43km (27 miles) W of Århus; 279km (173 miles) W of Copenhagen; 37km (23 miles) S of Viborg
If you go on a TV trivia quiz show and are asked the question "How old is the oldest man in the world and where does he reside?" remember that the answer, hopefully for $100,000, is the "Tollund Man," who is in pretty good shape, having been born 2,400 years ago. He resides in Central Jutland in the little town of Silkeborg. To make his acquaintance, read on.
In the heart of the Danish lake district, this town of 35,000 opens onto the waters of Lake Longsø, where we like to go for a stroll at night to see the largest color fountain in Scandinavia. If you don't like the lake (highly unlikely), there is always the Gudenå River, the longest in Denmark. The Danes themselves come here to go canoeing, hiking through the surrounding hills, or boating on the lake. Silkeborg has some notable attractions, as we will soon see, but many locals prefer it for the joy of its setting "in the great outdoors," as a local proudly informed us.
In 1845, Michael Drewsen, whose statue is seen in the heart of town on the Torvet (main square), built a paper mill here on the east side of the river, and in time other industries sprouted up, leading to great prosperity for the town. Unlike some little towns of Denmark, with their narrow cobblestone streets, Silkeborg is spaciously laid out. A progressive town, it is scenic, historic, but also modern, with a vast shopping district of 200 specialty stores, the largest marketplace in Central Jutland, a multiplex cinema, dozens of restaurants, and a convention center.