske Hingst (The Jutland Stallion) was created by the Danish sculptor Helen Schou, and it was erected in 1969 to commemorate the famous horse markets and the skilled breeding of Jutland horses, for which the region was famous. Together Did you know? with the Randers Dragoons, the large ... that King Christian III’s canal was horse markets and the horse breeding situated right where Østervold meets emphasized that Randers was the town Slotsgade? This is where the mill Slotsof the horses. Towards the end of the møllen, which got water from the canal, 1940s, the horse markets counted more was situated. The 5,4-km-long canal than 2.000 horses, but from the endran between the river Nørre Å at Fladbro 1950s the large market days in Randers and the western outskirts of Randers. It were over. Østervold marks approxi was made in 1553 to supply water to the mately where King Christian III built the ramparts around the medieval town and town ramparts in connection with his the castle Dronningborg Slot, and at the fortification of Randers in the 1550s. same time it supplied water to Slotsmøllen. In the 1950s this part of the town was redeveloped, and the large buildings and the approx. 500-metres-long and 42-metres-wide boulevard, which can be seen today, were constructed. In December 2006 the totally modernized Østervold was inaugurated. It has wall-to-wall granite coverage from China, lines of trees, new street furniture and an emphasized level difference. It goes from the north to the south, and today Østervold forms the setting of café life, concerts, markets and commerce. Besides Den Jyske Hingst, two modern works of art characterize this fantastic town space: Redfall and Fontæne, both featuring water as their theme. Ingvar Cronhammer has created both works of art. Redfall was inaugurated in the spring of 2002 to commemorate the 700-year market town jubilee of Randers. When the light and the water supply are in function, Ingvar Cronhammer’s Redfall is a really fascinating work of art. By means of window openings the artist has created a contrast between the white, almost sterile exterior building shell and the inner blood-red waterfall. Fontæne was inaugurated on September the 3rd 2009. The trickling water of the fountain runs down a high steel column and ends in a large, circular low-water basin of Italian granite. The light effects along the column and around the edge of the large circle challenges the ultra-red light in Redfall further down the street.
You should also see:
When you are standing with your back to the harbour facing Østervold, you can see Thors Bakke, which houses a modern cinema, restaurants, a fitness centre, a health house and a remaining building from the old brewery Thor Bryggerier.
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Underværket is an untraditional commercial and cultural house, which opened in 2000. This lively environment, where people meet irrespective of ethnic background, houses artisans, tradesmen and various associations, and in the wintertime a skating rink is established.
You should also see:
At Stemannsgade no. 11 and the square Jens Otto Krags Plads you can see a memorial plate for the Danish politician Jens Otto Krag, Danish prime minister from 1962-1968 and 1971-1972. If you need a break from the Star Route you can walk down Toldbodgade along the harbour to GAIA Museum Outsider Art. In pictures and experiences GAIA Museum shows art created by artists on the edge of social normality and outside the established world of art. This is a place with life, humour and unrestrained art, but it also has a gripping greatness and room for differences. GAIA Museum Outsider Art tells the stories, which would otherwise not be told.
Did you know?
... that Randers actually has Denmark’s oldest publically owned park, Tøjhus haven? It is situated only a stone’s throw away, and it was established in 18011802. ”Tøjhuset”, an arsenal, which was built to store artillery, was erected so beautifully, that according to public opinion it deserved equally beautiful surroundings. In addition, the citizens of the town obtained an area, where they could go for a walk – something that was missed in the town.
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Kulturhuset med Museum Ă˜stjylland (Kulturhuset - museum of cultural history)
Go on a cultural-historical journey through the exhibitions of the museum. The journey begins in prehistoric Randers and passes exciting finds from Randers and surrounds. You will meet the interactive runic stone, a sensuous and modern exhibition about medieval people and the development of Randers from a market town into an industrial town, and you will pass De Buhlske Stuer: A lawyerâ€™s home from the beginning of the 1900s with more than 300 works of art, including 48 Rembrandt etchings.
