A Brief History of Randers

In 1969 the company ​​Danish Synchron -Film A/S made an approx. 20 minute-long film about the industrial town of Randers titled “Randers - a city in progress.” The aim of the film was to tell about the city's many qualities, thus driving both new residents and businesses to the city. You can see an excerpt of the film by clicking here: Randers - A City in Progress (in Danish). If you would like to learn more about the history of Randers, be sure to visit Randers Bibliotek (Randers Library), in the downtown area of the city.

Trading and the Gudenå

Randers stands where the Gudenå flows into Randers Fjord, with the current downtown area located where it was easiest to cross the river in a north - south direction.

A precise year of the city's founding isn’t known, but around 1080 there was a mint in Randers, as the city already at the time was a well-known trading center.

Religious History

The trade and craft attracted ecclesiastical institutions. Around 1100 the Convent of Our Lady was built, which was north of the current City Hall Square. Later came several more monasteries and churches. The most impressive was the Franciscan monastery, which stood where we now find Slotscentret (Castle Center). Later, The Holy Spirit and Sct. Morten's churches were built in the town as well.

The Franciscan monastery, which after the Reformation was taken over by the crown and had its name changed to slottet Dronningborg(The Queen’s Castle), was demolished in the 1700s.

Rebirth and Growth

After a period of stagnation in the 1500s, the city blossomed again around 1600. Rich merchants built palatial houses, several of which are still evident in the city, including some on Brødregade and Storegade.

In the second half of the 1700s the city saw another growth spurt, where several impressive buildings came into being, including City Hall (Rådhuset) in 1778, Swan Pharmacy (Svaneapoteket) in 1802, and The Clothes House (Tøjhuset) on Udbyhøjvej around 1805.

The cityscape changed dramatically in the 19th century with new, large factories, including the train factory Scandia from 1862. Situated on the Jutland stretch of the railway, with a few local tracks starting in the city and a well-functioning port, Randers had a good location.

Around the town stretched a chain of parks and gardens as both sanctuary and the border of the city. But with the tremendous growth that occurred, especially after 1945, these borders were overtaken with the construction of new neighbourhoods.

1st Municipality Merge

In 1970 came a merger of smaller municipalities, where the large suburban areas south, east and west of the city were incorporated into a larger municipality.

2nd Municipality Merge

On the 1st of January 2007 another merge occurred, with the new Randers Kommune being formed from the old Randers Municipality, the former Purhus and Nørhald Municipalities, the western part of the former Sønderhald Municipality, large parts of the former Langå Municipality and the Havndal area of the former Mariager Municipality.