Home of The Little Mermaid
Almost everyone visits the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbour. In H. C. Andersen’s famous fairytale she sacrifice her voice to transform her fish-tail to legs and win the love of a prince
Love can be whimsical – The unhappy mermaid sees that the prince leaves her for a princess, and she folds into the sea. Today the mermaid cast in bronze, rest on a rock at the harbor promenade Langelinie. Unfortunately, she has repeatedly been subjected to vandalism – once got her head off, another time she lost an arm, and in 1998 she lost her head for the second time. Fortunately her original forms is preserved – therefore it has every time been possible to replicate damaged parts.
From Fishing Village to Capital
When Denmark became kingdom in the 900s, Havn was only a tiny, insignificant fishing village. Under the protection of the Danish king, the settlement at the gates to the Baltic Sea quickly developed into an important trade center. Bishop Absalon, both diplomat and soldier, built the fortress Slotsholm in 1167, same year as the citys foundation. Three years later, it took the name Kopmannaehafn. The ambitious city was in 1443 the capital of the Kalmar Union, which consisted of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. After 1523 was Copenhagen the Danish capital.
Amalienborg, the Danish royal family’s famous castle, located on a vast, octagonal, paved space. Along the four chamfers are four almost identical palaces. Amid the magnificent rococo plant, probably one of the most beautiful in Europe is an equestrian monument commemorating King Frederick 5. Every day at noon, the guard changes in the square.
Round Tower (Rundetårn)
Right in the old town, one can enjoy the view from the wide platform at the Round Tower. To get up in the 36-meter high tower is not necessary to go a single stair, but in return, you have to walk 209 meters in a spiral, like a snail shell. Unfortunately, no horse transport is organized, otherwise one could surely have ridden up like Tsar Peter the Great did once. The tower belongs to Trinitatis Church. From here you find the shopping streets Strøget and Strædet. With almost a kilometer in length, they form one of Europe’s largest pedestrian zones.
On the small island of Slotsholmen, where many bridges connects the island with the capital, stands the Castle Christiansborg. It was once home to the royal family and today it is the seat of government and parliament. The castle is the sixth building, which stands on this place after Absolon built his fortress here. Looting, fires and renewal frenzy has taken its toll. The third castle served from 1417 as the seat of the king and his management apparatus. Today’s building originates from the early 1900s.
The world’s second oldest amusement park
The old and traditional fornøylsesparken Tivoli, opened in 1843, can be accessed from all the edges. Here you can drive a boat on the former moats, surveying the city at leisure from the top of the ferris wheel, have fun in the roller coaster or one of the 25 other carousel variants, dine in one of the numerous restaurants or listen to concerts. Especially popular are the daily pantomime performances. Even after 150 years is glaring illuminated advertising billboards banned, and it is good for more than 110,000 lights make for a distinctive atmosphere of this famous amusement park.
Facts about Copenhagen
Trinitatis church, Frederik’s Church, Holmens Church, Tivoli, National Gallery of Denmark (read more here), The Little Mermaid, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (read more), the Round Tower, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Castle, Rosenborg Castle, Town Hall Square, Stroget (Strøget)
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), philosopher and theologian
Martin Andersen Nexø (1869-1954), author
Niels Bohr (1885-1962), physicist (Awarded Nobel Prize 1922)