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Kulturhuset med Randers Kunstmuseum (Kulturhuset with Randers Museum of Art) Randers Museum of Art shows a comprehensive collection of the best Danish art from the end of the 1700s until today, among others L.A. Ring’s “Sommerdag, Roskilde Fjord” from 1900. The fellow-townsman Sven Dalsgaard is richly represented with varying examples from Denmark’s largest special collection of this multi-artist’s works. Among the attractions, for which the museum is especially famous, is Thóndur Patursson’s fantastic glass installation KOSMISK RUM, which opens “vertiginous precipices” under the visitor’s feet. Besides the two museums Kulturhuset houses a library, The Local History Archives, a Did you know? café and a lecture hall. A large wall relief by ... that Dytmærsken is probably named the Danish Cobra artist Asger Jorn decorates after merchants from Dithmarschen. the lobby. However, the name could also mean “a marsh land area”.
You should also see:
Asger Jorn made the large ceramic relief to the right of the entrance of Kulturhuset, in 1971 at the request of Statens Kunstfond, Randers Municipality and Randers Libray and museum building. Jorn preferred this location to the central wall of the entrance hall because he could better use the side light and thus present the relation between the interior and exterior. As he said, “I think that you should work in the corners”.
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The medieval monastery of the town, Gråbrødre Kloster, was situated in the square Slots pladsen. The monastery was taken over by the Crown in 1535. King Christian III turned it into the castle Dronningborg Slot, named after his queen, Dorothea. It was torn down in the beginning of the 1700s after having been owned by Peter von Spreckelsen from 1662. His chicken maid, Bodil Steens, quickly advanced to become his mistress and house keeper. She was an imperious and hot-tempered woman, who treated the servants very badly. Several times she attacked the maids, of which two so roughly, that they died later on. Bodil Steens was rightly charged with murder. During one of the cases a witness was found shot, but nothing could be proven, and Bodil Steens escaped punishment. In 1711 she was, however, sentenced for lese-majesty and ended her days in the fortress prison of Hammershus on Bornholm.
Did you know?
... that maybe the small bronze statue Randers-Madonna has belonged to the Gråbrødrekloster. It was found during a dredging of Randers Fjord in 1828. It most likely comes from France, and it has probably belonged to one of the monasteries of the town, perhaps as part of a golden alter. The original is now in the National Museum of Denmark, but a copy of the figure can be seen in Museum Østjylland, Randers. ... that Slotspladsen forms the setting for commerce, outdoor café environment and entertainment. The 13 white balls is Per Neble’s “Et Randers Spil”, which symbolizes the 13 main roads leading to Randers.
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In this cosy pedestrian street you can experience a mixture of old and new. Notice for instance Randers Handsker, which is a purveyor to the Court of Denmark and the only glove factory in Northern Europe. In the period from 1600 until approx. 1740 Randers Handsker was known all over Europe. It is said that the French Queen Marie Antoinette slept with gloves from Randers Handsker because they smelled so good. In this street the Danish writer and Nobel Prize winner Henrik Pontoppidan lived for a number of years. Besides being a novel writer, he also made Randers famous with his descriptions of the town. The beautiful half-timbered house from 1592, Englehuset, no. 24-26, is an example of the large merchant’s houses in Randers. Here the successful merchant and tradesman Niels Brock Did you know? was born and traded in association with his ... that the medieval church Skt. father for a short period of time. No. 25 named Clemens Kirke was situated in Tårngade? Niels Christensens Gård from 1663 is another Today it is a clothes shop, but from beautiful example of the half-timbered houses approx. 1160-1540 the church Skt. in Randers from this period. The last large Clemens Kirke was situated here. The renovation was completed in 1993. church was torn down, but the tower remained, and Tårngade (Tower Street) is named after it. The tower burnt in 1671 and was torn down in 1724-36. In 1963 a new church was named after Skt. Clemens – it is situated in Vestparken with a beautiful view of the park and the river Gudenåen.
