One Beautiful Day in Copenhagen
October 3, 2005

We drove from Trelleborg on the south coast of Skåne across the 'new' bridge from south of Malmö to south of Copenhagen and found our hotel without too much difficulty in a nice little street off 'Rådhuspladsen'.

After lunch in a pleasant little basement restaurant across the street from our hotel, we set out on a long walk through our favorite places in the Danish capital. First of all, our beloved 'Gammel Strand', the street where the legendary 'Krogs Fiskerestaurant' still is today after probably 100 years on the same premises, Gammel Strand 38. Price level : High says the guide books. We've been there a couple of times so we had decided not to go back on this visit.



A first view of Thorvaldsens Museum in the center just before we turn into Gammel Strand on the left. This wonderful museum opened in 1848, Copenhagen's very first museum, dedicated to the enormously prolific and widely appreciated sculptor and painter, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770 - 1844). On the right in the photo, you can see the tower of Christiansborg Slot (Castle), on Slotsholmen, the home of the Danish Parliament (folketinget) behind what is presumably adminsitrative buildings.
And, of course, the ubiquitous bicycles, the trade mark of Copenhagen.
John at the beginning of Gammel Strand with the old and picturesque buildings on the left.
On the right is Thorvaldsens Museum on Slotsholmen.


We are walking down Gammel Strand (the old waterfront) towards the place that used to be the open air market for fresh fish. Krogs fiskerestaurant is on the left, most likely where one of the flags is hanging out from the front wall. In the background, we think, is the church that was transformed into a museum. Here is Siv next to the famous statue of the fish mongeress, at the end of Gammel Strand. The men fished during the night and the women sold the fish in the early morning, until very recently on this very quay and on the small square behind me, Fisketorvet. Over on the right is the pointed tower of the Danish Stock Exchange (Börsen).  



Fisketorvet seen from the statue of the fish mongeress. The equestrian statue is presumably  one of the Danish kings named Christian, but  uncertain which one. This used to be the open air fish market but has now turned into a sidewalk café. We are looking down southeast towards the Stock Exchange (Börsen) - the green roofs and the pointed tower on the right



We wound our way up north to Kongens Nytorv (The King's New Plaza) and the
Kongelige Teater. Statues of
Ludvig Holberg and Adam Oehlenschläger guard the entrance to this imposing old theater. It dates from 1748 and was from the beginning the theater of the king. It later became the theater of the whole country. 
Hotel d'Angleterre seen across Kongens Nytorv with the equestrian statue of Christian V in the middle of the park. The Plaza was named after this king. (The King's New Plaza)


Just around the corner from Kongens Nytorv is the famous Nyhavn (New harbor), which used to be, in my early youth, a place where Swedish dupes got robbed of their money in smoky and ill reputed dance places. The warehouses that were lining the canal in those days have since been fixed up to be less shady and have become a different kind of tourist traps with sidewalk cafés and always a huge crowd of tourists, from Japanese to Americans.


"One of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen is the Old Stock Exchange - situated on the island of Slotsholmen and built by King Christian IV (1577-1648 - who ruled Denmark and Norway and parts of southern Sweden 1588-1648) in 1619-1640.

The tower on the Stock Exchange with the famous "Dragon-spire" symbolizing the union of the Nordic countries - with three golden crowns on top of the 60 meter high tower construction." (The Old Stock Exchange -- Copenhagen)he Old Stock Exchange - CopenhagenThe Old Stock Epenhagen


On our way back to the hotel, we passed closer to Börsen (the Stock Exchange) with its serpent tower. Here we are on Börsgade on our way north-west, where we are going to walk around the back and the side of Thorvaldsens Museum on Slotsholmen.


Christiansborg Castle is surrounded by a 2 km long canal with 8 bridges crossing over it.

Christiansborg Castle houses the Danish Parliament and is the third castle constructed since the very first one was built 800 years ago and on the very same spot where Bishop Absalon, who foundeed Copenhagen around 1160-1167, built the first castle.
Today's Christiansborg Castle was built in stages during 1907-28, and besides being the seat of the Danish Parliament (Folketing) the castle also houses the Royal Reception Rooms with the Great Hall used for banquets held for foreign heads of state and diplomatic audiences.


We are on our way back to Gammel Strand, only on the castle side of the canals surrounding the
Slotsholmen.
A quaint and colorful little street with a few of the ubiquitous bicycles. On our way back to our point of departure along Börsgaden and in front of Christiansborg Castle, we had to fight all the bicycles to cross the street on Vindebrogade across the canal from Gammel Strand and Nybrogade. When a hoard of bicycles are threatening their onslaught, you do well to stand aside.




Glyptoteket is a most breathtakingly beautiful art museum, as well for the buildings, the gardens, the spectacular halls, the very architecture -- as for the sculptures and paintings themselves.

"The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was founded by the brewer Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914) who created one of the largest private art collections of his time. It was named after his brewery, Ny Carlsberg, with the addition of "Glyptotek", meaning collection of sculpture. ...
"
To secure the future of the collection, Carl Jacobsen and his wife Ottilia donated it to the public in 1888 and 1899. ...

"Today, the museum houses the largest collection of ancient art in Northern Europe, primarily sculpture, from Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Italy. But during the more than one hundred years of its existence, the museum has also expanded the collection of French and Danish art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Impressionists, Paul Gauguin and Auguste Rodin (Le Penseur) are particularly well represented."

See more at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


A small glimpse of the magnificent gardens at GlyptoteketOne of the courtyards at Glyptoteket
Egyptian catsThe kind of  boat with people in it that I am passionately fond of.  This one reminds me very much of  the wonderful ethnological Dahlem Museum in southern Berlin.

In the center of Rådhuspladsen there is a column with an impressive bronze statue of two Vikings blowing in horns, the kind they used about 1000 years ago, long curved pipes.

On the left you can see a glimpse of the very fashionable Palace Hotel, which is also on the left in the picture to the right.


Rådhuspladsen (the City Hall Square), our own photo from 1971.
The very center of Copenhagen from Tivoli and the Grand Central Station (Hovedbangården), across 
Rådhuspladsen down to Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn is easily covered in one afternoon, even with small side trips and stops for looking around and reminiscing. However, if you want to go over east to Amalienborg, the Royal Palace, and where the major embassies are also located, you would preferably need another day.

My much beloved Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park in Europe
 and probably the most fascinating one in the western world.


We walked by the Tivoli entrance in the evening, only to find that they were closed for the season. So here are some pictures from our visit to Tivoli in 1971


Tivoli Gardens is a world famous amusement park in Copenhagen. The park opened on August 15, 1843 and, except for Dyrehavsbakken (The Animal Park Hill) in nearby Klampenborg, it is the oldest amusement park which has survived intact to the present day. 

A little Tudor-style farming house next to a huge duck pond where weeping willows are hanging their branches over the water. 



The central part of the huge White Building with Moorish towers, which has been called the Taj Mahal, even though there is not much resemblance.


The Chinese Pagoda with
one of the innumerable restuarants behind the pond with the paddle boats. The Danes love to eat and drink well.

The Chinese pavilion was beautifully lighted up before we left wonderful Tivoli late in the evening

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