Varde is an old town of uncertain age, but the town's history can be traced back to the early middle ages, when the town was named in written sources as early as around 1100.
Varde gained its municipal charter in 1442, and was thus able to celebrate its five hundred and fiftieth anniversary as a municipality in 1992.
Although Varde has suffered a number of major fires over the ages, most recently in 1821, there are many attractive well-preserved buildings, among them Sct. Jacobi Kirke (St. James’s church) from 1150 on the town square, and the merchant houses Den Kampmannske Gaard from 1781, Den Palludanske Gaard from 1821, Den Schultz’ske Gaard from 1795, and Sillasens Hus on the town square from 1797. Many of the street layouts in the inner town are still as they were in the Middle Ages, and houses which have preserved their original character can be seen here.