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Niels Ebbesens Hus
The house was built by the merchant and alderman Jens Jensen. It is the largest preserved half-timbered house in three floors in Randers, and it is from 1643. According to the myth this was the house, where the hero of the town Niels Ebbesen killed Count Gert in 1340. Jutland was pawned to the Holstein Count Gert. He had occupied most of Jutland and had settled in Randers with 4000 men. The Jutland squires rebelled against Count Gert. Among them was Niels Ebbesen, who collected a group of men and rode into Randers. Here they sought out Count Gert, and Niels Ebbesen killed him. Did you know? According to the legend the squire ... that the house Lille Rosengård, after which the Svend Trøst was afraid of entering street is named, now is situated in the open-air the town to kill the count. He museum Den Gamle By in Aarhus? In the 1600s loosened the planks of the bridge modest rows of houses for small artisans and Randers Bro, so that they could workers were built around Østergrave – the be tipped into the river. Thus the so-called farmer’s rows. In the eastern end of pursuers could not reach Niels Vestergrave a remaining part of such a building Ebbesen. can still be seen: Store Rosengård (renovated in Moreover, it is said that the 1996). Originally the building also comwindow on the second floor must prised Lille Rosengård (a gable wing of Store always stay open, so that the spirit Rosengård). In Lille Rosengård people from the of Count Gert can get out. If the lowest social classes were lodgers. The house window is closed, it is certain that was built in Vestergrave on the corner of the all sorts of bad luck will rain down street, which today is called Lille Rosengård. In on Randers! 1931 Lille Rosengård was moved to Den Gamle By in Aarhus, where it is exhibited with a candle foundry, a soap boiler’s workshop, a shoemaker’s workshop, a cooper’s workshop and a carver’s workshop.
You should also see:
The beautiful old merchant’s houses in Storegade are true oases with charming back yard environments. You should especially note no. 11 and 13. The many restaurants and bars of the street invites to a well-deserved break on the tour. A beautiful old half-timbered house from 1649 is situated obliquely opposite in Vestergrave no. 48. You should note the gateway and relief on the gable. Store Rosengård from the 1600s is situated in Vestergrave no. 42. At that time 2 families lived in the house.
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Håndværksmuseet Kejsergården (crafts museum) is housed in the old warehouse of the liquor factories. The museum has more than 20 workshops, which are manned with craftsmen, who willingly tell about the manual work.
You should also see:
From here you can also see the 4-metre-high ceramic relief made by the Danish artist Peter Carlsen in 2002 on the gable of the administration building of Randers Munici pality. Like Venus arising from the waves, Peter Carlsen’s naked back-turned woman rises from the water of the river Gudenå with three leaping salmons around her - the symbol of Randers. The myth about the Roman goddess Venus has been transferred to a local context – Randers – and turned into the history about a beautiful Randers girl, perhaps with an ironical smile on the lip. To the east on the island Paradisøen in the Gudenå you can see the recreated work “Pigen i Gudenåen” (the Girl in the Gudenå), originally made by the Danish sculptor Sven Dalsgaard. In connection with the 100-year-anniversary of the artist in 2014, students from Tradium recreated the controversial sculpture in steel. Where the Gudenå falls into Randers Fjord the town Randers was created all the way back in the Viking Age. It is known that from around 1086 coins were minted here with Knud Den Hellige’s (sacred) name. Randers was called Randaros at that time. “Ran” means “cliff/slope” and “aros” means “at the mouth of the river”. The Star Route | Page 13
Randers is called the town of salmon, because the population of salmon and the waters of the Gudenå have played a decisive role for the development of the town. The administration building of Randers Municipality has been situated here on the square since 1980. “Det lille r” (The little r) by Børge Jørgensen is the first stage of a large town gate project, which the town initiated in the beginning of the 1990s. Each of the 13 ancient main roads into Randers is to be marked by a town gate in the form of a large work of art. Five of these have been completed Did you know? to date: “Det lille r” by Børge ... that you can actually fish right in the middle Jørgensen, Jens Flemming of the town? The Gudenå and Randers Fjord Sørensen’s installation in offer a fantastic varied fish life. The Gudenå has Østergade, Bjørn Nørgård’s been selected as one of the 10 best salmon “Kapel til nutiden” in Adelwaters in Europe. The long transition from gade, Ingvar Cronhammar’s freshwater into salt water provides good living “Redfall” and Sven Dalsgaard’s conditions for the many species, which live “De 3 søjler”. here. There are salmon, sea-trout, zander, pike, perch, non-predatory fish, grey mullet, flat fish and many other species. Remember that you can buy a fishing license online. Read more on our home page www.visitranders.com.
