Our story

The idea of creating a museum dedicated to the Danish and European witch hunts began to take shape in 2014. At the time, Southwest Jutland Museums were making plans for how Quedens Gaard in the middle of Ribe’s historic city centre could be transformed into a museum quarter.

A historic quarter

Denmark’s most famous witch, Maren Spliids, lived no more than a stone’s throw away from Quedens Gaard.
She was executed at Galgebakken (Gallows Hill) outside Ribe in 1641.
But Maren Spliids was only one of almost a dozen so-called witches who were executed in Ribe in the Renaissance.

Five of them were convicted by Ebbe Mogensen, who built the gable-front house Sortebrødregade 1.
Thus witch hunt events actually took place in the museum quarter and the surrounding streets.

Bearing this proximity in mind, plans to make use of the authentic setting really began taking shape over the next few years.

A dark history

It was not easy to create a museum that explored such a dark chapter in Danish and European history.

It is a story that most people have heard about but which is also shrouded in myth and hearsay. It thus became one of the museum’s aims for our visitors to become more well-informed about the historical fear of witchcraft and witch-hunting.
These topics may be linked to issues relating to fear, persecution and gender roles today, and can thus provide greater insight into ourselves and our shared history –however dreadful it may have been.

Research

While fundraising for the Quedens Gaard project, we established a strong relationship with the research community at the University of Southern Denmark, where one of Europe’s leading researchers in witchcraft persecution, Associate Professor Louise Kallestrup, is based.
This means that the museum is surrounded by a solidresearch environment, which we continue to cultivate and from which we benefit greatly.

Opening

The museum was inaugurated on June 29, 2020 by Anja Ringgren Lovén, who is known for her great work among the so-called witch children in Nigeria. Her organisation, Land of Hope, has rescued dozens of children who, at best, have been put on the streets by parents and communities convinced of the children’s possession by evil spirits and witchcraft.

Support

HEX! Museum of Witch Hunt has received DKK 23 million in support of the renovation and interior design of the museum and we owe tremendous thanks to

  • Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
  • A.P. Møller Fonden
  • Inger og Jørgen Nygaard Larsens Fond
  • Sportgoodsfonden
  • Bikubens Fond
  • SE Vækstpuljen
  • Bevica-fonden
  • Johan Hoffmann Fonden

Partners

The exhibitions are developed in partnership with Moesgaard Museums Udstillingstegnestue.Jørgen Overbys Tegnestue A/S is responsible for the building renovation of the entire Quedens Gaard quarter.