An afternoon at Nielstrup Museum is a manageable and affordable experience for the whole family. A visit to this small, unique museum gives one a sense of walking through a forgotten Denmark, seeing things and hearing their stories – things and stories that could very easily have been lost forever.
Tove Tendal-Hansen's home, transformed into a museum
The two-story red brick house that is Nielstrup museum, looks at first glance, like an ordinary family home, but just a few steps beyond the well-trimmed green lawns and enormous purple rhododendron bushes, the front door opens into a time-capsule full of treasures from the past…… a collection of everyday items documenting rural life over the past more than 100 years.
Tove Tendal-Hansen, who designed the house for her parents in 1956, continued living there after her parents' death and it is thanks to her passion for and dedication to preserving historical items and the stories behind each object, that Nielstrup Museum came into being.
Tove said about the museum, which opened its doors for the first time in 1972: "I have been collecting things since childhood, and at one point there was no more space in my cupboards and drawers, so I made an exhibition with my things. Since then, the museum has just grown and grown, and there’s now hardly any room for me in my own house."
For much of her life the entire house was transformed into Nielstrup Museum, including the cellar, ground floor, first floor and the rooms in which she lived, and when she died in 2019, at the age of 93, there were more than 11,000 items registered in the collection.
One can see a 30-minute film about Tove at the museum. The film is produced by an Australian documentary-film crew who, in connection with Aarhus being European Cultural Capital in 2017, decided that the story behind Tove and Nielstrup Museum was worth telling.
A trip down Memory Lane
Walking through what were once Tove's rooms and indeed her life’s work, is like walking through a door that leads back in time, to a forgotten Denmark. The rooms emanate an aura of the past, with their collections of old laundry-devices, kitchen utensils, tools and daily necessities in old-fashioned packaging; old wooden toys, dolls, dolls-houses and miniature sewing machines; rooms furnished with ancient cupboards and chests, spinning wheels, earthenware jugs and pots, copper- and silverware, pipe-boards and embroideries, to name just a few of the things.
Stories saved for posterity
Tove cherished the stories that often accompanied the things she either found or was given by people. She felt it was her responsibility to save memories for others. Therefore, she recorded all the items with their stories in an extensive archive.
People with ties to the area can also find information about their ancestors or the local area in the archive.
Enjoy a picnic in the museum’s garden
The museum has a lovely garden where you can enjoy your packed-lunch or coffee.
It is an ideal excursion-destination for families, people on cycling holidays and people interested in Danish folk history.
Apart from items exhibited in the museum’s permanent exhibition, Nielstrup Museum puts on two special exhibitions a year, one at Christmas and one in the summer months. These exhibit some of the items that are not normally on show, for example, lace, bonnets and hats, christening dresses, wedding dresses, school books, porcelain, traditional Christmas elves (nisser) and a whole variety of other Christmas-related decorations.
You can learn more about the museum and the latest exhibition on the museum's website: www.nielstrupmuseum.dk
Opening hours and entrance fees
The museum is open every Wednesday between 13.00 – 17.00 hrs.
One can also arrange to visit on other days by phoning the museum on: +45 61 60 36 07 or +45 51 87 11 51
Adults 30 kr.
Free for children under 12 years old
Nielstrup Museum - a manageable and affordable afternoon out for the whole family
A time-capsule - a treasure trove - well worth a visit