With its five storeys, Jens Bang’s House with all of its decorations meant to challenge the bourgeoisie was a giant in the cityscape of the past. The house was built during the Renaissance in 1624, and it is one of the biggest and most photographed historical sights of the city.
Svane Apoteket (a pharmacy) was located in Jens Bang’s House from 1666-2014. Today it is not possible to enter the Stone House, but by appointment with Aalborg Historical Museum, you can experience Apotekersamlingen (the old pharmacy collection) on the top floor of the building. Usually, you have a chance of a guided tour every Saturday during the summer, but remember to buy tickets beforehand, either online or at Aalborg Historical Museum, Algade 48.
Jens Bang was a typical renaissance figure – merchant, splendour-loving and talented – but also pugnacious and opinionated, and yet he wasn’t unusual for his time. Jens Bang was the brother of the mayor of the time, Jørgen Olufsen, who in 1616 built his well-preserved merchant's house with shop and adjoining buildings in the middle of Aalborg.
A good story
At Jens Bang’s time, evil tongues whispered about how the grotesque and multifarious masks and heads used as decorations of the building were caricatures of his many enemies, and how this was his way of getting revenge. Even though Jens Bang was the wealthiest man of Aalborg, he was never part of the rule of the city, which is the reason why he is sitting at the gable of his house, sticking out his tongue at the old city hall.
Chr. IVs Laug (Chr. IV’s Guild)
In the basement of the house, Duus Vinkælder is located, and this is also the place where Chr. IVs Laug can be found. Among other events, Chr. IVs Laug holds two initiation rites during the celebration of the 4th of July. Both initiation rites are for those who are to be accepted into the guild, but everyone is welcomed to observe the rite.
TIP: Visit VisitAalborg in Nordkraft, and ask for the brochure “Good Old Aalborg”. It will guide you through the old streets and by the historical buildings of Aalborg.