Centre for Local History. Koldinghus Stableyard

A proposal

Koldinghus castle and Stableyard in the centre of Kolding will be the setting for a broad selection of activities day and night. This will contribute to Kolding becoming an even more interesting town.

Koldinghus castle and Stableyard together form an historic central point in the old Koldinghus fief.

Koldinghus castle and Stableyard should therefore be brought together again – as a setting for the presentation of local history.

The current proposal has as its starting point:
.  that because of its central position, it is possible for Koldinghus Stableyard to create interesting experiences and 
   activities which would be worthwhile for Kolding as the region's trade, business, and cultural centre
.  that Museet på Koldinghus holds in its warehouses large collections of objects of local historical significance from
    Kolding and the surrounding arera, from the Stone Age to the present
.  that the establishment of a centre for local history in the Stableyard will be of use to the people of Kolding and the
   surrounding area in strengthening the national and local identity in an ever more integrated Europe.
.  that activities will come to Kolding's town centre which will attract visitors from a large geographical area.

Centre for Local History, Koldinghus Stableyard will consist of the following elements:

.  'Kolding from the Middle Ages to the present day'
.  The Kolding cog
.  'Kolding during the Occupation 1940-1945'
.  Education and meeting centre
.  Café
.  Exhibition workshop.

Koldinghus castle and the Stableyard (picture)

Kolding from the Middle Ages to the present day

Kolding and the surrounding area's history in a factual exhibition based on original objects:

1. The physical life of the town
.  Topography
   Geology, prehistory, streets and houses
.  Infrastructure
   Harbour, railways, communication, press
.  Business
   Crafts, trade (wholesale and retail), industry

2. The social life of the town
.  Social life
   The town's administration, religious conditions, military, social conditions (health and illness), care of children and the aged, wellfare for the aged and the poor, school and sports, further education, culture and societies
.  Business
   Guilds, business organisations.

The exhibition will be set up along the whole length of the north wing on both storeys.

Kolding lies in a subglacial stream trench with a river and a fjord which has long attracted people. Settlements from the Stone Age and throughout antiquity are known.

As a town Kolding appears in the archaeological material early in the time of the Valdemars (second half of the twelth century), in written sources in the first half of the thirteenth century. A border town on the border between Kingdom and Duchy, dominated by the royal castle Koldinghus.

Between the castle lake and Koldinghus to the north and Kolding å river to the south there arose in the course of the Middle Ages a street plan which still marks the town centre. The castle and Skt. Nikolaj Church stem from the thirteenth century, the town's other houses are much newer. A few well-preserved half-timbered houses from the town's first period of prosperity between 1550 and 1630, but the town's massive expansion in the twentieth century has meant that many of the older buildings have disappeared and been replaced by modern town houses.

Kolding received a proper harbour in 1843, and when the railways were built Kolding became a traffic node with state railways and three private railways which connected a large hinterland to the town's trade.
In modern times Kolding has been placed in a node of motorways.

Industrial development began in Kolding in the mid-nineteenth century with tileworks and iron foundries. Later Kolding became an important textile town, but is today characterised by food industries and the stainless steel industry. But Kolding has first and foremost always been a trading centre and is nowadays a centre for the service sector.

Visualisation of entrance to the part of the exhibition dealing with the Kolding during industrialisation. The town's oldest steam engine, built for the Andelsslagteriet in 1887
Drawing: Anders Sanderbo


The Kolding cog

The Kolding cog, a medieval trading ship, was found at the bottom of Kolding fjord in 1943. In 2001 it was raised for study and measuring.

The Kolding cog was built in around 1190 of timber felled in the forests between Kolding, Ribe, and Haderslev. The Kolding cog is one of the oldest examples of the type, which was decisive in the economic and cultural development of medieval Northern Europe which our culture still builds upon, and is the oldest known ship with a bow rudder and thus unigue in the history of European shipping.

The ship will be preserved and exhibited together with an exhibition about the type's development and about shipping and maritime trade in Kolding.