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Randers Regnskov, Vorup Enge og Gudenåen (Randers Rain Forest, Vorup Meadows and the Gudenå)
Randers Rain Forest is characterised by the three giant domes each conDid you know? taining a continents rain forest. 250 ... that bisons live in Vorup M eadows? In the species of animals and 450 species summer half of the year you can experience of plants represents the rain forests grazing species of domestic a nimals, which in South America, Asia and Africa are part of a preservation p roject supported respectively. A visit to Randers Rain for instance by Randers Regnskov, with Forest is a lifelike experience with high the purpose of securing the future of these temperatures and a high humidity. species. If you wish to go all the way around Note the feeding times, when you Vorup Enge, ending at the rain forest, you can can get real close to the animals. Then use the walking bridge, which has been made you can learn about the diet of the in connection with the E45 car bridge across sea cow, about the Cuba crocodiles the Gudenå valley. Go on a picnic and enjoy – which are actually descendants of the scenery in Vorup Meadows in the pavilion Fidel Castro’s crocodile gift to Boris with a bench. From the two bird towers the Jeltsin – or about the diligent life of various species of birds can be seen. the ants. Kraniegrotten (The Scull grotto) and tree-top walking under the domes give you a shiver and knowledge about the world of the animals and plants.
You should also see:
From Justesens Plæne (Justesen’s lawn) at Randers Regnskov there is access to the old towpath “Pramdragerstien” along the Gudenå to Vorup Enge. The meadows were recreated as wetlands in 2003. Originally, the barge service had its starting point here. The traditional Gudenå ship was a flat bottomed barge, also called a “kåg”. The navigation, however, was difficult due to the low depths of water at certain places. In the late 1700s a dredging of the river was started, and later on a towpath was constructed along the river. Downwards the barges could slide with the current on the Gudenå, but upwards they had to be drawn by horses or bargemen. These bargemen were strong and tough fellows. The barge service had its primetime in the 1800s, when grain, timber, bricks, coal and especially paper from the paper factories of Silkeborg were freighted. In 1918 the power works at Tange was built at the place, where Energimuseet (Museum of Energy) is situated now. The dam hindered free access, and this meant the deathblow to the barge service.
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Map of the Star Route
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Randers Regnskov Vorup Enge
1. Rådhustorvet (Town Hall Square)
7. Niels Ebbesen’s House
Randers Kunstmusem and Randers Library
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12. Sct. Mortens Church 13. Torvegade
10. Randers Rain Forest 11. Randers Monastery
Kort: Randers Kommune
1 : 5.000
1 : 5.000
Further information, booking and sale:
VisitRanders, Rådhustorvet 4, 8900 Randers C
+45 86424477, www.visitranders.com The Star Route | Page 17
When the monasteries were closed down in connection with the Reformation in 1536, nobody could take care of the sick and poor. Therefore King Christian III built the hospital in 1558. The present buildings are from 1868. Note the inscription above the main entrance: “Hvad der saas I Kjærlighed vil blive høstet i Glæde”( ”What is sawn in love will be harvested in joy”) 1558-1899. The building complex Randers Kloster (monastery) now houses dwellings for old people, a care centre and Randers Klosterkirke (church) with a churchyard.
Did you know:
... that you can go for a walk in the churchyard of Randers Kloster? The churchyard is situated on the corner of Vestervold. It is a small private churchyard, and therefore you must have a relation to the monastery in order to be buried here. There is public access through the gate from Blegdammen.
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Sct. Mortens Kirke
The church is a gothic market town church from the end of the 1400s, and it is extremely beautiful. The large size of the church is due to the fact that it was located in a large and rich market town and at the same time closely connected to the near-by monastery HelligĂĽndskloster (convent of the Holy Spirit). The interior of the church is characterized by many carved works and tablets in memory of the great merchants of the town. Inside the church there is, moreover, a modern altarpiece by the Danish artist Per Kirkeby. The altarpiece was inaugurated in 2004, and it represents Good Friday in the Garden of Gethsemane. The onion-shaped tower was not built until 1797. The beautiful tones of the carillon can often be heard in connection with the weekly market on the square around the church and at Christmas time. The church is open to visitors in the daytime.
Did you know?
