By Peter Warrer
Marselisborg Castle is the name of the royal family´s summer residence located behind the picturesque Mindeparken (Memorial Park) overlooking the Bay of Aarhus. The castle is the neighbour of the Marselisborg forest framing Aarhus to the south. It gives name to one of the two prime Aarhus residential areas, the other one being Risskov named after the forest framing the city to the north.
Every summer the royal Danish yacht Dannebrog, the iconic symbol of the Prince Henrik Silver Trophy, brings the royal family to Aarhus and the Marselisborg summer residence for their summer vacation. Many “Aarhusianere” welcome the popular royal family at the harbour waving the Danish flag named Dannebrog.
Queen Margrethe II graduated in political science from Aarhus University back in 1962, and so did her son Crown Prince Frederik in 1995. The Crown Prince lived a lively student life in the city in the 90´ies extremely liked by the people of Aarhus for his gentle manners and charm.
60,000 of the 320,000 inhabitants of Aarhus are students, who put their mark on all the small bars, cafes and restaurants at the Canal of Aarhus (Åen) and in the Latin Quarter. Streets like Mejlgade, Studsgade, Graven and Pustervig are boiling with creative hipsters enjoying themselves. Don´t miss “Le Coq” bar and restaurant in Graven, or “Oli Nico” and “Oli Pasta” in Mejlgade for a good meal and fun atmosphere. We will be having dinner in cosy brasserie and nightspot “Cafe Casablanca” in Rosensgade on Monday.
In the south part of Årshus you will find a semilar atmosphere in the Jægergaardsgade and Bruunsgade quarters. Try out the “St. Pauls Aphotek” cocktail bar with small new nordic dishes, and the cosy bistro and wine bar “Klassisk 65”.
The terrace of the “6. Frederiks kro” on the edge of Risskoven forest magnificently overlooking the Bay from the north is a newly renovated hotspot. Take a swim from the sandy beach right below the terrace. “Skovmøllen” is a romantic small inn in the wood south of the city.
If you really want to scale up your gastronomic level, “Frederikshøj” in Marselisborg is only missing its Michelin star because the French inspectors do not travel outside Copenhagen where they recently gave out 15 stars. “Et” and the “Kocherier” at the Aarhus Yachting Marina are other excellent restaurants depending on fresh, local raw materials as all mentioned restaurants, although none of them define themselves as ”new Nordic cuisine”.
There is a local saying that Aarhus is the biggest town or the smallest city in the world. Wherever you are in Aarhus, a 10 minutes bike ride will bring you to the beach, the wood, the city centre or your workplace. This is modern living the Scandinavian way.
“Den gamle by”, the old City, is a unique live 1:1 city museum with examples of Århus living from the very old days to the communes and small retail stores of the 1970ies.
In connection with the Aarhus Yachting Marina a complete new residential harbour front with a fantastic bay view is developing. In general Aarhus is developing its infrastructure with a great deal of city renewal right now leaving the financial crisis behind.
Arne Jacobsen´s town hall
We Danes have practically no raw materials except agriculture, so we rely on creativity, design and architecture, and Aarhus has it all: The town hall, venue for the PHST welcome reception, is an Arne Jacobsen masterpiece from the late 40ies – have a look at the interior, the furniture, the lamps and the woodwork! – original Danish Modernism at its very best.
World class skills by Aarhus architects are displayed on the home grounds: Schmidt, Hammer and Lassen designed the incredible Aros Museum of Modern art connecting the lower and upper part of the city for the pedestrians looking up to the Olafur Eliasson Rainbow Panorama flying over the museum. 3xNielsen made the Lighthouse, which presently is being built at Aarhus Harbour, and C.F. Møller designed the fantastic Aarhus University beginning in the 40ies and still going on. The university is a masterpiece of minimalistic functionalism – don´t miss a drive or a walk in the University Park.
LINDBERG designs and manufactures modern Danish eyewear as a global commercial success, and the city hosts a whole number of small independent fashion brands.
Aarhus Bay is a sailing heaven – you cannot think of any better waters for sailboat racing or cruising. We sail all seasons, however May to September gives us the most comfortable sailing. In the winter time the Bay is also used by some 7.000 “Vikings” enjoying the combination of winter swimming and sauna socializing.
For more than 10 years, Aarhus has been the base of an internationally acclaimed innovative 49er-training environment producing the Beijing Olympic gold medal winners Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp as well as the London Olympic bronze medalists Allen Nørgaard and Peter Lang. Jonas and Peter have now joined forces successfully campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the 49er. Young local stars Ida Maria Nielsen and Marie Olsen won the 49er FX Europeans in the 2013 in their home waters.
Dragon sailing also has a long tradition in Aarhus with internationally acclaimed sailors such as Mogens Mugge Nielsen, Jørgen Bonde and Peter Due.
Sailing Aarhus, the practical organisers of the Silver Trophy together with Marselisborg Yacht Club, is a non-profit collaboration of five Aarhus sailing clubs, very successfully organising world class sailing events like the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships 2008, the WC for 505 2010 and for A-Cat 2011, and the European Championship of 49ers and 49er FX´s in 2013. Sailing Aarhus recently made a serious bid for the ISAF Sailing World Championship in 2018, the biggest sailing event in the world. Sailing Aarhus is supported by a sailing friendly local and national government and the Danish Sailing Union.
In 2016 a €10 million International Sailing Center will stand ready at the entrance of the Aarhus Yachting Marina – very close to midtown. A recent architect competition sponsored by the Maersk Foundation resulted in an exciting modern building for sailing activities. It features a combination of boat hall, stimulating sailing environment for sailors of all ages, administration and spectator stands overlooking stadium racing starting 30 meters from the house. In the typical Danish democratic spirit this National Sailing Center will be open for all local Aarhus citizens on their Sunday walk to the old harbour or jogging on the new bay promenade.
Aarhus has an open-minded and interested commercial environment for sponsorships of a unique sailing event like the Prince Henrik Sailing Trophy. A big credit goes to Helnan Hotel Marselis, Harboe Breweries, men’s fashion retailer Kaufmann, LINDBERG eyewear and the Paustian furniture and design house!
Marselisborg Marina and the Marselisborg Yacht Club with its restaurants and sailing activities is a perfect setting for the Silver Cup. Thanks to the harbour for its accommodations and services and to the Marselisborg Yacht Club for hosting and organising the Silver Trophy regatta!
Please enjoy your stay in Arhus, Marselisborg and the Bay of Aarhus!