ⓘ Mollestien is a street in Aarhus, Denmark which runs west to east from Vester Alle to Gronnegade and intersects Mollegade roughly in the middle. The street is s ..


ⓘ Mollestien

Mollestien is a street in Aarhus, Denmark which runs west to east from Vester Alle to Gronnegade and intersects Mollegade roughly in the middle. The street is situated in the historic Indre By neighborhood and is known for its small houses and cobblestone pavement. The street has existed since before 1300 and the name has been used since the 15th century. The majority of the buildings in the street were constructed between 1870 and 1885.

Mollestien has a unique picturesque architecture that has made it a landmark and tourist attraction.


1. History

Mollestien was most likely created in connection with an expansion of the road network in the 1200s, but it possibly dates back as far as the Viking Age. The name refers to Aarhus Mill and is from sometime before 1600; the mill is mentioned for the first time in 1289 and was situated where the former Aarhus Main Library is located on Mollestien 1 in Molleparken in the western end of the street. The street has previously been split in 3 parts - Mollestien, Vestre Mollesti Western Mollesti and Ostre Mollesti Eastern Mollesti. The street stretched from Mollegade to the area where Lokalcenter Mollestien is today 2017. At that point it curved at a 90 degrees angle and merged into Vestergade. The former path of the street is today marked by a narrow walking path that extends around Lokalcenter Mollestien. Ostre Mollesti was the section of the street east of Gronnegade while Mollestien was the section west of it. The section between Mollestien and Vestergade which is today Gronnegade was previously Vestre Mollesti- Originally there were no direct path from Mollestien to Aarhus river and as a result there was little traffic in the area. Not until Christians Bridge was created in 1910 was Mollestien extended to the river and the street became more lively.

The soil between Mollestien and the river made the backyards of the houses in the street ideally suited for growing vegetables and the street has occasionally been called "Aarhus Amager" as a result. However, the closer to the 20th century the poorer the inhabitants in the street became. The tenants generally could not afford to maintain the buildings or have them improved with new technologies such as modern sanitation and electricity. During the 1920s Aarhus suffered a lack of housing and the small, increasingly decrepit houses became home to impoverished families. In 1925 the conditions had deteriorated so much that several of the houses remained unused despite the general lack of housing throughout the city and a committee was established by the city council to look at ways to improve living conditions. The recommendations were not followed however, and the houses in the street were left to deteriorate for another 50 years.

In June 0f 1960 the city council enacted a renovation plan for Mollestien east of Gronnegade and south of Vestergade which entailed demolishing most of it. Several years passed before the plans could be effectuated and in the meantime the western section of the street became inhabited by young students and artists who renovated the old houses, painted them in colorful colors and planted roses in front of most the houses. The renovation plan for the remaining section was carried out through the 1960s and the old buildings from the turn of the 20th century were replaced with larger, modern structures.

The part of Mollestien that remains is largely left untouched since the 1870s and is one of the places left in *Aarhus that showcases 19th century working class housing in the city.