... that many names have been inscribed on the walls of Sct. Mortens Kirke (on the south side â€“ to the right of the entrance)? Formerly people were buried inside the church, but in 1805 it became prohibited by the law. Therefore it was second best to be buried as close to the church as possible. The churchyard was located around Sct. Mortens Kirke, and therefore you can see the inscriptions of names on the walls â€“they are namely a kind of tombstones.
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In the morning of June 4 2015 a fire broke out in the room wing of the hotel. The damages were considerable, and the rooms of the hotel will be under renovation until fall 2016. Architect Jens Andrew Baumann is in charge of the renovation. He has for instance also been in charge of the renovation of the crown prince coupleâ€™s palace in Amalienborg. The restaurant and cafĂŠ have been in full operation right since the day after the fire.
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Opposite Torvegade in Middelgade 2 you will see the old prefect’s residence, which was built in classicistic style in 1802. Late in 1700s there was a boom in the town, and the look of the town changed because of the many new houses. In 1847 the building was taken over by Svaneapoteket (Swan Pharmacy) – hence the swan symbols. However, it closed in 2004. Opposite the building you will see a circle, which indicates that there has been a well. It is mentioned in the sources: “The town has a spring, of which Buur beer is being brewed, and the town is just as famous for this beer as it is for the Randers salmon”. Horse markets were held in the streets of the town from Nørregade across the town Did you know? hall square through Torvegade to Middelgade, ... that Hotel Randers has played a where the horses stood close to each other. A role in the resistance? Arms were horse dealer earned so much money that he found in the wall panels during a could cover the town hall square with notes – placed edgeways of course! There was such large renovation of Hotel Randers a noise that the Danish writer H. C. Andersen in the 1970s. These can be traced wrote about it in the guest book of Hotel back to the famous resistance group Randers: “It was a hell of a night, it was as if I Hvidsten Gruppen. was in a steam bath, a baby cried close by, and in the hallway Jutland horse dealers walked with heavy boots”. In spite of this, kings and queens have often stayed in the hotel. Hotel Randers is something very special both for gourmets and for people, who are interested in art. The à la carte restaurant has been decorated by Jean René Gauguin in faultless Art Deco style, and the ultra-modern brasserie has been furnished by the very best architects of the present time within the café world. King Christian X stayed in Torvegade no. 21, while he was a dragoon in the barracks. In the passage at Løveapoteket (pharmacy) you can see an especially beautiful gateway, which originates from one of the many large merchants’ farms from the end of the 1500s.
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The building of Helligåndshuset started in approx. 1434 as a monastery for the Helligånds ordenen (the Holy Order), of which the church Sct. Mortens Kirke should be a monastery church. When the order was dissolved after the Reformation, the house was allowed to remain. Late in the 1800s there were serious plans to demolish the house, but instead it was renovated according to the Danish architect Hack Kampmann’s directions. Since then it became a library, a tourist office and today an exhibition and meeting house. Moreover, it has for instance housed a grammar school from 1783 until 1858. Among others the Danish writer Steen Steensen Blicher has been a teacher here, and his bust can be seen in front of the house. Next to it, the Danish writer Henrik Pontoppidan’s bust reminds us that the Nobel Prize winner lived in Randers, when he was a boy and a young man as a son in a family of vicars, who lived in Brødregade. The novel “Lykke-Per”(Lucky Per) contributed to securing Pontoppidan the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917.
You should also see:
Opposite Helligåndshuset, above the gate to Erik Menveds Gård you can see Bela´s bronze statue of King Erik Menved, who gave the town its market town charter in 1302. The sculpture shows the 28-year-old king with the charter in one hand and the sword in the other – ready to defend himself and the rights, that he had given to Randers. In order to get support from the large towns in Denmark the king gave them privileges. In March 1302 King Erik Menved stayed in Viborg, and a group of merchants of the town went to see him. On March 8 1302 the king handed over the document to them, which exempted the Randers merchants from customs everywhere in the kingdom except in Skanør market. Nine years later the privileges were renewed, and at the same time the town got its own town court.
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The development of the town of Randers is primarily due to commercial activities. In fact, Randers got the first pedestrian street in Denmark. More than 50 years ago visionary merchants realized that it gave new possibilities for the trade and the life in the town. The word Houmeden is derived from “homej”, which means entrenchment in front a gate of a fortress. The statue Konen med Æggene (The woman with the eggs) symbolizes the historical trade with agricultural products, which took place in Erik Menveds Plads. The approx. 2,5-metrehigh bronze statue is the Danish sculptor Ane Brügger’s first large sculpture.
