—  Town  —
The main street of Ribe

Ribe is located in Denmark
Location in Denmark
Coordinates: 55°19′42.15″N 8°45′43.84″E / 55.328375°N 8.7621778°E / 55.328375; 8.7621778Coordinates: 55°19′42.15″N 8°45′43.84″E / 55.328375°N 8.7621778°E / 55.328375; 8.7621778
Country  Denmark
Region Region of Southern Denmark
Municipality Esbjerg Municipality
Population (2011)
 – Total 8,192
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6760
Website http://www.ribe.dk/

Ribe (German: Ripen), the oldest extant Danish town, is in southwest Jutland and has a population of 8,192 (1 January 2011).[1] Until 1 January 2007, it was the seat of both the surrounding municipality, and county. Ribe is now part of the enlarged Esbjerg Municipality in the Region of Southern Denmark.



Established in the first decade of the 8th century[2] and first attested in a document dated 854 AD; Ribe is the oldest town in Denmark.

When Ansgar the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, set out on the "Mission to bring Christianity to the North", he made a request in 860, to the King 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.

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.
  • 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[3]

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[4] 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.[5]

The following list some of the specific town features:

Ribe Cathedral

Notable people

  • 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.
  • 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.
City hall.

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 education, namely the Gymnasium (High School) called Ribe Katedralskole (cathedral school) has its roots in the Latin School of Ribe, dating back to at least 1145. Although confirmed to be older, this is the date for the oldest still existing document that confirms the school’s existence. Ribe Katedralskole is more than 850 years old, and is the oldest continuously existing school in Scandinavia.



The following table shows the population of Ribe. Data from before the 18th century are estimates, the rest are taken from the official census.

Year Population
1500 ~5,000
1591 ~4,500
1641 ~3,500
1672 ~2,000
Year Population
1769 1,827
1801 1,994
1850 2,984
1901 4,243
Year Population
1976 7,452
1981 7,646
1986 7,709
1990 7,636
Year Population
1996 8,105
2000 7,984
2001 8,031
2002 8,033
Year Population
2003 8,006
2004 7,990
2006 8,081


Dancake has a factory in Ribe.

Twin cities and towns

Ribe Stork

(alphabetic list)


  1. ^ BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areas database from Statistics Denmark
  2. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History. 1995. Page 205
  3. ^ Celebration site
  4. ^ Tom Buk-Swienty. 2008
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Ribe — (Ripen), dän. Amt, den südwestlichen Teil Jütlands umfassend, 3058,7 qkm (55,6 QM.) groß mit (1906) 103,143 Einw. Die gleichnamige Hauptstadt liegt 6 km von der Nordsee an der Ribe Aa und an der Eisenbahn Bramminge Vedsted, ist Sitz eines… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ribe-Aa — Ribe Aa, Fluß in Jütland, entsteht 11 km östlich von der Stadt Ribe aus zwei Quellflüssen, durchströmt in der Nähe von Ribe einen kleinen See, bildet mehrere Inseln und mündet in die Nordsee. Die Mündung ist aber versandet und durch den Kanal von …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ribe — er en dansk by placeret i Jylland. Danmarks ældste rådhus ligger på von Støckens Plads i Ribe. Det kan dateres tilbage til 1496. I 1709 blev ejendommen købt af byen til rådhus. Den 11 12. oktober 1634 steg vandet i Ribe med 6,1 meter. Byen har… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Ribe — (Ripen), Hauptstadt des dän. Amtes R. (3033 qkm, 1901: 95.682 E.), auf der Halbinsel Jütland, an der Ribe Aa, 6 km von der Nordsee, 4243 E., Kathedrale (12. Jahrh.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Ribe — Ribe, Rippen, das südlichste Stift von Jütland, 1691/2 QM. groß mit 162000 E.; die gleichnamige Hauptstadt hat 2700 E …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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