Copenhagen – One

Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, started as a castle built in 1167 named Kaufmanne Hafen. Come visit the palaces, colorful waterfronts, museums, historic churches and cobblestone streets of this exciting Danish city.

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1 Christian VIII’s Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Levetzau’s Palace was built in 1760 for Count Christian Frederik Levetzau. After it was sold in 1756, it became the home of various Royal Family members. It was renamed Christian VIII’s Palace when Christian Fredrick became the King of Denmark in 1839. The last descendant to make this his residence was Crown Prince Frederik, the current heir apparent to the throne. This building is one of four identical slots that constitute Amalienborg.

Amalienborg Slotsplads 7 1257 København K, Denmark
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2 Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark

Since 1658, the Royal Life Guards have been entrusted to protect Denmark’s monarchy. Each day at noon, this infantry regiment has a ceremonious changing of the guard in the Amalienborg Palace courtyard. Their blue or scarlet uniform always includes the wearing of the traditional bearskin hat.

Amalienborg Slotsplads 7 1257 København K, Denmark
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3 Equestrian Statue of Frederick V at Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark

This equestrian statue in the Amalienborg Palace courtyard is a tribute to Frederick V who was the King of Denmark and Norway from 1746 until his death at 42 in 1766. Despite being dressed here as Roman emperor, his personal accomplishments were minimal perhaps because he favored drinking and partying. However, he is credited with commissioning the Amalienborg Palace where this work by Jacques François Joseph Saly has stood since 1771. In the background is the dome of Frederik’s Church.

Amalienborg Slotsplads 7 1257 København K, Denmark
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4 People Walking along Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark

The word Nyhaven means “new harbor” which was appropriate when this canal was made in the 1670s. It bustled with fishing and cargo ships when most of these row houses were built during the 17th and 18th century. The fourth building from the left is the oldest. No. 9. was built in 1681. After decades of decline, the area was revitalized during the 1970s. The pedestrian streets are now a popular place for locals and tourists.

Nyhavn 3, 1051 København, Denmark
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5 Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

In 1837, Hans Christian Anderson wrote a fairy tale about a mermaid who longed for the love a prince. The story has been retold in various media including a ballet at the Royal Theater in Copenhaugen. When the son of Carlsberg Brewery owner saw it, he asked the ballet star Ellen Price to pose for sculptor Edvard Eriksen. This statue along the Langelinie promenade at the water’s edge became iconic almost immediately after being unveiled in 1913.

Langelinie 19 2100 København Ø, Denmark
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6 Activ Schooner Moored in Copenhagen, Denmark

This wooden schooner moored along a quay in Copenhagen is the Activ. This ice-class cargo vessel with 13 sails was built in 1951 and is a joy to behold. Equally exciting is reading all the Internet blogs from various crews who have sailed her on voyages in the Baltic and the North Atlantic Ocean, including the scientific “Expedition to the end of the world” to various polar regions.

Toldbodgade 28B 1253 København K, Denmark
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7 Dragon Spire on Børsen in Copenhagen, Denmark

Take a close look at the tower on the Børsen or Old Stock Exchange. The intertwining dragons on the 197 foot spire represent the Kalmar Union. This was a close relationship among the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The tower was finished in 1625 and replaced in 1775. According to legend, it has protected the building from multiple fires that destroyed its neighbors on Slotsholmen over the centuries.

Børsgade 2 1215 København K, Denmark
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8 Mercury Statue at Børsen in Copenhagen, Denmark

It seems appropriate that a statue of Mercury would be outside of the Børsen because it was the center for the stock exchange and a market dating back to 1624. Mercury is the Roman god of financial gain and commerce plus the protector of merchants. In his right hand is a sack of money. In his left is a caduceus which is a staff with two intertwined serpents. It is symbolic of occupations and trades. The statue was created by Johann Christoph Petzold in the mid-18th century.

Børsgade 2 1215 København K, Denmark
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9 Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

There have been two castles and three palaces that have stood here on an island appropriately called Slotsholmen which means The Castle Islet. The first was built by Bishop Absalon in 1167. The current Christiansborg Palace was built in 1928. It houses all three executive branches of the Danish government including the offices of the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister. It is also used by the royal monarchs on special occasions. The spire reaches a height of almost 350 feet.

