GORMSGADE 13






Asta Andersen - a legend in Jelling


Bookstore at the corner of Gormsgade og Mølvangvej 1957

unknown/Jelling Lokalhistoriske Arkiv


Same spot 1920
ukendt/Jelling Lokalhistoriske Arkiv


In this corner house there was a bookstore for almost 80 years. It was the only 27-year-old widow, Anna Marie Andersen, who in 1918  rented the house and set up a small bookstore, which over the years became famous knowledge of. She had her little three-year-old daughter, Asta, with her. Before Anna Andersen started her bookshop at Gormsgade 13 in 1918, shoemaker Lützen lived here with their 12 children.

Iin 1936, the road had to be widened and a new house was built behind the old one
Anna Andersen became the owner of the "new" house. The house was quite large and the Andersen family always had several seminarians living there.

As soon as she could, little Asta helped her mother in the store, and it was only natural that after her mother's death, she continued the business.

It was Asta who made the bookstore famous. Asta Andersen was a great personality. She was strongly involved in Jelling's cultural life and it was an experience to step into her bookshop. There were many books here - and much else. If the weather permitted, Asta Andersen sat at a table outside the shop. Here she could follow big and small and have a chat with everyone who had an errand in Gormsgade. The bookstore closed in 1997.

Asta Andersen, was born on an estate south of Jelling, as the daughter of Anna and Marius Andersen.Asta's father died suddenly after a few days of illness, when Asta was only 5 months old. After that, Asta's mother worked at baker Jacobsen in Jelling, and from 1918 she ran a bookstore on the corner of Mølvangvej and Gormsgade, where Surdejsbageren is now located. Asta did not start a family herself. Her mother had looked after her from an infancy and had managed without help. Asta felt a deep commitment to her mother, and early on chose to follow in her mother's footsteps and continued the bookstore. Before Asta Andersen took her education as a bookseller at Boghandlernes Højskole, she attended Snoghøj Gymnastikhøjskole and for a time she taught gymnastics at the seminary's exercise school in Jelling
, gymnastics shows, dilettante performances in the Craftsmen's Association and at the seminary. She was often called for for female roles in the seminary's dilettante performances, as until 1958 there were only male students at the seminary. Jelling's story was one of Asta Andersen's great interests. She followed the archaeological excavations closely, and was at home among the many museum people and archaeologists who visited Jelling.The town of Jelling was her brainchild, and she knew a lot about the city and its inhabitants.
And she became a person who was known and treasured throughout the city, and in 2022 construction has started on a residential area named after her in Jelling


The corner house with bookstore before it was
demolished in 1936 and replaced by a new corner
 building withdrawn from the road

Unknown/Jelling Lokalhistoriske Arkiv


Asta Andersen in front of her bookshop,
which closed in 1997

A picture containing text, building, store, shop Description automatically generated

Erling Nygaard, Jelling/Jelling Lokalhistoriske Arkiv

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