Ringkøbing is one of the best kept market towns in Denmark. In the old days, people travelled here from afar to trade livestock in the market square; today people come to experience this charming old town with stonepaved streets and beautiful houses; and, of course, to go shopping.
The 'Plesner' Town
A walk through Ringkøbing's old streets with views into the many cosy court-yards tells the story of a town with many merchant houses that gave off the scent of tobacco from distant countries, and where rope was produced in some local shops called ropewalks. You can imagine the lively traffic of horsedrawn wagons tumbling across the stonepaved roads, heading into town with grain, livestock, or other merchandise to be sold to the different merchants. The plaza is the old centre of Ringkøbing, with old historic houses and restored streets that lead to the harbor.
Many of Ringkøbing's beautiful, red-brick houses with tiled roofs were designed by the architect Ulrik Plesner, who was born on 17th May 1861 in the pastorage Vedersø Præstegård; the house that Kaj Munk, the poet-pastor who was executed in WWII, lived in years later. Plesner was a great influence on the architects of his time; many of his houses in Skagen and Copenhagen, and last but not least Ringkøbing, are still admired for their beauty.
An Influential Architect
Plesner was a productive and trend setting architect who in some ways rebelled against the extensive individualization and sentimentality that dominated architecture in the time of WWI. Plesner is from a generation of architects that had its roots in the prostetant environment and the simple building style with rows of red-brick houses with white cornices was a strong source of inspiration to the young Plesner.
Today, Ringkøbing's harbour is mostly used by yacht owners and fjord fishermen. The harbour front has been changed, so that the old houses lie back to back with modern buldings and the city hall. One of the old toll houses has been preserved and is beautifully situated in the north end of the harbour.