Christiansborg Slotsplads 1218 København K, Denmark
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10 Christiansborg Palace Chapel in Copenhagen, Denmark

The first chapel for the Danish Royal Family was built in 1745. After being nearly destroyed by fire in 1794, it was restored into this neo-classical style and consecrated in 1826. It burned again in 1992 and inaugurated in 1997. For centuries, this church has been the venue for weddings, confirmations, baptisms and funerals for the monarchs and their family members.

Prins Jørgens Gård 4 1218 København K, Denmark
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11 Cyclist in Front of Holmens Kirke in Copenhagen, Denmark

This woman is peddling her bike along Børsgade. Across the canal is the Holmens Kirke which was consecrated in 1619. Later during the 17th century, it was extensively expanded into a renaissance, cruciform design by architect Leonhard Blasius. The Church of Holmen’s denomination is Lutheran and it is affiliated with the Church of Denmark.

Holmens Kanal 21, 1060 København K, Denmark
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12 Men Sitting at Church of the Holy Ghost in Copenhagen, Denmark

I wondered if these two men drinking coffee at the entrance of the Church of the Holy Ghost know the history of this location. It began as a Franciscan monastery in 1238. At the end of the 13th century, the Hospital of the Holy Ghost was added. When it became an abbey in 1469, the Helligåndskirken was built. Parts of that original church exist today. For example, this renaissance portal dates back to 1630. However, much it was destroyed during the great city fire of 1728 and was subsequently rebuilt.

Niels Hemmingsens Gade 5, 1153 København, Denmark
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13 Caritas Well at Gammeltorv in Copenhagen, Denmark

On the right is the Caritas Well, a renaissance fountain constructed in 1610 on the orders of King Christian IV. On top of the copper basin is a bronze sculpture by Statius Otto of a pregnant mother with her children, an allegory for love and charity. It is located in the Strøget shopping district at Gammeltorv, the city’s oldest square that dates back to the 12th century.

Gammeltorv 8 1457 København K, Denmark
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14 Churchill Park in Copenhagen, Denmark

This tree-lined waterway is Churchillparken, an almost five acre public park in Copenhagen. As you might expect, its namesake is the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill. The grounds used to encircle a 17th century fort named Kastellet. Churchill Park is just one of several relaxing green spaces you can enjoy in an otherwise bustling city.

Churchillparken 7, Frihedsmuseet, 1263 København K, Denmark
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15 St. Alban’s Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

Nearly 78% of the country’s population are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark so it is unusual to find a church of a different denomination. St. Alban’s is devoted to the Church of England and was consecrated in 1887. Often referred to as the English Church, its namesake is Saint Alban. He was a Roman Britain soldier who was beheaded for his Christian faith during the 3rd century.

Churchillparken 11, 1263 København K, Denmark
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16 Gefion Water Fountain in Copenhagen, Denmark

This massive water fountain in Churchill Park celebrates a Norse myth of when the Goddess Gefion was told by Swedish King Gylfe that she could have all of the land she could plough in 24 hours. By turning her four sons into oxen, she was able to create the island of Zealand where Copenhagen is located. The Gefion Springvandet monument was the gift of the Carlsberg Brewery Foundation to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Churchillparken & Langelinie, 1263 København K, Denmark
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17 City Hall From Inner Courtyard in Copenhagen, Denmark

This is Copenhagen’s sixth City Hall. The first dates back to the early 13th century. This one, as seen from behind in its inner courtyard, was built in 1905 by architect Martin Nyrop. Its design is similar to a town hall in Siena, Italy. Inside are the offices of the municipal government, council and Lord Mayor. It is free to walk inside for a self-guided stroll or, better yet, sign up for one of the tours.

