South of Skagen on the east coast lies the picturesque little town by the sea, Sæby with its well-preserved, yellow-washed houses. Sæby has an exciting story and is in fact one of the oldest towns in Northern Jutland. Since 1524 Sæby has been a market town, but the first inhabitants settled here during the Viking Age.
In the old part of Sæby lies the former monastery church, St. Mary’s, the last remnants of a large four-winged Carmelite Monastery established in 1470. The Carmelite monks specially venerated the Virgin Mary, and the Virgin Mary is the central figure in the church and also on the town’s coat of arms. St. Mary’s Church is famed for its beautiful 16 th century frescoes depicting Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary. In the choir you can still see 20 of the original 32 monks stalls. The baptismal font from 1645 is Baroque and carved in wood. The 16 th century altarpiece is from the Netherlands.
In the last decade of the 19 th century artists and writers gathered in Sæby. Among them the Norwegian playwriter, Henrik Ibsen, who found inspiration in the idyllic town.
Sæby has a lively harbour with excellent fish restaurants. Workshops with handicrafts, galleries, and a lively bustle of activity at the town square help to enhance the special atmosphere of the town