When we arrive, Aarhus surprises us with a beautiful panorama. The weather also fits: It's cool and sunny, only a few clouds can be seen in the sky. In the arrival area of the port, volunteers are waiting for us to answer questions, describe routes or recommend things to see. An exceptional service from the city of Aarhus.
Aarhus Panorama - Kollegiekontoret and cathedral
Aarhus is a welcoming city
Aarhus is made for a shore excursion on your own. The Azamara Journey is centrally located near the Dokk1. This is an architecturally striking multifunctional building that opened in 2015. On a total area of 28.000 m² there is, among other things, the largest library in Scandinavia, the citizen service, a hall for events and a café. The tourist information is also located in Dokk1. Since it doesn't open until 10:00am, let's take a look at the building beforehand. Inside we go over an inclined plane to the very top. From there we can overlook the harbor.
The royal yacht that we saw in Copenhagen is just arriving. We learn that Queen Margrethe (Margrethe II) is coming to the opening of the Aarhus Festival. We buy the Aarhus Card for our planned activities. It offers free access to public transport, including the hop-on hop-off bus, as well as to many museums and Attractions in Aarhus.
Old churches worth seeing
Our first destination is the area around the cathedral, the Aarhus Domkirke. That's not far from Dokk1. We cross the river Å, which meanders through Aarhus, look at the beautiful old half-timbered houses in Skolegade and reach Bispetorvet. On one side of this square is the theater, an Art Nouveau building with a beautiful painted facade, on the other side the cathedral.
The cathedral is 93 meters long and 93 meters high, making it the longest and tallest church in Denmark. More than 220 m² of the interior are painted with frescoes, most of which date from between 1470 and 1520. Until the Reformation in 1536, almost the entire church was painted with frescoes.
Frescoes in the Aarhus Domkirke
Not far away is the Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady or Marienkirche). There is something very special to see in Vor Frue Kirke. Under the choir of today's church is a complete crypt from the 11th century, probably the oldest stone church in Northern Europe. It dates back to 1060 and is a must see. It is impressive what the people in the 11th century achieved.
The Queen's summer residence
From here we take the hop-on hop-off bus to Marselisborg Castle. Bad choice, it turns out. The bus moves very slowly through the city, is uncomfortable and drives a fixed lap that doesn't necessarily correspond to our route. It takes a long time to get to Marselisborg Castle. It is located a little south of Aarhus in a spacious park and is the summer residence of the Queen and her family.
The castle is not open to the public. However, we can visit the park because the royal family is not present. It's a beautiful park with large lawns, sculptures and a view of the wide bay south of Aarhus.
An unusual bridge
We walk about a kilometer to the sea. The Uendelige Bro (infinite or endless bridge) was installed on Ballhage Strand in 2015. Since then, the 188 meter long, round wooden structure with a diameter of 66 meters has been erected every summer. It serves as a promenade, seating, meeting point and much more, and it is actually worth seeing.
We also walk a large part of the way back. A contemplative path leads near the water. For the last two kilometers we take the bus to Dokk1. A successful Aarhus tour: a lot of walking from Marselisborg but still nice. At one o'clock we are back on the Azamara Journey.
In the rainbow over Aarhus
In the afternoon we take the bus to the ARoS art museum. The construction is spectacular: the area is 52 by 52 meters, the height 43 meters; the exhibitions are spread over nine floors, which can be reached via a spiral staircase or the glazed elevator. The walk-in "Your rainbow panorama" by Olafur Eliasson is located on the roof terrace. From there you have a panoramic view of the city of Aarhus. The ARoS is also compared to Dante's Inferno: From hell it goes up to heaven and above is the rainbow.
Our next stop is the Den Gamle By open air museum (the old town). The village includes more than 75 buildings. Most are from the 16th and 17th centuries. Narrow cobblestone streets connect the buildings. You can also walk through the small town outside of the opening times, only the houses are closed in the evening.
The game by
The Å and the Åboulevard
Finally we go over the Åboulevard to the Azamara Journey. The Å flows through the middle of Aarhus, and the promenade on the Å is almost 1000 meters long. There are shops, bars, cafes and restaurants here. A number of events take place on Åboulevard during the Aarhus Festival. All of this fits in with the mild weather we have most of the day and we enjoy our walk.
On the boulevard
We liked Aarhus very much. It's a vibrant young city and there is a lot to see. Overall, a really good cruise destination.
Continue reading: Day 2 - Skagen