Architecture lovers will need plenty of camera capacity when visiting Copenhagen. Throughout the city you will encounter exciting architecture from all periods. There is everything from spanking new buildings such as the Opera House and the Black Diamond, classical castles and churches, to the more down-to-earth and quirky designs of Christiania and Nyhavn. No matter where your city wandering leads you, you’ll always find a park or a bench nearby where you can enjoy your lunch with views of outstanding architecture.
Amalienborg Palace is regarded as the finest example of rococo architecture in Denmark. This is the where the Queen and the Prince Consort reside during the winter. In fact, the palace consists of four palaces, surrounding an octagonal courtyard, which were originally built for four distinguished noble families. At Amalienborg Museum, visitors can see pieces from the royal collections, including garments and changing art exhibitions.
Frederik’s Church/The Marble Church
The dome of the Marble Church is one of many features of the Copenhagen skyline. The church resembles a smaller version of St Peter’s Church in Rome, and Frederiksstaden, the area that surrounds the building, is reminiscent of Paris.
The Black Diamond
The Black Diamond adjoins the Royal Library on Slotsholmen. This black building, which is clad in highly polished black granite from Zimbabwe, is situated right on the harbour front. It reflects the light from the sun and the water like a massive diamond, hence its name. In addition to the library, it houses the National Museum of Photography and the restaurant Søren K.
The Opera House
The Opera House on Holmen was designed by the Danish architect Henning Larsen, and is regarded as the most modern opera house in the world. It enjoys a spectacular location opposite Amalienborg at the entrance to the city. The Opera House has both a main stage and a smaller, more intimate performance venue. Modern works by Per Kirkeby, Per Arnoldi, Olafur Eliasson and other renowned artists adorn the building.
The renaissance fortification Kastellet is one of Copenhagen’s most beautiful green oases. Take a walk along the ramparts and enjoy uninterrupted views of the Little Mermaid, the Gefion Fountain and the Maersk Group’s headquarters. On a balmy summer evening Kastellet is the ideal place to go for a picnic, with barbecues for public use.
Rosenborg Castle was built by the renaissance king, Christian IV. It resembles a fairy-tale castle and is situated in the middle of Kongens Have (‘The King’s Garden’) and is the city’s most popular park. This is where Copenhageners and tourists sunbathe, play ball games and go for picnics. The castle houses collections of silver, porcelain and paintings, although Rosenborg’s biggest attractions are the crown jewels and regalia, which are kept in the castle treasury.
For many Copenhageners, a beer and an ice cream in Nyhavn epitomise summer. In the past, Nyhavn was Copenhagen’s red-light district. Today, the timber-frame buildings house a large variety of cafés and restaurants with outdoor serving, and the whole area teems with life – right into the early hours.
Freetown Christiania is a unique social experiment that has been running since 1971. Back then, a group of Christianites ripped down the fencing that surrounded the deserted barracks to create a playground for their children. Today, about a thousand people live in Christiania, which is internationally known for its liberalism, hippies, workshops, cafés and its special sense of community. The area is particularly interesting because many of the residents have designed and built their own innovative houses.
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