Vægterne i Aabenraa 1

Night Watchmen in Aabenraa and Haderslev

Photo: VisitAabenraa

In both Aabenraa and Haderslev you can participate in walks with the Night Watchmen during the summer. Go to "What's On" on top the page to find the exact departure times.

In the past the Night Watchmen used to patrol the streets of Danish Market towns.

In many of the towns the citizen watch groups were formed from the 14th Century as civil watchmen's groups. The participating citizens took turns patrolling the streets in order to prevent and contain fires that often started in the thatched roofs of the wooden buildings or the in the stables and barns behind the houses. The tools to combat fires at the time were lousy and you had to run far to fetch water.

From approx. 1550 initially Copenhagen and soon other towns such as Helsingør, Kolding, Ribe, Haderslev and Aabenraa  formed actual Night Watchmen's Guilds whose job it was to ensure order in the dark streets of the town.

From 1681 the first towns became oil lamps in the streets and through a Royal Decree in 1683 regarding "Street lights and Night Watchmen" the guilds became mandatory in all market towns.