VisitVejle welcomes you to a city walk through the old part of Vejle.
Our starting point is VisitVejle (1), which is located by the station square Banegårdspladsen next to Vejle Trafikcenter (2), with rail and bus connections. On Banegårdspladsen you see artist Bjørn Nørgaard’s 8.5-meter tall granite monument with biblical reliefs.
Walk past VisitVejle, turn right and cross the street Dæmningen.
On your right you will see Økolariet (3), a unique science and experience centre where you can learn about nature, the environment, climate and energy.
Continue down Dæmningen to the left and turn right before you reach the small stream.
Here you will pass the Lido Biograferne cinemas (4), on your way to the Søndertorv square and the shopping centre Bryggen (5) with its rust-coloured facade. Søndertorv (6) and the bridge Sønderbro have been refurbished with new granite paving. Sønderbro dates back to 1804 and has been restored to its original design. The bridge has an inscription and a royal crown, just as it had when it was originally constructed.
From Søndertorv and Sønderbro you can enjoy a view to the town’s windmill, which was erected in 1890 on the old gallows hill. The mill is especially magnificent after sunset when it is illuminated. The mill served as a flourmill until 1960. Today, the original interiors are still intact and the mill is home to an exhibition under the auspices of VejleMuseerne that highlights the history of milling in the Vejle region.
Walk up to the pedestrian street and head left down Præstegyde and walk through the gate to the right of Den Smidtske Gård (7).
Commissioned by merchant A.I. Smidt, the old merchant’s house was constructed in 1799 by master builder Anders Christensen Kruuse and was designed by architect and sculptor Jens Hjernøe. The front house facing Søndergade is the oldest part. Note the inscription with the year of construction and the names of the merchant and his wife above the gate lintel. This building was their residential home with kitchen, utility and ironing room (front house and northern wing), grain storage, warehouse, coach entrance and stables for the clients’ horses.
From Den Smidtske Gård turn left and head down the pedestrian street to the Town Hall Square, Rådhustorvet (8).
On the corner of Kirkegade and the pedestrian street you see the former royal residence, Residensgården, where King Christian II would stay on occasion before he finally fled Denmark in the 1520s. Behind the royal residence you find Vejle’s old town hall, erected in 1878. This is Vejle’s fourth town hall. The first was located at Gammel Torv, which was a square by the Sct. Nikolai Church (22).
Walk around the old town hall to the right to reach the street Klostergade.
This street is named after an old cloister where only the eastern wing survived the Reformation. When the oldest town hall by Gammel Torv was raised to the ground by fire in 1530 the cloister became Vejle’s second town hall. The third town hall was built on the same site in 1780 and was subsequently replaced by the current Old Town Hall in 1878. The town hall also included the old prison (9) and Vejle’s old police station, which is now a café and activity house. Following the municipal reform in 1970 a whole new administrative building was constructed, which you will encounter later.
Continue down Klostergade and through the activity park Mariaparken (10).
In the activity park you can play everything from ballgames and hockey to badminton and you can go roller-skating. During winter, the park is transformed into an outdoor ice-skating rink.
Cross the street Flegborg and continue to the right.
On your left you can see the art museum Vejle Kunstmuseum (11), which with its 50 etchings by Rembrandt and with an extension designed by architect Kim Utzon is one of Vejle’s many highlights. Continue down the street until you reach the music theatre, Vejle Musikteater (12), which was inaugurated in 1992 and has established itself as part of the town’s cultural scene. In front of the theatre you see what is probably the only roundabout (13) in Denmark where pedestrians walk through the middle. The centrepiece fountain is made of steel and granite. In the evening, the many water jets of varied height are illuminated. Encircling the square are three tall lampposts, which help visually mediate the illuminated music theatre, city park and the newly renovated Flegborg street with the city’s pedestrian streets.
On the opposite corner you see the impressive mansion (14) commissioned in 1906 by industrialist C.M. Hess as his private residence. The mansion is the only remaining building of what was originally the C.M. Hess Iron Foundry, which from 1898 until its final closure in 1975 was situated where the current city park is located today. The C.M. Hess Iron Foundry was for many years one of the city’s largest and most important companies. Here they produced cookers and stoves of the finest quality. There was a saying at the time that while the men of Vejle worked for Hess, the women worked in the cotton industry. Naturally, things were not that simple, but it does say something about the importance of the foundry in the development of Vejle.
