The early stages of the world’s first open-air museum of urban culture were the Danish National Exhibition in Århus in 1909. Peter Holm, Århus teacher and translator, had been put in charge of creating a section of local history, and when he got wind of an old renaissance house in the city, which had been sold to be demolished, the idea emerged as to how this could be put to good use.
Despite some resistance, Peter Holm managed to achieve both the support and funds for the careful dismantling and re-erection of the renaissance house at the National Exhibition. It was a great success among the visitors, and after the National Exhibition, the Mayor's House, as the house had been re-named, was moved once again. This time to its present-day location, marking the beginning of The Old Town urban museum.
Today some experts argue that the National Exhibition of 1909 was an important step towards securing Aarhus the spot as Jutland's capital.