Viborg is one of the oldest cities in Denmark. The city has 40,778 inhabitants (2020) and is centrally located in Central Jutland by Hærvejen. The town is divided into two lakes, Søndersø and Nørresø. The town's name, which through the ages has been written as Wiborg, Wibjerg, Wibiærgh, Wybærgh, Wiburgh and in Latin Wibergis, refers to a consecrated place for worship (We in Old Danish means sanctuary) and to the town's location high in the terrain. Viborg thus means "the holy place on the hill".

The entire Viborg Municipality has 96,921 inhabitants (2020) inhabitants by 2020. The municipality is Denmark's second largest after Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality. Since 1 January 2007, the city has been the seat of the central administration in the Central Jutland Region.

In 2012, Viborg Municipality was named Sports Municipality of the Year and Youth Municipality of the Year.



There is archaeological evidence that the first urban formation in Viborg took place in the late 900s and early 1000s. It took place by one or more large Viking age farms being divided into smaller plots along a street. Viborg is mentioned in a literary source (Gisle Surssøn's saga), which tells that Gisle and two of his friends from Iceland traveled south to Denmark and came to the market town of Viborg, where they spent the winter with a man named Sigurhaddur. It must have taken place in 961, but since the saga was written several hundred years later, the text is not a sure testimony to Viborg's age. Around 1060, Jutland was divided into dioceses and Viborg became a diocese. In the early 12th century, construction of the cathedral began. In the middle of the 12th century, the city was fortified with a rampart and a tomb in connection with the disputes between the royal subjects Svend, Knud and Valdemar. Entrance to the city was then through five city gates: at Skt. Mathias Gade, Skt. Mikkels Gade, Skt. Hans Gade, Skt. Mogens Gade and Skt. Ibs Gade.

At the beginning of the 14th century, King Erik Menved built a fortification on a hillside by the Viborg lakes. The fortification was not built to protect the city and its citizens, but was a so-called forced castle, which was to ensure the king's influence on Viborg County Council. The castle was already demolished again in connection with the next change of king in 1320, when Erik Mendved's brother Christoffer II became king. Bakkeknolden, where the fortification was located, is now part of the park Borgvold. At the top of the hill is a monument to King Erik Ejegod.

In the Middle Ages, Viborg had five monasteries and twelve parish churches. With the exception of part of Gråbrødre Kloster and the church belonging to Sortebrødre Kloster, all the monasteries and the twelve parish churches were demolished in connection with the Reformation. The Lutheran-Evangelical Reformation of Denmark itself began in Viborg in connection with Hans Tausen's stay in the city 1525-1529. In this connection, it is worth mentioning that Søndre Sogns Church was the first Danish church to be allowed to hold Lutheran services.

Viborg is still the center of the Roman Catholic congregation in Central and Western Jutland, and in 1966 St. Kjeld's Church was consecrated as the congregation's local meeting point, and later the current St. Kjeld's Church was built on the same grounds in 2008.

The city has been exposed to several major fires, including in 1501 and in 1567. However, the great catastrophe occurred on June 25, 1726, when a fire broke out, which during the following days destroyed the entire eastern part of the city with the cathedral, Sortebrødre Church and the town hall. It took a very long time before Viborg got back on its feet. The town, which in the Middle Ages had 4,000 - 5,000 inhabitants, in the middle of the 18th century had less than 2,000 inhabitants.

Viborg began to grow again in the 1830s, among other things in connection with the Estates Assembly for North Jutland being given a seat in Viborg. Since then, other institutions came to the city: the garrison, Denmark's first credit union and Hedeselskabet. In 1864, the railway line from Langå over Viborg to Skive was opened. The first railway station was at Søndersø, but in 1896 the railway was run southwest of the city, and the new railway station was built the same year. Two other railway lines, which went from Viborg over Karup to Herning and from Viborg over Fårup to Mariager, have been closed again.

From 1865 to 2001, Viborg had a garrison, as the 3rd Regiment, which was later named the Prince's Life Regiment, was garrisoned in the city. Viborg Barracks, which was mainly built in the 1930s, was taken over by Viborg Municipality when the regiment left the city to move to Skive. The barracks area has been expanded to a knowledge and education center, and Viborg's new town hall opened in the area in 2011. From 1913 to 1947 it also had the 2nd General Command, and for part of the period also the Jutland Division Command, domiciled in Viborg. The General Command building in Sct. Mathias Gade, built in 1913 with Søren Vig-Nielsen as architect, has now been sold to a private party and houses a law firm.

The city houses the National Archives of North Jutland. The main building, which was completed in 1891, was built by architect Hack Kampmann. A modern magazine building was designed by the royal building inspector Leopold Teschl.