The Kolding cog
Drawing: Pelle


Kolding during the Occupation 1940-1945

Starting with Zelle II, the only remaining cell from the Gestapo activities in Denmark 1943-45, the exhibtion in the Stableyard's south east corner casts light on the Occupation in Kolding and Southern Jutland, the resistance movement's Region 3:
.  Kolding was heavily marked by significant German military activity throughout the Occupation
.  The Stableyard was the headquarters for the Gestapo in Southern Jutland
.  Kolding was the headquarters for the resistance movement's Region 3
.  250,000 German refugees to Denmark were sent back to Germany in the years 1945-49 via refugee camps in
   Kolding (Kløvermarkslejren)
.  The Stableyard served as a provisions base for Den Danske Brigade/Det Danske Kommando in Germany 1947-58.

Section 1
.  Background
   Europe after the First World War; Fascism in Europe – and in Denmark; Outbreak of war 1st September 1939
.  Occupation
   Weserübung 9th April 1940; seizures; Kolding harbour; Which Germans and how many?
Section 2
.  Danish adjustment
   Black outs; Air raid warnings; Civilian protection; Police and watchmen; Germans on the street; Collaborators and
   the Danish Legion; Daily life – shortages and rationing; L.A.B.
Section 3
.  Danish resistance
   "Denmark through a thousand years"; Community singing and King Christian X; Elections in 1943; Demonstrations
    and the beginnings of sabotage; State of emergency; Illegal press; Sabotage; The town protects itself; Weapon
    air drops
.  Germans replies
   "The Court of Hell"; GESTAPO; Schalburgtage; Deportations; Concentration camps or execution
Section 4
.  German defeat
   The white busses; Capitulation; English entry; "Home to the Kingdom"; 'Den danske  
.  Denmark freed
   The Resistance movement; Judicial settlement; Refugees; The English in Kolding; Conclusion of the war. Europe
   after 1945; Allied and Danish occupation of Germany; Home Guard
Section 5. The castle garden
.  Civilian protection
   The protection room in the castle's south west corner is an obvious setting for a section about civilian protection, the beginnings of the civilian preparedness of today.

'Kolding during the Occupation 1940-45'. 1. Exhibition and 'Zelle II' 2. Protection room. Exhibition about civilian protection (picture)

Education and meeting centre

Education and meeting centre

Education and meeting centre for education in connection with the Stableyard's exhibitions. The facilities will be placed in the Stableyard's east wing and fitted out with modern education technology and with IT access to the museum's registry of objects and other computerised information.

The associations which have hitherto used the Stableyard as a regular meeting place will continue to have rooms available for their association events. The town's other associations will be able to use the education and meeting facilities in the Stableyard outside of usual school hours.

School of Local History

Collaboration between Museet på Koldinghus and the Edcuation Authority in Kolding will establish a School of Local History based on the museum's collections and exhibitions.

This school service will produce teaching material with a basis in the museum's collection, combined with material from Kolding Stadsarkiv, which can support history teachers in their teaching, just as the school service can assist classes during visits to the museum.
It is thought that the School of Local History wil be maned by one or more teachers in combined posts organised by the museum and the Education Authority to secure close connection between the development of historical knowledge and of the teaching of history.

Centre for Local History, Koldinghus Stableyard. Plan

Café. Exhibition workshop


In connection with the Education and meeting centre, a cafe serving visitors to the exhibitions in the Stableyard and users of the meeting facilities will be established.

Exhibition workshops
Museet på Koldinghus has taken over Vejle Amts Konserveringsværksted. The buildings are fitted out as workshops and are maintained as a necessary workshop for the preparation of the museum's special exhibitions and for the museum's conservation work.
Kolding has a long and interesting history behind it. The town has roots and identity.

Museet på Koldinghus has since its beginnings in 1890 collected material evidence of the town's history and development, but there has never been the possibility of telling this story in the castle's spaces.

Koldinghus Stableyard ought to be the setting for the telling of Kolding's story.

© Museet på Koldinghus
September 2000
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Opening Hours

Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.



90 DKR


45 DKR

Free admission for children and youngsters under 18 years.


Parking facilities for visitors of the museum are outside The Stableyard.


Parking fee: 11 DKK per hour.


Two parking spaces in the stableyard are reserved for cars for disabled people.



Koldinghus 1
DK - 6000 Kolding

GPS-coordinat: 55˚ 29’ 26˚N, 9˚ 28’ 20˚E


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