Did you know?
... that you can see an exhibition of stove doors at Store Voldgade (in the yard with entrance through the gate)? In the house Store Voldgade no. 6 Knud Christensen ran a branch of Vejle Støbegods, and it is said that he hid illegal weapons on his property during World War II. He also collected cast iron plates from ovens from the farms and manors of the area. The plates were produced in Norway and in Germany in the 1700s and 1800s, and some of them are exhibited here, where they must remain by registered declaration.
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The historical roots of Randers Prehistoric time
Already during the last interglacial period the region was visited by a small group of itinerant hunters, who are known from some of the deer bones, which were found at the village Hollerup near Langå. The name Randers comes from Randaros, which means a hillcrest at a river. Here a ford – and later a bridge – made it possible to cross the river. At an early time, a commercial centre arose at this place, where the ancient Oxen Road could cross the large river. Runic stones from the Viking Age bear witness to the roads from the north and south. The old legend about the girl Else from the spring of the Gudenå, who was abducted by the demigod Guddar, tells about the great importance of the Gudenå and explains the name of the river. The Viking Age
The Viking Age also left its traces. Most significant are the traces of village formations north of the town and at Kjølvejen in Hornbæk and also the find of a Viking Age sword in the Gudenå. An important find from one of the first Christian wooden churches of this period is the Hørning-plank. King Canute the Holy is known from the oldest historical sources of the town, because a coin with his name was minted here in 1086, just as the Icelandic Knýtlinge saga mentions the meeting in Randers, where the plan was conceived to kill him, which happened later on in the St. Albani Church in Odense.
The Middle Ages
The medieval town was characterized by three large monastery buildings: the Benedictine nunnery Vor Frue at the northern outskirts, the Franciscans’ monastery Gråbrødrekloster at the eastern outskirts of the town and the Order of the Holy Ghost’s monastery at the monastery church Sct. Mortens Kirke to the west. These institutions were large land owners both in the town and in the rural areas. The monasteries were connected with the whole of Europe, especially with the Pope in Rome. In the countryside Essenbæk Monastery was established to the east and Glenstrup Monastery to the north. More monasteries are known along Gudenåen. Page 24 | The Star Route
Foto: Randers Stadsarkiv
In 1302 Randers got its market town charter issued by King Erik Menved. These privileges gave the merchants good possibilities of trading all over the country, and thus this group of the population obtained great economic and political power in Randers. Before this was totally accomplished, it is necessary to mention some important events in the history of the town. In 1340 in the night of April 1st the squire Niels Ebbesen entered the town with a group of his men and killed the bald count Gert III of Holstein. This event was of paramount importance. Subsequently, King Valdemar Atterdag succeeded in uniting the country again, and for posterity Niels Ebbesen came to be one of the most important symbols of the Danish nationality. The Reformation
Great changes happened in Randers at the time of the Reformation in 1536. King Christian III took over the control of the land and properties of the monasteries, and he thanked the citizens of Randers for helping him to beat off Skipper Clement’s peasant army by fortifying the town with a moat and walls. The monastery Gråbrødreklosteret was transformed into the castle Dronningborg Slot, in which the king’s vassal should live.
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The commercial life in the 1600s
Commerce thrived, and in the 1600s the great merchants set the agenda both in the town and in the countryside. Fat oxen grazed in the meadow areas at the fjord and river, the merchants lent money to the Crown and earned good interest. However, the development was curbed by Swedish and German occupation troops, who taxed the town heavily, but in spite of this Randers experiences great wealth, which can be seen in the well-kept halftimbered farms from this period. Wealth in the 1700s
The nobility collected large properties in the best rural areas of the peninsular of Djursland. The Rosenkrantz family from the castle Rosenholm had power in the Council of the State, the Brok family and later on the Skeel family collected property around the castle Gl. Estrup, and likewise the castle Clausholm became a large manor. To the north and west the Skeel and Plessen families owned the manor Fussingø, and west of Langå the manor Ulstrup was situated. Late in the 1700s Randers experienced a boom. The famous mayor Carøe took the initiative to dredge the channel of the fjord, and large shipping companies were founded and navigated the oceans. The dragoon regiment arrived. The town hall, the tower of the church Sct. Mortens Kirke and the beautiful prefect’s residence in Middelgade no. 2 became the visible signs of this period of wealth.
