LAKE CHARMS IN SILKEBORG
The holiday paradise of Silkeborg enjoys a stunning location in Denmark’s largest lake district. Centrally housed in a former paper factory, the Radisson Blu Hotel combines historic architecture with beautiful Scandinavian interiors. Surrounded by forests and lakes, the hotel is a wonderful base for sailing on the world’s oldest coal burning paddle steamer, enjoying the Riverboat Jazz Festival or exploring impressive Silkeborg Art Museum.
Along with the Paper Factory came many other businesses and the city flourished. Enjoy a stroll through the city centre and see the many distinctive buildings designed by architect Anton Rosen, who worked in Silkeborg until his death in 1928.
When the Paper Factory closed down in 2000, the city had grown into a thriving centre of trade and manufacturing with over 40,000 inhabitants. Today, the Paper Factory area has been turned into an active centre for business and culture. You will quickly sense that art and culture play an important role in Silkeborg, especially because of the now world famous painter and artist, Asger Jorn, who grew up in the city.
If you visit the Cultural Centre Silkeborg Bad, you will, in addition to changing exhibitions of contemporary art, find a small permanent exhibition on the history of the place. Silkeborg Bad opened as an exclusive spa facility in 1883, and for many years it was a popular destination for the city’s residents. During World War II, it was taken over by the German Wehrmacht and used as headquarters, and after the war it was used several times as a refugee camp until the municipality bought the buildings in 1992 and turned them into what is now the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad.
However, the city’s scenic location in the highland by Gudenåen and the Silkeborg lakes in Denmark’s largest forest area is one of Silkeborg’s major attractions and a daily joy for the city’s residents as well as the many tourists who come to enjoy nature, visit Himmelbjerget, go sailing and enjoy the many opportunities for sport and leisure activities.
If you are in Silkeborg on a Saturday, we recommend visiting the market on the square, where the area’s local producers sell fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, crafts and other local specialties.
A visit to the many farm shops in the area is also a must. Here the emphasis is on organic produce, taste and animal welfare. You can also visit the many workshops, galleries and microbreweries in the region.
You can also go on a trip with Hjejlen, the world’s oldest paddle steamer, which sails daily from Silkeborg to Himmelbjerget throughout the summer. A true three-in-one experience.
When in Silkeborg, a visit to Museum Jorn a little outside of town is a must. Asger Jorn grew up in Silkeborg, and although he lived many years of his life in Paris, he maintained a connection to Silkeborg. Museum Jorn houses both a unique collection of Asger Jorn’s own works, which he donated to the museum over the years, but also his private collection of Danish and international art.
The Paper Museum shares address with the Radisson Blu Hotel Papirfabrikken, so it would be obvious to take a look inside and see how they made paper. Perhaps you will leave with your own, handmade stationery.
The city’s oldest building, Silkeborg Manor from 1767, is now home to Museum Silkeborg. Here you can experience how people lived through the ages, from antiquity to the present. The museum’s main attraction is the unique and incredibly well-preserved Tollund Man, who died approximately 400 years BC, as well as the lesser known Elling Woman.
At the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad on the outskirts of the city you will find changing exhibitions of contemporary art. In addition, there is a permanent exhibition, which covers the period as a spa, and a number of interesting sculptures can been enjoyed in the surrounding park.
The children will love AQUA Aquarium and Zoo. Here they can experience the Danish wildlife at close range in the impressive freshwater aquarium as well as the animal park with beavers, raccoons and many other animals. Afterwards, they can have fun at the water park and wilderness path.
There is so much to see and do, so maybe you should stay an extra day or two?
It is also the city of good taste, whether you like delicious sausages, quality meals at a traditional Danish inn or truffles. You should definitely treat yourself to an evening at one of the city’s gourmet restaurants, where your taste buds will be treated to the region’s quality raw ingredients. Perhaps at Michael D at the Radisson Blu Hotel Papirfabrikken?
If you just feel like a caffè latte or a light meal, then sit down at one of the city’s cafés – you will find them on the pedestrian streets, along Gudenåen and at the museums.
In the surrounding area there are several cosy inns – some serve classic Danish dishes, while others offer fine dining. The packed lunch houses offer a unique experience as you can enjoy lunch in the countryside, in the forest or overlooking the water. However, you must bring your own lunch. And since Silkeborg is also the city of festivals, there is obviously an annual food festival and a wine festival. Separately, of course, but you really shouldn’t miss out on a festival!
If you feel like dancing through the night, you can do so at the city’s nightclubs.
The year’s recurring events include the harvest market, the car rally Automania, where both sports cars and vintage cars participate, Tour de Gudenå, which starts in Silkeborg and ends in Randers – or however far you get in a canoe in one day, as there are many opportunities for pit stops along the way – and the Himmelbjerg race which, as the name suggests, is a ‘mountain race’ and therefore quite strenuous.
Finally, in 2014 – which is the centenary of Asger Jorn’s birth – the artist will be honoured with exhibitions, workshops, concerts, lectures and much more.