The Medieval Town

Contributors: Lars Bisgaard, Peter Carelli, Søren Bitsch Christensen, Grethe Jacobsen, Carsten Selch Jensen, Hans Krongaard Kristensen, Lennart S. Madsen, Ebbe Nyborg, Bjørn Poulsen.

Within the last two or three generations of researchers, Danish medieval urban history has achieved important new results in relation to the understanding of the early urbanization and the phases of medieval urbanization in general as well as to the character of the social, economic and cultural aspects of medieval urbanism. At the same time, however, research has been characterized by clearly demarcated institutional and methodological paradigms.

The general urbanization has mainly been understood within a central place logic. In the 1970s and 80s new and pragmatic definitions of towns were accepted, prompted both by methodological thinking primarily by Swedish researchers – and archaeological findings of early settlements from the 7th to the 9th century, which is even before the foundation of the first real town, Ribe in around 710. The proper urbanization is still being dated to the period from the 12th to the 14th century with the largest urban growth occurring in the 13th century. At that time a total of 112 medieval locations could be attributed urban status in the area of the Kingdom of Denmark including the Duchy of Schleswig and Scania.

This anthology deals with topics such as monetization, churches and parishes, the topographical development of Viborg and characterizes the late medieval urban development.


Middelalderbyen (The Medieval Town

Danske Bystudier 1 (Danish Urban Studies 1)

Edited by Søren Bitsch Christensen

Aarhus University Press and Danish Centre for Urban History, 2004

343 p., ill.,
ISBN 87 7934 094 6