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The Napoleonic wars and the national bankruptcy
The Napoleonic wars and the national bankruptcy set the development of the town in low gear. In the 1800s the grain sale period ended, so that the farmers had to reconvert to animal production. Large plans about transportation along the Gudenå had resulted in a growing barge service as the so-called “kåge” sailed grain and farm products out from the hinterland, and merchants sent the necessary products in the opposite direction. However, the railway superseded the barge service, which ended totally in the course of the century. The industrialization
The industrialization started with the creation of several small companies, which soon grew big. A gasworks, a waterworks and gradually also a power station saw the light of the day. The largest breakthrough was the building of the railway from Aarhus to Randers in 1862. In the wake of the railway came the railway factory Scandia, a rope-making company and other companies, and they changed the town into an industrial town, in which new factory workers’ quarters sprang up. The peasants continued going to “Rais”, and they sold their products to the large merchants’ farms. Here they also shopped and chatted with the grocer over a glass of aquavit in the taproom in order to hear the latest news. The creation of a savings bank, private railways to Hadsund and Djursland and newspaper companies changed the way of living. Merchants and the middle classes still had the political and economic power, but the working classes claimed their part. In the 20th century the social democratic party and the workers’ unions became a source of power in the political life. The German occupation during World War II was of great significance in the town and surrounds. The efforts of the resistance group Hvidsten Gruppen and the sabotage of the railway bridge at Langå are remembered with respect. The streets of the old medieval town were narrow, and the entry of the cars meant great changes. In 1930 the town hall was moved to create more space. During the 1950s the largest reconstruction plan in the country so far was carried through. A whole new part of town, Østervold, came into life during the 1960s with a wide street and parking lots. The cattle show Det Jyske Ungskue had to give way to new blocks rehousing the people of the quarter, which was ready for slum clearance. Many inhabitants thought that the centre of the town was ruined. In 1970 the surrounding municipalities joined forces with Randers, a totally new plan for the development of the town saw the light of the day, and the new shopping centre was built at Paderup. Many politicians did not want to change the medieval centre of the town, and they also created green areas with paths along the Gudenå. In 2007 a large part of the surrounding villages and the town melted into one municipality.
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Inspiration for more
- Explore all of Randers and Kronjylland With its 700 years of existence as a market town, Randers is the main town of Kronjylland. As the name tells in Danish, Kronjylland is filled with beautiful castles and manors, which for centuries belonged to the Crown. They were built here, because the area was beautiful and the soil was very fertile. For centuries, this has been an area of a rich culture, which today offers the visitor many good nature and cultural experiences. Here only the stars of nature or your GPS will guide you. Suggestions for tours in Randers and surrounds can be found on www.visitranders. com. Many new star experiences both in the scenery, for instance along the Gudenå, at Randers Fjord and Fussingø, and cultural experiences, for instance castles and manors, art galleries, attractions, inns, beautiful villages, etc. await the visitor. Here are a few suggestions for attractions, which you absolutely must not miss: Randers Regnskov – Experiences for everybody all year round
The rain forest Randers Regnskov is a true sensory bombardment in the form of nature and animal experiences. In the tropical climate, with lianas, huge waterfalls, fantastic plants and lots of free-living animals, you feel as if you are in another world, which can normally only be reached after many hours of flying. Water & Wellness – The new subtropical water park in Randers
Here you can experience one of Denmark’s most modern water parks, which is also suited for handicapped people. With its 6.700 square metres the water park contains: a large entertainment area, baby and children’s swimming pool, outdoor and hot water pools as well as lazy river and water slides. In short: lots of space for fun and relaxation for the whole family.
