The Sanatorium


About the year 1900 there were 6,000 new tuberculosis cases each year in Denmark – a third of which were fatal.

People began to realize that healthy lifestyles, better hygiene and better living conditions made them resistant to infection. Thus in 1901 the Danish National Anti-Tuberculosis Association was founded. The following year the association decided to build 23 public sanatoria across the country. In 1892, Doctor Kristen Isager started a medical practice in Ry. By 1903 he became head doctor at the newly opened female sanatorium of the Danish National Anti-Tuberculosis Association in Ry. The sanatorium had room for 38 patients – and was constructed according to designs by the architect Bernhard Ingemann. Two years prior to the opening of the sanatorium, Doctor Isager had written a doctoral thesis on the spread of tuberculosis in rural districts. Doctor Isager was one of the most prominent figures in the station town, and had a seat on the first board of directors of Artisan and Citizen Association when it was set up in 1895. He was also highly preoccupied with local history and keenly followed the archaeological excavations at Øm Monastery, which really took off from 1913. Isager was heavily involved in the work and he examined the almost 900 skeletons exhumed at Øm by the National Museum of Denmark. Historical artefacts also turned up closer to the sanatorium. In 1913 Isager wrote to the historian Christian Heilskov: "Ten years ago, when the sanatorium was built, some excavations were made in the bog, lying beneath the sanatorium. I was on a trip then, but when I returned home, I was informed that remains of old roads, wood and stones had been found in the bog. I knew that Rye Mill and the ford were from more recent times. I knew that the old road Skanderborgvej led to Siim, and from Siim a gully led down to the bog, and that this seemed to be a very old but also very busy road – although now it is never used. Furthermore, from Rye village [at present Gl. Rye – old Ry] a similar road leads to the farm Fælund. It seems probable to connect these roads and to think that the old ford across the stream has been the place called Snevringen". The National Museum of Denmark examined the area in 1972 and found timber and stone dams at the bottom of the river Gudenå. The Faldgårde construction is an old ford crossing the river Gudenå from the Viking Age around year 1,000. Later on the ford was moved to Rye Mølle (Ry Mill), at the place where Rodelundvej crosses the river today. The sanatorium in Ry has been taken over by Schleroseforeningen (the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society) which today operates a private hospital there.