Sights of Copenhagen

The Sights of Copenhagen – Part 3

In my final post on Copenhagen, I will share a few more sights we visited. Copenhagen has so much to offer, it seems around every corner there’s another interesting building, monument or museum. It’s worth just wandering along the canals and streets to see what you can discover.

Nyhavn means “new harbor” in Danish and dates from the 17th century. It was a significant port in Copenhagen until the early 1900’s. Like many port areas, it was a bit seedy in its heyday but now has been restored and is a popular area for tourists, with many restaurants and cafes. Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author and poet lived here for 18 years.

The Nyhavn district. Lots of restored 17th and 18th century houses and old ships along the canal.

The Nyhavn district. Lots of restored 17th and 18th century houses and old ships along the canal.

Radhus Square. The Radhus is the Copenhagen City Hall. Although it looks older, it was built at the beginning of the 20th century. This square, right next to the world famous Tivoli Gardens, is a very popular people watching and restaurant spot.

The Radhus is on the right. Great area for strolling and people watching.

The Radhus is on the right. Great area for strolling and people watching.

Christiansborg Palace. This is the center of the Danish government, used by the Danish parliament, Supreme Court, Prime Minister and the monarchy. The first castle was constructed here in 1167, and some of the ruins from this castle remain preserved and open to tourists underneath the current structure. Although some parts are older, most of the palace we see today was constructed in the early part of the 20th century.  Having been to many palaces, we did not take a tour.

Christiansborg Palace is huge, this is the visitor's entrance side.

Christiansborg Palace is huge, this is the visitor’s entrance side.

Christiansborg Plaza, near the Palace.

Christiansborg Plaza, near the Palace.

Marble Church or Frederik’s Church. This impressive Lutheran church contains the largest dome in Scandinavia. It reminded us just a bit of St. Peter’s in Rome, but of course not nearly on the same scale. It has an interesting history. Construction started in the 1700’s but it sat as an unfinished shell for about 150 years, until the late 1800’s, due to a lack of funds to finish construction.

The interior of the Marble Church.

The interior of the Marble Church.

The Marble Church (large domed building) from Amalienborg Palace Courtyard.

The Marble Church (large domed building) from Amalienborg Palace Courtyard.

A panoramic view of Amalienborg Palace and Courtyard.

A panoramic view of Amalienborg Palace and Courtyard.

Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for a great view of Copenhagen, but plan on doing this in the afternoon, it was not open yet when we visited in the late morning. Amalienborg Palace, the winter home of the Danish royal family surrounds a huge courtyard leading up to the entrance of the church, making this an impressive sight.

The Sights of Copenhagen – Part 2

There’s lots to see in Copenhagen, here’s part two of a three-part series.

The Round Tower was built between 1637 and 1642, and was used as an astronomical observatory until 1861 by the University of Copenhagen. It’s 114 feet tall and offers a good view of the Copenhagen skyline. There is still an observatory at the top, and it is open during the winter months and a limited period in the summer (I would think the lights of Copenhagen would interfere with the celestial views at night?).

The Round Tower is in the heart of Copenhagen.

The Round Tower is in the heart of Copenhagen.

The sloping circular walkway winds its way to the top of the Round Tower.

The sloping circular walkway winds its way to the top of the Round Tower.

Visitors can take the circular walkway to the top for great views throughout the year.

View of Copenhagen from the Round Tower. The church in the center is The Church of Our Lady, discussed below.

View of Copenhagen from the Round Tower. The church in the center is The Church of Our Lady, discussed below.

The Round Tower is also very close to the 17th century Rosenborg Slot (castle) right in the heart of Copenhagen.

View of Rosenborg Castle (center right) from the Round Tower.

View of Rosenborg Castle (center right) from the Round Tower.

The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke). This is the national cathedral of Denmark and several churches have been built on this spot since the 1200’s.  Many coronations of Danish kings have happened here. The current edifice dates from 1829. This church has the famous Bertel Thorvaldsen’s marble statues of Christ and the apostles.

St. Peter, holding the keys of the Kingdom.

St. Peter, holding the keys of the Kingdom.

Statue of St. Paul in the The Church of Our Lady.

Statue of St. Paul in the The Church of Our Lady.

The Christus statue in The Church of Our Lady.

The Christus statue in The Church of Our Lady.

These works are very impressive and beautiful. Having seen a replica of the Christus at the Mormon Visitor’s Center in Salt Lake City I was very interested in seeing the original in Copenhagen.

Twizy by Renault. The Twizy, a small electric car built by Renault has a range of about 60 miles. Given how tight the seating area is, I wouldn’t want to go much farther than 60 miles! Ok, this isn’t specific to Copenhagen, but in such a compact city it would be a good way to get around! There was a promotion going on and my wife and son had to check it out.

The two-seater Twizy car.

The two-seater Twizy car.

Bicycles are a primary means of transportation throughout Copenhagen. The terrain is flat and bikes are much easier to park and maintain than cars in this city.

Ubiquitous bycicles in Copenhagen.

Ubiquitous bycicles in Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid. I had imagined that this bronze sculpture would be more in the heart of Copenhagen, and was surprised that it’s located a bit north of the downtown (still within walking distance if you like long walks) and not too far from where the cruise ships dock.

The Little Mermaid contemplates life sitting on a rock right next to the shore.

The Little Mermaid contemplates life sitting on a rock right next to the shore.

This statue is the symbol of Copenhagen and always has a crowd around it, even though it’s fairly small and not all that exciting!

St. Alban’s Church (The English Church). This is a 19th century Anglican Church, built in the late 1800’s for the considerable English population in Copenhagen.  It definitely has the look and feel of a British countryside church.

St. Alban's Church and Gefion fountain.

St. Alban’s Church and Gefion fountain.

Some of the building materials (such as the roof tiles) are from England. Next to the church is Gefion fountain, celebrating the Norse goddess, Gefion.