Rådhuspladsen 1, 1599 København, Denmark
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18 Bishop Absalon Frieze Inside City Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark

In the center of this frieze above the City Hall entrance is Absalon who was the Bishop of Roskilde (1158-1192) and the Archbishop of Lund (1178-1201). He had a strong relationship with King Valdemar I of Denmark and was a powerful influence in expanding the church during the 12th century. In 1167, he built a castle in Havn (Harbour). That location evolved into today’s Copenhagen, making him the father of the city. The motto beneath his image reads “Saa er by som borger” which means “A city epitomizes its people.”

Rådhuspladsen 1, 1599 København, Denmark
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19 Boats Docked along Frederiksholm Kanal in Copenhagen, Denmark

This tug and weathered houseboat are moored along a quay in Frederiksholm Kanal. This view is from Byghusbro or the Brewhouse Bridge. It was built in 1935 as a connection between Christian IV’s Brewhouse and the Brewhouse Site. In the upper left corner is a peek at the 346 foot tall clock tower of City Hall.

Frederiksholms Kanal 27 1220 København K, Denmark
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20 Hans Christian Andersen in Copenhagen, Denmark

This distinguished looking gentleman wearing 19th century attire and an opera hat while staring thoughtfully towards the sky is Han Christian Andersen. He was a prolific writer of poetry but most noted for his 150 beloved fairy tales. This statue of Denmark’s famous native son was created in 1961 by Henry Luckow-Nielsen and was sponsored by Copenhagen Municipality. It is next to the City Hall at the edge of Råhuspladsen, a large center city square.

H. C. Andersens Blvd. 24 1553 København V, Denmark
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21 Hans Christian Andersen Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark

Carl Jacobsen is remembered for his role as the head of Carlsberg Brewery but also his passion for art and philanthropy. He established generous art scholarships, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek sculpture museum, was a director of the National Art Gallery and provided a grant for constructing this building in 1893 for the Danish Museum of Art. It was purchased in 1978 by Tivoli, the adjacent amusement park, and renamed Hans Christian Anderson Castle.

H. C. Andersens Blvd. 22 1553 København V, Denmark
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22 Rooftop Tivoli Sign in Copenhagen, Denmark

This elaborate sign on the roof of H.C. Andersen Slottet welcomes approximately four million visitors a year to Tivoli. It is a huge seasonal amusement park that offers over forty attractions and rides. One of the most popular is a wooden rollercoaster called Rutschebanen. Historically, Tivoli Gardens was built in 1843 on the grounds where the Danes gallantly fought off the Swedes in a 1659 attack on Copenhagen.

H. C. Andersens Blvd. 20 1553 København V, Denmark
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23 Old Container Crane in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen began as a fishing village in the 10th century and its waterway was essential to it becoming a major international trading city. In fact it’s original name, Køpmannæhafn, means “merchants’ harbor.” This old container crane at Nordre Toldbod might be a relic of Copenhagen’s past, but you’ll still see ships of every size including cruise lines, commercial vessels and pleasure boats. In the background is a battleship in front of a Naval station on the island of Nyholm.

Nordre Toldbod 5, 1259 København K, Denmark
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24 Royal Pavilions in Copenhagen, Denmark

These two Royal Pavilions are a silent reflection of the former importance of the Nordre Toldbod waterfront. It was here that a Custom House stood for collecting shipping tolls and where arriving dignitaries where greeted by the monarchs. Most of the historic buildings were torn down in the early 1970’s. One of the few that survived is the Port Authority Building which was built in 1868. These pavilions stand between it and the harbor.

Nordre Toldbod 5, 1259 København K, Denmark
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25 Magasin du Nord in Copenhagen, Denmark

From 1838 until 1847, Hans Christian Andersen was a resident of the Hotel du Nord. In 1870, Theodor Wessel and Emil Vett opened their first modest Copenhagen clothing shop here. Nineteen years later, their Magasin du Nord store took over the entire building. In 1894, they replaced it with the gorgeous Magasin du Nord structure. Interesting, they maintained the name Hotel du Nord over the main entrance. If you enjoy history more than shopping, then take a look at their museum that opened in 2013. It traces the first 150 year history of the popular Danish department store chain.

