Holbæk Museum

For other uses, see British Museum (disambiguation).
Holbæk Museum
Established 1911 (1911)
Location Holbæk, Denmark
Coordinates 55°43′00″N 11°42′46″E / 55.716576°N 11.712671°E / 55.716576; 11.712671
Collection size approx. 8 million objects
Website Official website

Holbæk Museum is a local history museum in Holbæk, Denmark. It is based in a large complex of historic, mostly half-timbered buildings from the 17th to 19th century surrounding a garden space. One of the buildings was moved to the site in 1937 but the others all stand in their original location. The museum also comprises a pilot boat from 1922 docked in Holbæk's harbor. Holbæk Museum has been part of Museum Vestsjælland since 1 January 2014.


Holbæk Museum was founded in 1910 as "Folkemuseet for Holbæk og omliggende Herreder" ("Museum of Folklore of Holbæk and Surrounding Hundrets"). The museum first opened its doors to the public on 1 November 1911 and was then based in the restored building of Holbæk Priory.[1]

In 1919 the museum moved to a new building in Søren Mays Gaard (Klosterstræde 16 and the building to its rear). It has later taken over more buildings and now comprises 13 historic buildings. In 2009, Holvæk Museum opened the satellite museum at Bakkekammen 45. On 1 January 2013, it was merged with several other local museums in the western part of Zealand to form Museum Vestsjælland.


Klosterstræde 19: Old Town Hall

Klosterstræde 19: The Old Town Hall

Holbæk's old town hall at Klosterstræde 18 contains an auditorium, museum shop, tourist information, café and administration.[2]

The two-storey building is from 1844 and was designed by F.F. Friis. The triangular pediment above the main entrance features king Christian VIII's monogram. The building was Golbæk's first purpose-built town hall. The local administration had until then been based in the south wing of Golbæk Priory on the other side of the street (Klosterstræde No. 7). The new town also contained the town jail. Holbæk's second town hall was inaugurated in 1911 but the building was still used for administrative functions until the inauguration of the third town hall in 1979. Part of the building was then used as library until Holbæk Museum took over the entire building in 1989.1911.[3]

Klosterstræde 16: Søren May House

Klosterstræde 16: Søren May House

The half-timbered building at Klosterstræde 16 was built as private residence by pastor Søren May in about 1670. The building fronting the street and the building to its rear was originally part of a three-winged complex but the north wing was demolished in about 1900. The building was in 1844 acquired by the city and used as poorhouse and school until 1915 when it was taken over by the museum.

The building contains an exhibition about Holbæk from the Middle Ages until 1870. The upper floor is for children and has a Hans Christian Andersen theme.[4]

Klosterstræde 14: Borchs Haandgjerningsskole

The two-storey building at Klosterstræde 14 was originally part of the Søren May House. The upper floor was added after the town took over the property in 1744. The building was used for school purposes. It has been part of the museum since 1971 and is now used by the museum's textile guild and is also home to the museum's library and offices.[5]

Klosterstræde 8: Alfred and Johanne Jacobsen House

Klosterstræde 8 shows a reconstruction of the home where Alfred and Johanne Jacobsen lived with their 11 children in 1940.[6]

Merchant house and Grocery store

The Merchant House

The Merchant House is the only building which has been moved to the site. It was originally located at the site where the newspaper Nordvestnyt is now headquartered. The two-storey, half-timbered building is from 1660 and is the old main wing of a larger complex built by the shipowner Christen. The house stands on a foundation of large granite ashlars which is believed to originate from the first St Nicolas' Church, Holbæk's old parish church. Thomsen. The complex served its original purpose until the beginning of the 20th century but was demolished in 1937 except for the building that was moved.

The building now features reconstructed interiors from the first half of the 19th century with residence office and a Grocery store which is open for business on special dates, selling copies of toys, spices, candy and other goods.[7]

Old school

Friskolen (literally "The Free School") is a former public school from 1867. It is a two-storey brick building with yellow dressing. The upper floor is an addition from 1888. The school was founded in 1942 and was first based in the now demolished north wing of the Søren May House. The new school building was in the beginning of the 20th century replaced by Østre Skole ("Rastern School"). The old building was used as a military barracks during World War I and later as social housing. It was taken over by the museum in 1930.

The building is now used for temporary exhibitions and is also home to ArcheoLAB where children can try out techniques used by archeologists.[8]

Activities and structures in other locations

Pilot boat

The former pilot boat KDL Lodsbåden was acquired by Holbæk Museum in 1999 and put through a major renovation at Holbæk Dockyard to bring it back to its original state. It is now operated and maintained by volunteers from the Boat Guild. The aim of the Boat Guild is to preserve the ship as well as knowledge about Holbæk's maritime history with seafaring and ship building.[9]

KDL Lodsbåden was built in 1922 for Rørvig Pilot Service at Frederikssund Dockyard and transferred to Holbæk Pilot Service in 1926. The boat was acquired by Port of Holbæk in 1954 and by a private owner in 1972.

Tea Pavilion

The Tea Pavilion dates from approximately 1859 and was located in the garden of the local chemist. It has timber framing of pine timber and is covered by a zinc roof. It originally had a plaster ceiling and wooden floor.

In 1937, when the chemist's garden was converted into a public park, its pavilion was moved to Sct. Elisabeth Hospital (now Elisabethcentret). In 1990 it was dismantled in connection with an expansion of the healthcare centre and rebuilt in its original location in what is now Bysøparken.[10]



  1. "Holbæk Museum" (in Danish). -Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  2. "Klosterstræde 18 - Det gamle rådhus" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  3. "Klosterstræde 18 - Det gamle rådhus" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  4. "Klosterstræde 16 - Forhuset" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  5. "Klosterstræde 14 - Borchs Haandgjerningsskole" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  6. "Klosterstræde 8" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. "Købmandsgården" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  8. "Friskolen" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  9. "Tepavillonen" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  10. "Tepavillonen" (in Danish). Museum Vestsjælland. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
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