In the ancient times there was usually a royal castle of some sort outside the important towns around Denmark – the castle should represent the king’s interest in the town. As the different towns grew the old castle suddenly found themselves obsolete when the city broke through the ancient walls.
The castle were torn down and replaced by new developments. Of course there are some exceptions to this rule – like in Copenhagen where the old castle has been replaced by the current parliament of Denmark at the same location. Another exception to the rule is found at Ribe. The old castle has disappeared but the location of the castle is still preserved. On one side of the castle you got the old town of Ribe including the large famous cathedral which is one of the oldest churches in Denmark. On the other side of the old castle ruin you find the flat open landscape of the marsk found in the coastal area from the Netherlands through Germany and the Danish southern coastline up until a few kilometers north of Ribe.
There isn’t much left of the old castle – only a few rubles but the base for the old castle is preserved – or it is partly a reconstruction made in the 1940s. There has been a castle on this location at least since 1320 and there has been a castle in Ribe before this but it is unknown at which location.
The base of the castle was pretty big with a small island of 90 by 90 meters and surrounding this little island was a wide moat of about 30 meters making it very difficult to attack the castle. Even though there isn’t much to see of the castle it is still a nice little spot to go and have a look at the location to imagine just how big this fortress actually used to be once upon a time.
Outside the castle you find a statue of Queen Dagmar who was the wife of Valdemar II the Victorious. The reason to put the statue here is an old folksong which tells the story of how Dagmar got sick and died in Ribe in 1212. Except from the song there is no actual evidence to Dagmar actually dying in Ribe – but now she got a statue.
Today the old castle ground is a designated as a cultural heritage spot and must be preserved – the ground has also been in cooperated in the Vadehavet National Park which covers the tidal water area in the southern part of Denmark.