Kongens Nytorv 13, 1050 København K, Denmark
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26 Nyborder Old Naval Barracks in Copenhagen, Denmark

These yellow row houses are part of a complex of barracks built for the Royal Danish Navy in 1641. Nyborder, which means “new small houses,” were the residents of non-officers and their families. A second stage of two-story buildings was added at the end of the 18th century. Today, these historic structures are still home to military personnel but some are occupied by civilians.

Sankt Pauls Gade 28 1313 København K, Denmark
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27 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Art Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

What began as a private collection during the late 19th century of sculptures and art by Carl Jacobsen, the son of the Carlsberg Breweries founder, grew into the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Art Museum. This grand, Venetian renaissance building is the Dahlerup Wing named after its architect Wilhelm Dahlerup. It opened in 1897. Since then, several subsequent structures have been added to the museum.

Dantes Plads 7 1704 København V, Denmark
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28 Court House at Nytorv in Copenhagen, Denmark

The structure is reminiscent of an ancient Greek or Roman temple with its six Ionic columns, dentil molding around the cornice and huge pediment. It was originally built in 1815 by architect C. F. Hansen as the City Hall and Court. It is now only the Copenhagen Court House. In Danish, the inscription reads, “With law the country shall be built.” It is a quote by Valdemar II. Valdemar the Victorious was King of Denmark from 1202 until 1241.

Nytorv 25, 1450 København K, Denmark
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29 Rosenborg Castle and Resting Lion in Copenhagen, Denmark

Several major architectural projects were commissioned in Copenhagen during the 17th century. Most were designed in the Dutch Renaissance style. A classic example is the Rosenborg Castle built in 1624. The slot served as a royal residence from 1624 until 1710 plus two other short times during Copenhagen’s history. The Resting Lion, which pre-dates 1673, is one of two matching sculptures. They protect a small pedestrian bridge leading from The King’s Garden.

Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark
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30 Royal Theater Old Stage in Copenhagen, Denmark

This is the upper level of the Royal Danish Theater on Kongens Nytorv now referred to as the Old Stage. The craftsmanship of Det Kongelige Teater, which was built in 1874, is amazing. I marveled at the delicate reliefs of theater masks and angels, the elaborate balcony with column-supported archways, the mosaic ceiling and the intricate statues above the dentil molding. This house used to be the venue for opera, ballet, orchestra and other musical concerts. Today, it primarily serves the Royal Danish Ballet whose origin dates back to 1748.

Kongens Nytorv 9 1050 København K, Denmark
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31 Tøjhus Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Tøjhusmuseet is a fascinating museum for anyone interested in military history. Inside is a huge collection of arms, weapons, vehicles, aircraft, uniforms and informative exhibits that trace back war events since the middle ages. Although the Tøjhus Museum was established in 1928, it is housed in the former armory of King Christian IV. When the arsenal was built in 1604, its massive width of 534 feet made it the largest armament in the world.

Christians Brygge 12 1219 København K, Denmark
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32 Jewelry Store on Østergade in Copenhagen, Denmark

If your shopping taste is hungry for luxury items, then head towards Østergade which is a short street leading into Kongens Nytorv or King’s New Square. This part of the Strøget shopping district has famous brand stores as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Mulberry and Prada. Or you can explore local retailers like Klarlund. This fine jewelry store has served Danes and tourists since 1947.

Østergade 22, 1100 København K, Denmark
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33 Art Nouveau Design of Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark

A popular architectural trend at the turn of the 19th century was Art Nouveau. It embraces and harmonizes flowing and elegant lines both inside and out. A good example is the Palace Hotel which opened along the edge of City Hall Square in Copenhagen in 1910. The architect, Anton Rosen, was so meticulous that he not only crafted a beautiful building but then designed such minute details as the furniture, staff uniforms and even the room keys. It is now owned by Scandic Hotels.

Rådhuspladsen 57, 1550 København V, Denmark
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34 National Gallery Art Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

Inside this impressive Italian renaissance structure, which opened in 1896, is the Statens Museum for Kunst. The National Gallery of Denmark has a collection of over 250,000 pieces of Danish, European and French art that dates from the 14th century until modern times. The artists range from masters like Henri Matisse to contemporary ones with promising talent. Admission is free.

Sølvgade 48, 1307 København, Denmark
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