This quiz will take you through the oldest part of Nykøbing Falster and introduce you to city life as it has been played out through the centuries. The walk takes about an hour.
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Let’s start at the Tourist Information – (‘the old grocery shop’) – in Færgestræde. The neighbour of
1. Czarens Hus – The Czar’s House (Langgade 2)
On July 15th, 1716, Czar Peter the Great came to Nykøbing via Gedesby, and all the posh ladies of the town were summoned to the castle to cook for him. He probably wasn’t too happy, because the next day he went to this house – then both inn and post-office – to eat. Since it has been named The Czar’s House in memory of this event. The Czar had rye bread with butter, Dutch cheese, beer, schnaps and wine – and was content. But where did he sleep whilst in Nykøbing?
Continue down Langgade – once the main road through the town.
2. Langgade 18
It is possibly the oldest house in the town and has been a merchant’s home from the very beginning. A very fine example of a renaissance building, this one dating back to probably 1580. Many people lived here – including a mayor. One owner was directly linked to the Nykøbing F castle. What was his job?
If you continue down Langgade, you will arrive at some of the oldest alleys in the town. To the right towards the waterfront is
These tiny houses were homes to many people occupied with fishing and seafaring. These poor people who were subject to a kind of corvée (serf labour) that could prevent them from taking care of their own business. They had to
Just opposite Bastebrostræde is Store Kirkestræde with an interesting old merchant’s house at the corner. This is the
– a fine example of a 17th century merchant’s house. Generations of rich traders lived here, selling herring, cloth, iron etc. Sometimes, however, they had to lend out stuff instead of selling it. That happened when orders came from the castle to deliver certain items on loan – usually, because of some grand feast like a wedding. When the heir to the throne was to marry in 1634, the king needed to borrow what?
At this junction, Langgade becomes Frisegade.
If you continue down Frisegade, you will reach
5. Lille Kirkestræde
This is one of the oldest alleys in the town – possibly from the 1200s, when a chapel was where the cloister church is now. Once there were gardens here. The yellow house at the end – no. 9-11 – was built by the merchant, Bertel Wichmand in 1828 – for what purpose?
At the end – to the right – is Klosterstræde. Here you’ll find the hospital
This became Nykøbing Hospital at the Reformation in 1532, and the king secured them the income from several parishes. From 1585, seven people were employed to take care of twenty. From 1767, only women were admitted, and in 1834 this was written in a new charter, stating a specific reason. Why only women?
At the other side on Kirkepladsen – the church square – is the striking church
where you can see the impressive family tree of Queen Dowager, Sophie.
In Denmark, the official year of the reformation is 1536, but in Nykøbing it happened in 1532, when the church was given to the town as their parish church. The monastery closed and the monks left – quietly and seemingly with no fuss. The monks did, however, leave something behind – what?
Next to the church is the cloister building
This is now the administration of the deanery but once part of the monastery. Later it became the town hall, grammar school and jail, which could cause some rather peculiar problems, probably not known anywhere else. Which?
From here you can go on to the small square
the junction of several streets. The blue house with the fine gable is said to have been the gardener’s house, then situated at the edge of the castle gardens, right behind Østergågade and Jernbanegade. The gardens provided vegetables, flowers and fruit for the palace. At times, the gardens were not in the best of conditions. Why?
From here, you can continue down Østergågade – once the street of the poor and the edge of town, with gardens at the back of the houses.
Almost at the end you can peep down Brodt-way – the alley next to the theatre.
Then you are almost at the town square
The square has always been the hub of life and trade – and as now – subject to change. There have been market stalls, parking spaces etc. Trade is the life blood of a town and – also 100 years ago – there was the issue of opening hours. What might they have been around 1900?
At the opposite side of the square, you find this small lane
In this part of town, you would find the cobbler, Pomerencke, who trained mice – ordinary mice, that is. Here lived ‘Whitebread Dorthe’ and the fortune-teller Madam Liebert, who was very busy. Back then, there were more alleys between Torvet and Grønttorvet – one was Lille Torvestræde (Little Market Lane) which got another name by the townsfolk. Which?
The lane takes you to the old
From here you may go left back towards the square via
13. Slotsgade 7 (Castle Street)
This building used to be the grammar school – the one once housed in the cloister building by the church. The students were rather full of themselves and at one time they ended up in brawl about the seating at the inn/post-office – who were the higher ranking and had first choice. With whom did they fight?
Back at the square you have reached your destination and can take a look down
14. Færgestræde (Ferry Lane)
At the end of Færgestræde – Ferry Lane – there was, of course, a ferry. Until1867, this would take you and your cargo, wagons and animals to the island of Lolland. There were three ferries of various sizes. How did you ‘measure’ the size?
This is the end of the tour of the town. We hope you have enjoyed it.
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Research, text and photos: FP Anduin © Historiespor 2019.