What a difference a half hour can make! This morning we arrived in Copenhagen and if you want to see how our day started, look HERE! It was pouring down rain……. Even with rain coats and umbrellas, we were soaked through and looked like mangy dogs, I am sure…..
So far, we had seen two plazas, a few sculptures and the parking lots of three/four hotels from the Hop-On Hop-Off buses. Time to kick in Plan B! We got off the bus and went to the line of cabs parked at the current hotel. And, took the first cab available and told the driver we wanted to go back to the ship. He could definitely tell we were not enjoying our day in Copenhagen and knew we were so disappointed to have seen so little. So, he offered to take us the long way to the port and give us a tour of the city by car. I know that some cab drivers all over the world probably do this anyway, to make more money from tourists, but this guy did not seem like the type to just rip us off. I think he really wanted us to like his city. So we were off! AND, then the sun came out! KARMA!
As we drove around the city, the driver would pull over, when he could, and let us get out to take photos and then explain to us what we were looking at……..the first place was a museum in the 400 year old brewhouse of King Christian IV. It has 300 statues, sculptures and ornaments made from various materials gathered from royal gardens, palaces and other historical buildings. There are also two equestrian statues, one a replica of King Frederick V on his horse and one the original equestrian statue of King Christian V. I would really have enjoyed seeing this place!
The next stop was to look at the Christianborg Palace on the inlet of Slotsholmen, from afar……..
It is a palace and government building used for the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court of Denmark. It is the only building in the world that houses all three branches of government. Several parts of the palace are also used by the Danish monarch, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables. This is the third building with this name, the last in a series of successive castles and palaces constructed on the same site, since the first castle in 1167. Since 1794, it has been the principal residence of the Danish kings and after 1849, it also became the seat of Parliament. There have been two serious fires at the palace. The first occurred in 1794 and the second in 1884. The main part of the current palace, finished in 1928, is in the Neo-Baroque style. The chapel, from 1826, reflects the neoclassical style and other buildings were built between 1738-1746, in the baroque style.
Everyone rides a bike here!
The Magasin du Nord building can trace its roots back to 1868 when Theodor Wessel and Emil Vett opened a cloth and dry goods shop under the name Emil Vett & Co. Their shop was in rented rooms of the Hotel du Nord, where Hans Christian Andersen had boarded from 1838 to 1847. As rooms were added to expand the store, the name was changed to Magasin du Nord. By 1889, they had taken over the entire hotel, but soon afterwards the hotel and neighboring buildings were demolished and the current department store building was built in the French Renaissance Revival style. Pretty impressive I’d say!
Here you can see the sidewalks, the bike lanes, and the street for cars and buses! And this area is spotless!
The Fredrick’s Church is also known as the Marble Church, for its rococo architecture. It is an Evangelical Lutheran Church and one of the focal points in the Frederiksstaden district. Designed in 1740, it has the largest church dome in Scandinavia. The foundation stone was set by Frederick V in October, 1749, but the building was a slow-go, due to budget cuts. The church stood in ruins for over 150 years.
In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark’s Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins of the uncompleted church and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen, but not for cash. Tietgen would have to build a church in a style similar to the original plans and then donate the church to the state, when completed. In return, Tietgen received the rights to all the neighboring plots for development. In 1877, a case was brought against Krieger, who was charged with corruption. Due to financial restrictions, the plans for the church to be built entirely in marble were scraped and the church was built in limestone. It finally opened in 1894.
There is also a lot of construction going on all over the city! This looks to be a law office in one of the old buildings…….getting a new side walk and entrance.
The Kastellet Barracks is part of the Citadel of Copenhagen. It is one of the best preserved fortresses in Northern Europe. The original fort encircled the city, but only a part of the ramparts remain today. It is now a park and local history museum…..
And, if we saw nothing else in Copenhagen this would have been enough…….its why you want to see Copenhagen, right?
The bronze statue of the Little Mermaid, was designed by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid becoming a human. The 385 lb sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie Promenade. The little park itself is vary unassuming. The sculpture is based on the 1837 fairy tale by Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen and has been a tourist attraction since 1913. The statue was commissioned in 1909, by Carl Jacobsen, who was fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale, in Copenhagen’s Royal Theater. He asked the ballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. Eriksen, used the head of Ellen Price for the model of the sculpture, but she refused to pose nude, so Eriksen’s wife, modeled for the body.
Sad to say, the statue is one of the most popular targets for defacement by vandals and political activists……..
What is wrong with people?
I won’t go into all the details, but since the 1960’s the statue’s head has been cut off several times, leaving deep cuts in the neck. The statue has been knocked off its base with explosives. Holes have been blasted in the Mermaid’s wrist and knee. Paint has been poured on the Mermaid several times to reference different political causes or sports groups. Often the Mermaid, has been dressed for fun or other serious statements and derogatory writing has been left in front of the statue. The statue has always been repaired. Copenhagen officials have considered moving the statue out into the harbor to discourage vandalism and to prevent tourists from climbing on it, but today it remains on dry land. I say move it or provide some kind of covering, preferably with electric shock! Here she is, in all her glory!
and from this angle too…… there was no vandalism or climbing done in the making of these photos! I even liked the way the stones were perched!
Also, located in Langelinie, is a maritime memorial to commemorate the civilian Danish sailors, who lost their lives in WWI. The monument consists of a bronze sculpture with a winged female representing, Memory. The monument was revealed on May 9th, 1928, with several representatives from the Danish Royal family , government officials, civil servants and surviving family members in attendance. Over the years, the limestone podium, which revealed a narrative relief on the sides, fell into a state of decay. In 2009, marble was used for the restorative work of the base.
Well, we have arrived at the port for our ship…….thanks to a very thoughtful taxi driver/turned Tour Guide, our memories of Copenhagen were not completely on the outs!
After a long day I am ready for the French Restaurant, La Chartreuse………and dessert, s’il vous plait.
Just a little something, please……..
This will do nicely, merci!
and the flower was special too, merci.
See you tomorrow! We’re starting two weeks in Norway!