Museum Ovartaci & the Psychiatric Hospital

When you think of obvious candidates for attractions in a city, a psychiatric hospital is seldom top of the list. Aarhus’ Psychiatric Hospital nonetheless has something to offer making it worth a visit, namely the peculiar Museum Ovartaci located on the hospital campus in affluent Risskov, northeast of the City Centre. Ovartaci was the pseudonym of a patient at the hospital through over half a century, who painted a great number of artworks throughout his admission.

Ovartaci was the catalyst for the namesake museum, which contains both an exhibition on the history of psychiatry and an art museum exhibiting artworks made by people with psychiatric disorders. The 800-something works being shown at any given time thus offer a thoroughly interesting insight into a world foreign to most, for which reason the museum has received international attention and appraisal for its ability to demystify these illnesses.

The architecture of the hospital campus only makes it even more noteworthy and worth a visit. With its beautifully curved gables and the prominent spire on the main building, Risskov’s Psychiatric Hospital is a noteworthy remnant of 19th century architecture in Aarhus. Go for a walk among the yellow buildings and their green surroundings, and maybe sit down for a cup of coffee at the museum cafĂ© to complete a pleasant visit at the pleasant campus.

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