Walk around the music theatre to the left and continue into the city park, Byparken (15)
In the city park, Byparken, you can enjoy views of the many fountains and beautiful parkscapes. The town’s young consider the park the heart of the town. Here there are many open-air concerts and this is where they relax in the grass after school. Vejle’s fifth and current municipal administrative building is located straight ahead.
Walk through the city park past the municipal administration until you reach a roundabout. Cross it and continue down Nyboesgade.
A little further ahead you see a street on your right that leads to Spinderihallerne (16), which was originally a cotton mill founded in 1896. Vejle was a pioneering mill town and the nation’s undisputed centre of cotton spinning. The refurbished heritage mills are today a hub for creative minds and micro-enterprises. In 2013, the town’s heritage museum, Kulturmuseet, opened its doors in the complex. The museum relates five stories of Vejle’s past using new and engaging technology.
Turn right after Spinderihallerne and then left down Tønnesgade. Continue until you reach Vejle’s pedestrian street. Now turn left down Nørregade where you cross an arched footbridge.
The footbridge is the new crossing point between Nørregade and Nørretorv where Mølleåen, a previously covered stream, has now been exposed. The square Nørretorv (17) is adorned with inspiring sculptures by sculptor Morten Stræde, including a large water feature. Additionally, the square is dominated by a 16-meter cantilevered lamppost. Nørretorv was inaugurated in 2005 and establishes a link between the old pedestrian street and the new pedestrian street, Vestergade.
Head to the right down Dæmningen along the now exposed stream Mølleå (18).
Straddling the stream are eight iron bridges for pedestrians and cars. The railings are designed by different artists, one for each bridge. Half way down Dæmningen you reach Volmers Plads, a square facing the multi-storey car park Tróndur (19). The stair tower is designed as a large stained glass artwork by artist Tróndur Patursson from the Faroe Islands. Volmers Plads was inaugurated in 2008 as a public IT playground with different activities.
Continue down Dæmningen to Vissingsgade.
On the corner you find the Methodist church Sct. Pouls Kirke (20) with its characteristic dome.
Walk down Vissingsgade till you reach Vejle’s pedestrian area.
The pedestrian street is one of Denmark’s longest and most charming and is paved with Chinese granite. During the refurbishment of the pedestrian area in 1999-2001 an approx. 700-year-old cobbled road was discovered at a depth of around one meter below street level. The medieval cobblestones have been preserved in their original place and are visible in three illuminated glass showcases a bit further up the pedestrian street to the left. The pedestrian zone consists of the streets Søndergade, Torvegade and Nørregade, which are paved using 13 different specially designed paving stones that feature the text from the rune stones of the town of Jelling. The wavy lines in the pavement (a few meters to the left) between Torvegade and Nørregade represent the course of the town’s central waterway during medieval times. Torvegade started on one side of the line and Nørregade on the other, just as they do today.
Continue left down Torvegade.
Midway down Torvegade you see artist Pontus Kjerrman’s three-part sculpture Midgårdsbrønden, Englekatten, and Bænken (21).
Traverse the pedestrian crossing and continue left until you see the church Sct. Nikolai Church (22), erected in approx. 1250.
In the north wall of the church you see 23 holes placed at odd distances. Each hole contains a human skull, which is embedded so that you look through the neck hole into the skull. Nose and eyeholes face downwards. No one knows why these skulls – or indeed why there are exactly 23 of them – are located here. According to legend these are the sculls of 23 Polish robbers, who were captured in the woods in the 17th century and executed. Their skulls were embedded in the church wall as a vivid deterrent.
Continue around the church.
Here you find another of Vejle’s attractions, Torvehallerne (23). The market halls are today home to a tropical palm garden, restaurant, café, bar and hotel.
Return to Kirkegade and then turn right for a view of the inlet and the Vejle Bridge, which was inaugurated in 1980.
Cross the street Dæmningen and continue to the right across the station square, Banegårdspladsen.
You have now returned to your starting point. Here you may visit VisitVejle for further information. We hope you have enjoyed the trip through the old part of Vejle and wish you a pleasant stay in our town.
See you again in Vejle!