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Memphis Mansion – Event house inspired by Elvis’ home “Graceland”
The house is a tribute to the King of Rock’n’Roll, and the exterior close to identical to Graceland in Memphis. In the house you will find an American Diner, an Elvis Museum & Shop and party rooms. The Elvis Museum has one of the largest private collections of original Elvis exhibits in the world. Værket – Music and theater house
Shows, concerts, films and conferences. Værket is the cultural power centre in Randers and Kronjylland with more than 100,000 guests and 400 arrangements a year. 11,000 m² historical buildings from 1880 and 1906 create an attractive setting for important cultural events. Randers Storcenter – Denmark’s cosiest shopping centre
Experience 58 specialist shops, a large Kvickly and 1800 free parking lots. When visiting Randers Storcenter you can be sure of getting a good shopping experience with a serviceminded staff and a relaxing atmosphere – all year round. In the cosy pedestrian streets you will find many exciting and all-round shops. Fussingø Slot – Castle, woods and lake
The castle, which is from the latter half of the 1700s, is beautifully situated in the wood Fussingø Skov and close to the lake Fussingø Sø, where there is a bathing jetty. The manor is open to the public in connection with exhibitions and special arrangements. The wood is used very much for recreational purposes with a system of paths, a mountain bike track, riding paths, etc.
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Randers EgnsTeater – Denmarsk largest regional theatre
Here are lots of activity and a broad repertoire for children and adults. The theatre is a central part of the cultural life of the city. Kyst- og fjordcentret – Nature and outdoor life for everybody
The centre is situated at the ferry crossing Voer-Mellerup. Here you can play and get wiser on nature and all its possibilities. Rental of skiffs and canoes, fishing, waders tours in the fjord, rip-boat and dining and sleeping facilities. Djurs Sommerland – the largest summer land in the North
Are you ready for speed, excitement and play for the whole family? Look forward to 8 fantastic theme lands, Denmark’s largest rollercoasters, the huge water land, funny play areas and more than 60 entertainments for both children and grownups. Experience for yourself why the park was chosen as the best summer land in the North in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The tow path from Randers Bridge to Fladbro Kro
- is a tramping path, which was created in connection with the barge service on the Gudenå. The barges were drawn either by horses or by the bargemen, and they could be loaded with up to 35 tons of goods. The path along the Gudenå goes through the wetlands Vorup, Væth and Hornbæk meadows, under the motorway bridge and further on to Fladbro and Langå. From here to Silkeborg the path can sometimes be flooded by water or go through fields.
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The pilot’s path from Randers Harbour to the Kattegat
- has, as the name indicates, been trampled by pilots on their way to the Kattegat to pilot ships to Randers Harbour – or the opposite way. The path follows the fjord – at certain places it leads up into the countryside and changes course at the location of the Mellerup-Voer ferry. Naturpark Randers Fjord
Randers is situated where the Gudenå falls into the Randers Fjord, which stretches out to the Kattegat. A stretch of approx. 40 km offers great variation in nature and in the experiences all year round. Randers Naturcenter
The nature centre offers an inspiring setting for presenting nature experiences, outdoor life, learning and recreation in the environment around the Gudenå and the surrounding scenery.
Facts about Randers Municipality
No. of inhabitants (1.1.2016): 97.000 Area: 800 km2 Coastal line: Approx. 70 km (the Kattegat, Randers Fjord and the Gudenå). Market town privileges: In year 1302 by King Erik Menved. Municipal government/ town council: At the time of the municipality amalgamation in 2007 Randers Municipality was formed by a fusion of Purhus, Nørhald and Randers plus parts of Mariager and Sønderhald. The town council has 31 members.
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Nature areas and historical paths
• Vorup Enge • Gudenåparken • Pramdragerstien (Randers – Silkeborg) • Lodsstien (Randers – Udbyhøj) • Naturpark Randers Fjord Read more on www.visitranders.com Guided tours
Can be arranged by VisitRanders. Contact us for more information, prices and booking. Booking must be made in advance. Useful links
www.visitranders.com www.gamlehuse.dk www.museumoj.randers.dk www.naturcenter.randers.dk www.regnskoven.dk www.randerscity.dk www.randers.dk www.detsker.dk www.undervaerket.dk www.memphismansion.dk www.randerskunstmuseum.dk Events in Randers
There are always a lot of events going on in Randers during the year. Have a look at www.visitranders.com or ask at the tourist office, Rådhustorvet 4, 8900 Randers C.