Viborg, Denmark


View of Viborg and its monumental cathedral (Viborg Domkirke), as seen from the Søndersø lake.


Coat of arms

Location in Denmark

Coordinates: 56°27′12″N 09°24′07″E / 56.45333°N 9.40194°E / 56.45333; 9.40194
Country Denmark
Region Central Denmark (Midtjylland)
Municipality Viborg
Earliest evidence 8th century
  Mayor Torsten Nielsen (Det Konservative Folkeparti)
  City 1,474.05 km2 (569.13 sq mi)
Elevation 51 m (167 ft)
Population (1 January 2014)[1]
  Density 62.0/km2 (161/sq mi)
  Urban 39,228
  Municipal 94,985
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 8800
Area code(s) (+45) 8

Viborg (Danish pronunciation: [ˈʋib̥ɒːˀ]), a city in central Jutland, Denmark, is the capital of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula. Viborg Municipality is the second-largest Danish municipality, covering 3.3% of that country's total land area.[2]


Viborg is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, with Viking settlements dating back to the late 8th century.[3] Its central location gave the city great strategic importance, in political and religious matters, during the Middle Ages. A motte-and-bailey-type castle was once located in the city. Viborg takes its name from a combination of two Old Norse words: , meaning a holy place, and borg, meaning a fort.


Viborg Cathedral

Viborg is famous for Viborg Cathedral. The construction of the cathedral started in 1130 and took about 50 years. The building has burned to the ground and been re-built several times. Only the crypt of the original cathedral is still preserved. The cathedral was and is the locus of cult of Saint Kjeld of Viborg who was dean of the cathedral chapter there and had a great shrine there in the Middle Ages. The newest parts of the church are from 1876. The cathedral is famous for its many paintings by Danish painter Joakim Skovgaard, which depict stories from the Bible. Next to the cathedral is the Skovgaard museum, founded in 1937.[4]

Before the Protestant Reformation Viborg was the home of five monasteries,[5] about 12 parish churches, several chapels and of course the cathedral. Today only the cathedral and a few remains of the Franciscan and the Dominican monasteries are left.


Viborg Stadium

Viborg has over the last decade won a reputation as one of Denmark's leading cities for sports. It started with the city's women's handball team (a popular sport in Denmark), which continues to be one of Europe's top-5 clubs. Subsequently, both the men's handball team and most notably the professional football team have established themselves at the top of the Danish leagues. From 1998 to 2008, Viborg FF was a constant member of the Danish Superliga, reaching an all-time high when winning the Danish cup in 2000.


Viborg Katedralskole

Viborg is home to a number of educational institutions, including Viborg Katedralskole (cathedral school). Denmark's oldest educational institution celebrated its 900th birthday in 2000. The school is believed to have been founded about 1060 - at the same time as the city became the seat of a bishop. The church needed to educate boys and young men to enter into the church's service, and to that purpose it created a school. Its current monumental home was built in 1926 to accommodate a larger number of students and later the school added a dormitory to house the many students from outer regions or islands not close to a gymnasium. Although this role is now basically obsolete, the dorm continues to be a popular solution for many students wanting to get away from home or for a small number of students from Greenland. Viborg Katedralskole is today one of four gymnasiums in Viborg.

Viborg is also home to The Animation Workshop, an art school based in a former army barracks on the outskirts of town. The school, which achieved official recognition from the Danish government in 2003, offers students a Bachelor of Arts in character animation.

For international parents Viborg also has an international school where all teaching is in English based on the Cambridge International examinations.


Front façade of Viborg station.


Viborg is served by Viborg railway station. It is located on the Langå-Struer railway line and offers direct InterCity services to Copenhagen and Struer and regional train services to Aarhus and Struer.

Notable people

In popular culture

In the science fiction book The Corridors of Time by Poul Anderson, a Danish-American writer who did considerable research on Danish history, a large part of the plot takes place in 16th-century Viborg. The protagonist - an American time traveller from the 20th century - arrives in the city in 1535 and gets involved with the adherents of the overthrown King Christian II and of the peasant rebel leader Skipper Clement, who face savage persecution in the city.

Viborg is also the setting of "Number 13", a ghost story by the English writer M.R. James.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Viborg is twinned with:

See also


  1. "Viborg Kommune". Archived from the original on April 5, 2011.
  2. Viborg Kommune statistics Archived April 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Viborg History
  4. Museum website
  5. one for Augustinian canons and one for Augustinian nuns, a Franciscan friary, a Dominican priory and a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers
  6. "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2013-12-26.

External links

Coordinates: 56°26′N 9°24′E / 56.433°N 9.400°E / 56.433; 9.400

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