New museum experiences all over Denmark

Photo: Roland Halbe

Within the next years, a number of both new promising and well-known museums open and reopen with new, inspiring exhibitions and locations that set the stage for even better museum experiences in Denmark.  

New extension at Ordrupgaard. 

Home to one of the world’s finest private collections of French Impressionism, Ordrupgaard is set to re-open in late 2020 following extensive refurbishment and the addition of a new underground extension designed by Norwegian architectural practice Snøhetta – creators of the Opera House in Oslo and the Bibliotheca Alexandria in Egypt.

In the meanwhile, visitors can explore the museum Art Playground with kid-friendly art installations such as the climbable bamboo labyrinth (Geometry of Innocence) by US artists Doug & Mike, a hop-through mist ring by Olafur Eliasson and a treetop teahouse (Tea Tree House) by Japanese artist Terunobu Fujimori.

Adjacent to the museum, the private home of legendary Danish furniture designer Finn Juhl will remain closed until the reopening of Ordrupgaard.

The extension is expected to by finished in late 2020. Find more information here.  

Museum of Copenhagen relocates.

Dedicated to the history and life of the Danish capital, the Museum of Copenhagen is set to reopen following two years of closure.

The museum has been relocated to a 19th century edifice on Vester Voldgade, a street leading from the City Hall Square past the National Museum of Denmark to the waterfront Danish Architecture Centre (at BLOX). 

Among the highlight exhibits at the Museum of Copenhagen will be a DKK 14 million interactive digital model of the city that allows visitors to travel through time and discover how Copenhagen has expanded and evolved.

In addition to permanent chronological and geographical collections, the museum will also feature galleries with changing exhibitions. The first such exhibition will highlight turn-of-the-century Copenhagen streetscape painter Paul Fisher.

The museum is expected to open on 7 February 2020. Find more information here.

Københavns Museum

Photo:Københavns Museum

Reconstruction of the Museum of Danish Resistance.

Following a devastating fire in 2013, the Museum of Danish Resistance is set to reopen on 5 May 2020 in a new, predominantly underground museum designed by Danish architectural practice Lundgaard & Tranberg, designers of the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen and the new UNESCO Wadden Sea visitors centre in South Jutland.

The museum is dedicated to the story of the Danish Resistance Movement under WWII and the German Occupation of Denmark (1940-45). Most of the original collections were salvaged from the museum before it was destroyed by fire.  

The museum will be located on its original site in Churchillparken, a leafy park by the citadel, Kastellet. The underground design of the museum is intended to instil a bunker-style sense of gravity and drama as visitors descend into the wartime collections.

The Museum of Danish Resistance is expected to reopen 5 May 2020. Find more information here

Lejre Land of Legends – Denmark’s largest Viking longhouse.

Lejre Land of Legends is an open-air museum with reconstructed Iron-Age and Viking-Age settlements. Located in the Skjoldungelandet National Park close to Roskilde, the museum is currently building Denmark’s largest Viking longhouse (or mead hall) using original construction methods.

Visitors to the open-air museum can follow archaeologist artisans as they reconstruct the longhouse, which is a true copy of an original such building found only 3 kilometres from the site in 2009. The 600 m2 hall reaches an internal height of 10 metres and a length of 60 metres.

The Viking longhouse will be part of the reconstructed Viking settlement in the Land of Legends that features hands-on learning and fun family activities throughout the summer season.

The museum is set to be completed in 2019 but currently open to visitors. Find more information here.




Photo:Sagnlandet Lejre

Jacob A. Riis Museum – new photography museum in Ribe.

The city of Ribe is set open a new museum dedicated to the city’s famous son, photographer Jacob A. Riis. Opening in a converted heritage complex next to the photographer’s childhood home, the museum will highlight his extensive documentation of poverty in the USA in the late 19th century.

Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914) was a reporter, photographer, author, lecturer and social reformer – and a pioneer of photojournalism, He was described by President Theodore Roosevelt as ‘America’s most useful citizen’. Indeed, his photography was a great inspiration for Roosevelt’s New Deal following the Great Depression.

The museum is one of several planed for the heart of the Ribe, including a Witch Museum.

The museum is expected to open 29 June 2019. Find more information here

Danish Refugee Museum – new museum in Oksbøl.

Located on a historic site that was once a refugee detention centre after WWII, the 2,000 m2 Danish Refugee Museum will relate the gripping story of the 250,000 German refugees who arrived in German-occupied Denmark after having fled the progress of the Russian Red Army. 

The museum will be established in the original refugee camp hospital. An adjacent modern building designed by Danish design practice Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will be the main entrance. The new building is to be designed with a closed-off steel and wood exterior to reflect the unwelcoming appearance of a refugee camp. Inside, the museum will seem open and bright.

The Danish Refugee Museum will be located only 15 minutes by car from another recent WWII related museum designed by the same architect studio, Tirpitz, also under the auspices of Varde Museum.

The museum is expected to open in 2021. Find more information here

Witch Museum – new museum in Ribe

A new museum chronicling the persecution of witches will open in Ribe, one of Scandinavia’s oldest cities. The museum will be housed in Quedens Gaard, a building dating back to the 1580s – a time when witches were burnt at stake not only in Ribe but all-across Denmark.

The Witch Museum will highlight the stories of the 11 women persecuted for witchcraft in Ribe and will also include a wider international perspective. Worldwide, more than 10,000 women are still persecuted for sorcery each year.

The exhibitions in the heritage building in central Ribe covering 600m2 on three floors will be developed in association with designers from Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus. Among the features at the museum will be a children’s section and a recreated dungeon.

Also located in the heritage complex of Quedens Gaard in Ribe is a newly opened museum dedicated to the life and work of photographer and social reformist Jacob A. Riis.

What: Witch Museum

Where: Ribe, South Jutland

Opening: June 2020


Reimagined German local heritage museum

Called Deutsches Museum für Nordschleswig, the museum in central Sønderborg relates 100 years of German heritage in South Jutland, following the reunification of the area with Denmark in 1920.

To this day, national minorities on both sides of the border celebrate their heritage. In 2020, Denmark and Germany will commemorate the centenary of the reunification of South Jutland (North Schleswig) with Denmark, which followed a local plebiscite after World War I.

When the museum reopens in 2020, a new extension will have been added, the existing museum building will have been refurbished and the exhibitions will have been reimagined.

What: German local heritage museum

Where: Sønderborg, South Jutland

Opening: 2020

Website (German and Danish only)

Reimagined WWII museum in Aarhus

The Occupation Museum in Aarhus reopens in April 2020 following a total reorganisation of the exhibitions and refurbishment of the interiors of the building, which during WWII was used by the German secret police, Gestapo, as their local HQ.

Located close to Aarhus Cathedral, the museum is dedicated to the 1940-45 occupation of Denmark by Nazi German forces. Copenhagen also re-opens its Museum of the Danish Resistance in May 2020. The re-opening of these two WWII museums marks the 80th anniversary since occupation in 1940 and the 75th anniversary since liberation in 1945.

What: WWII museum

Where: Aarhus

Opening: April 2020