Central Copenhagen - Tourist Sites (København) - Part 3
17. The City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). The City Hall Square is one of the largest squares in the city. The square is a major crossroads in the city. It is here where you will find Copenhagen City Hall (Københavns Rådhus), Tivoli Gardens, the enterance to the main walking street (Strøget) and it is a stones throw away from Copenhagen’s Central Train Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård, København H ). Towards the centre of Rådhuspladsen you will find a statue of Hans Christian Andersen who is Denmark’s best known author. The square was once the site of one of the main gates into the city when Copenhagen was surrounded by a defensive wall. The gate was called ‘Vesterport’. The square came into being when the gate was torn down in 1857. Up until 1897 the square was called Straw Square (Halmtorvet) since the ‘Vesterport’ gate was known as the place where farmers would gather to sell fresh straw to the citizens of Copenhagen.
18. The National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst). The best known art museum in Copenhagen is certainly The National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst) which was built in 1896 by the designers and architects Vilhelm Dahlerup and G.E.W Møller. The museum was built in the Italian Renaissance Style. In 1998 the museum was expanded and an extension which was designed by the architect Anna Maria Indrio was added to the building. The new building was constructed in the park behind the original building, and is connected to the old building by a glass-covered walkway. The museum contains collections of art as far back as 14th century. The museum has many works on display by the best known painters and sculptors in history. In the older European and Danish collections there are artworks by Mantegna, Titian, Tintoretto, Breugel, Rubens, Frans Hals and Rembrandt. The modern collection comprises work by Picasso, Braque, Leger, Matisse, Modigliani and Emil Nolde. Local Danish painters are also well represented with the styles of C.W. Eckersberg, Oluf Høst, Edward Weihe, Olaf Rude and Haral Giersing as well as the Danish sculptor Carl Bonnesen. The Museum also has many special temporary exhibits. There is a kid’s museum, a café and a bookstore. The Museum is closed on Mondays, and there is free entrance on Wednesdays.
19. Holmers Church (Holmers Kirke). The Holmers Church building was built in 1563. However, the building was originally not used as a Church; instead it was used to forge ship anchors. King Christian IV decided to turn the smithy into a Church in 1619. In 1640 Holmers Kirke underwent several renovations and two side chapels were added to the building. Two of Denmark’s best known Navy commanders are buried in the church; Peder Tordenskjold and Niels Juel. There is also a memorial to the many Danish seafarers who lost their lives during World War II.
20. The Royal Library (Det Kongelige Bibliotek). The Danish Royal Library was founded in 1648, and it is the largest library in Northern Europe. The Kongelige Bibliotek buildings are located on the island of Slotsholmen. In the front of the building there is a peaceful, idyllic garden which was designed by H.J. Holm in 1906. By the water there is The Black Diamond building (Den Sorte Diamant) which was designed by the architectural firm Schmidt, Hammer and Lassen in 1999. The Black Diamond building was added to the Royal Library complex. Inside The Black Diamond there are many exhibition rooms, reading rooms, concert halls, cafes and a bookstore. There is also a Photography Museum (Fotomuseum) with photographs from Denmark and around the world. The oldest photos museum date back to 1839. Another museum in the Black Diamond building is the Museum of Danish Cartoon Art (Museum for Dansk Bladtegning). The building is open from Monday to Saturday. The building opens at 8 am, yet the exhibitions and library do not open until 10 am.
21. Danish Museum of Art and Design (Kunstindustrimuseet). The Danish Museum of Decorative Art is found in the old Frederik’s Hospital. This elegant Rococo building was built in 1757, and it was designed by the Danish architect Nicolai Eigtved. The Kunstindustrimuseet is best known for the many displays of Danish furniture art and design; however there is also a decent collection of works by International designers. The museum features many works by the most influential Danish Designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Kaare Klint. Kaare Klint happens to be one of the two architects who helped to transform the old Frederik’s Hospital into the museum we see today. It is staggering to think of the impact that the small country of Denmark had on the design world with the concepts of Danish Functionalism. Danish Functionalism was a method of thinking of and approaching design. The museums exhibitions will leave you with a great impression of the enormous influence that Danish Design and Danish Designers had during the 20th century. The museum’s temporary exhibitions are usually noteworthy and they have been known to draw large crowds to the museum. The museum also has a café, and there are scheduled musical and theatrical performances on the Green Farm patio (Grønnegården).
22. The Freedom Museum (Frihedsmuseet). The Freedom Museum is an interesting Museum which profiles the Danish resistance to their German occupiers during World War II. Frihedsmuseet sheds some light on what day to day life was like for your average Dane during the Second World War. There is free entrance to the museum on Wednesdays.
23. Tojhus Museum (Tøjhusmuseet). The Tøjhusmuseet is a very interesting museum on the island of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen (København). The museum is housed is a building which was used by King Christan IV as storage house for materials of warfare. The Museum is a military history museum, and it has an extensive collection of weapons and uniforms. The majority of the collection comes from Europe, yet the museum does have several rare artefacts from around the world.
24. Copenhagen City Hall (Københavns Rådhus). The Copenhagen City Hall () is a very well known building in central Copenhagen. The building is located in the ‘City Hall Square’ (Rådhuspladsen). The building was designed by the architect Martin Nyrop and it built between the years 1892 and 1905. The distinct 105 meter high tower is open to tourists during the day at 10, 12 and 14. There’s a golden statue of Bishop Absalon on the façade of the main building. Absalon was the bishop who founded Copenhagen (København) in 1167. Inside the main entrance of Københavns Rådhus is Jens Olsen's World Clock (Verdensur) which is an incredible astronomical clock which took 12 years to build as was completed in 1955. The Clock has over 14000 parts, and tells the time anywhere in the world, it shows solar and lunar eclipses, the position of the constellations as well as other features. Anyone who is standing in the square should certainly take the time to have a look at this staggering technical achievement.
Central Copenhagen (København) - Tourist Attractions (Part 1)
Central Copenhagen (København) - More Tourist Attractions (Part 2)
Central Copenhagen (København) - More Tourist Sites (Part 4)
Central Copenhagen (København) - Things to See and Do (Part 5)
Central Copenhagen (København) - More Things to See and Do (Part 6)
Central Copenhagen (København) - Main Page