Where the Past Meets the Future

Men in blue overalls riding their bicycles to and from the shipyard were once the everyday life of the waterfront in Aalborg. The shipyard was an industrial giant and was the city’s pride, but today it is not an industrial giant anymore. The neighbour building has the same story, the old power station Nordkraft, which now functions as the primary cultural venue in Aalborg.

Nordkraft - buzzing with energy

You don’t necessarily need a specific reason to visit Nordkraft. Just stop by and enjoy the spectacular building and architecture. The building has been renovated but it still shines through, that the house was once a power station as many of the installations are kept visible. Take a walk in Kedelhallen, Turbinegalleriet, Turbinetorvet and Teatersmøgen where raw concrete walls, worn down silos and old, strong iron girders takes you back and opens a window to a past time, where electric energy filled the building.

Today the building generates another kind of power - culture power.

Nordkraft is the home of a lot of cultural venues and institutions in Aalborg. The music venue, Skråen, which used to be located in an old tobacco factory, is now part of Nordkraft. Skråen hosts many concerts by popular artists all year round and can house more than 1000 guests. Theatre Nordkraft show both Danish and international plays and in Kunsthal Nord, you will find great exhibitions in their art gallery. If you get hungry during your visit, you can stop by the Italian restaurant Azzurra - or try the Indian Café, Mumbai, if you want something at bit more spicy. At Biffen Art Cinema you can watch the best contemporary films. When different events are taking place in the whole building, you will be able to feel the passion from all over the building which has much more then the abovementioned. If these walls could talk, there would not be one story but many. Hear some of these stories on a guided tour and experience how Nordkraft links the past with the future.

Jørn Utzon - from my world

If someone mentions Jørn Utzon, the first thing most of us think of is the Sydney Opera House – and not without reason, because the Opera House is so famous that it is on UNESCOs World Heritage List. This happened before Utzon died and he is the second person in the world to have experienced this honour.
Before Jørn Utzon became famous, he was a little boy, growing up in Aalborg, where his father was an engineer at the shipyard. The waterfront and harbour as well as boatbuilding became sources of inspiration for Utzon throughout his career. Utzons career was rooted in Aalborg and it also ended here, when the Utzon Center was inaugurated shortly before Jørn Utzon died in 2008. The famous architect wanted the Utzon Center to be a place for the people – and not a museum.
If you look at the Utzon Center from the outside you can’t help noticing the construction of the roof which symbolizes the waves of the ocean. The centre is constructed around an atrium that is protected from the occasionally harsh winds from the Limfjord by the walls of the centre. There are lots of different activities in the centre, including exhibitions and lectures. During the summer you can experience Universitarium for children. Universitarium is a laboratory where children can experiment and learn about scientific subjects.

New York atmosphere and food with nuances

If you are like most people, you want to visit a restaurant during your vacation and you will find several along the waterfront in Aalborg. One of them is Fusion – Restaurant & Sushi. The restaurant has a great history and is at the same time a part of the story of Aalborg. In 1979, 8 year old Vinh came to Aalborg along with many other Vietnamese boat-refugees. He grew up in the city with his family and helped at his father’s take away after school. Later he became a chef at a Michelin restaurant in Paris and for 15 years he had his own takeaway and catering business.
When you visit Fusion, you probably won’t forget the place right away due to the location and international style of the place. The simplicity of the décor lets details like the shrouded lounge area stand out and no matter where you are seated, you will always have the view of the Limfjord. The best part though, is that the fusion between the French and Asian kitchen is really well done and whether you order king crabs from the North Cape, tuna from Sri Lanka or Australian beef you will go through many different taste experiences. Vinh sees the location right by the waterfront as unique – and with many possibilities. And even though the culinary level is high, the prices are fair. Stop by, if you want a great lunch or dinner.

Waves in motion

When facing the Limfjord, you will see cranes, silos and tall chimneys. You will moreover find newly build apartments for students. These buildings are part of Aalborg’s mission, that Aalborg is aiming at being a city that focuses on knowledge and information. At the waterfront you can also enjoy the House of Music which opened in March 2014. When walking by the pier, Honnørkajen, you may see a big cruise ship, as several of these giants visit Aalborg annually. Enjoy a waterfront that has space and nature. But remember - you are not in Barcelona, but if you have been there you might find many similarities when you see this Danish waterfront taking form.

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