Vallekilde Communications College on West Zealand was founded as a folk high school by theologian Ernst Trier in 1865. The first building was opened in 1867, and ten years later, a craftsmen's vocational department was added. In 1907-08 an even larger extension was added by architect Martin Nyrop. Vallekilde's exercise house" gymnasium was designed by Martin Nyrop and Andreas Bentsen. This gymnasium was where Vallekilde first introduced Per Henrik Ling's Swedish-style gymnastics in Denmark in 1884. The Swedish-style gymnastics focused on free bodily movement, unlike the earlier exercises inspired by the Germans. Vallekilde created the foundation for a new neighbourhood with Nordic style housing for the teachers and a cross-shaped church from 1882. "
Folk high schools that teach young adults are a Danish concept. The folk high school concept was devised by theologian N.F.S. Grundtvig and Christen Kold. The first high school was established by Christian Flor in Rødding in 1844. Christen Kold's folk high school in Ryslinge on Funen was given a warm welcome in 1851. The high schools became especially popular after 1860 with Askov, Testrup and Vallekilde High Schools being the most vibrant examples. Since then, more than 350 folk high schools have been established in Denmark. Many small schools have closed again due to low attendance and poor finances. But the concept inspired others in foreign education sectors to follow suit. Folk high schools were founded in Norway in 1864, in Sweden in 1868 and in Finland in 1890. Today, there are folk high schools in several European countries as well as in the USA, Africa and Asia.