Copenhagen Favorite Tips by grandmaR
Copenhagen Favorites: 311 reviews and 389 photos
light with triangular hat
Favorite thing: I am always interested in ATONs (Aids To Navigation) and a friend said they envisioned me going around with my camera and photographing lighthouses everywhere. And that's not far from the truth, although I do photograph things other than lighthouses.
In any case, when we sailed out of Copenhagen, I saw what appeared to be red arrows, so I took photos of them. Then when I looked them up I saw that the name of these things was Middelgrundsfort Vest
The Middelgrundsfort is a fortress built on a shoal off the harbor of København. After many years of disuse, the fortress now houses a restaurant and conference center. Located about 3.5 km (2 mi) northeast of the harbor; accessible by passenger ferry. If it had not been so cold and rainy, I would have liked to take that ferry out there.
These objects were built in 1975. There is an osculating white, red, or green light depending on direction in a round lantern, painted red.
Lur Horn Players
Favorite thing: When we were trying to find the HOHO (hop on hop off) bus, we came to this square. I thought the memorial was a War Memorial. Actually it is the Liberty Memorial which is kind of the opposite. It celebrates the end of adscription.
Adscription is another name for serfdom. That's what the translation from the Danish comes up with. Under adscription, farmers and workers had to stay on the land where they were born and work without pay for the estate holder. They couldn't leave without the permission of the landowners.
In England serfdom died out between the 14th and 17th centuries, but it lasted in France until 1789, in Russia until 1861. I didn't realize that and in many other European countries this system was in effect until the early 19th century. So Denmark was in advance of most other European countries when they abolished this practice.
Fondest memory: The Liberty Memorial was placed on Vesterbrogade opposite the Grand Central Station (which we also saw). It was erected in 1797 on its present location, which was at that time far outside the city walls. Prince Frederik – later King Frederik VI laid the foundation stone in 1792 (five years earlier) as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the end of adscription in 1788.
The Liberty Monument itself was a gift to the city from reformers to honor King Christian VII for his agricultural reforms. The Liberty Memorial itself has four figures which symbolize Fidelity – Justice – Virtue and Courage. The monument was created by sculptor Nicolai Abildgaard.
I also have pictures in this tip of a column with Lur Horn players at the top (photos 4 and 5). The Lur was a trumpet-like instrument of the Viking Age. The primary use for the shepherd's lur-horn up to the present to call the cattle home. The statue dates from 1914, but it isn't in the same square with the Liberty Monument - it is really in the Town Hall Square.
Church of St. Nicholas Tower
Favorite thing: There are a lot of interesting steeples and towers in Copenhagen. Sometimes it was hard to tell if they were religious or secular. The Town Hall has a tall tower and so does the railroad station. Sometimes hotels have towers on them. The Unicorn Church steeple (photo 5) is a very skinny steeple with inter-twined dragon tails.
Fondest memory: The Church of St. Nicholas has a pierced tower which was almost lost due to fire when the church was almost burned to the ground in 1795. The main building was torn down and only the solid tower remained. When the church was rebuilt, it was too costly to replace the steeple, so Carl Jacobsen financed its reconstruction in 1911. Today, Sct Nikolaj Church primarily hosts exhibitions of contemporary art.
The most intriguing steeple (which we could not get a good picture of from the bus - photos 3 and 4) was Our Saviour's Church which has a spiral staircase around the outside. The building was consecrated in 1696. The tower with its characteristic spiral steeple built by Laurits de Thurah was finished in 1752 when King Frederik V personally climbed up to the top of it.
Favorite thing: Under construcion
The Isted Lion is a Danish war monument originally intended as a monument of the Danish victory over Schleswig-Holstein in the Battle of Isted (Idstedt) on July 25, 1850 — at its time the largest battle in Scandinavian history. Originally erected in Flensburg, Schleswig, it was moved to Berlin by Prussian authorities and remained there until 1945. It was returned to Denmark as a gift from the United States Army
Danish sculptor Herman Wilhelm Bissen was commissioned to create a monument to the ordinary Danish soldier. Although not an actual Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, his monument reflected a similar idea. The monument Landsoldaten (the Foot Soldier) was unveiled in Fredericia in 1858.
The lion in this statue was derived from the arms of Denmark and Schleswig. In order to create a perfect image of a lion, Bissen travelled to Paris to study a lion held in the Jardin des Plantes and created a life-size model before returning to Denmark. The finished monument was approximately four meters tall, and carried the following inscription:
Isted den 25. Juli 1850. Det danske Folk reiste dette Minde
(Isted, 25 July 1850. The Danish people set this memorial)
The statue was unveiled on the 12th anniversary of the battle, July 25, 1862, at St. Mary's Cemetery in Flensburg, Schleswig's largest city. Among the celebrities attending the ceremony was fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
Erecting the monument in Flensburg rather than Copenhagen or Isted, was seen as a provocation by the region's German nationalists who opposed the Danish claim to sovereignty over the area. The decision to let the lion face south reinforced this feeling.
Favorite thing: This is a large fountain located in Langelinie Park near one of the cruise ship docks. It is next to Kastellet and is the largest monument in Copenhagen. The fountain was donated to the city of Copenhagen by the Carlsberg Foundation on the occasion of the brewery’s 50-year anniversary. It was originally supposed to be located in the main town square outside city hall, but it was decided instead to build it near the Øresund in its current location near Kastellet ("The Citadel"). It was designed by Danish artist Anders Bundgaard, who sculpted the naturalistic figures 1897-99. The basins and decorations were completed in 1908. The fountain was first activated on July 14, 1908.
Fondest memory: According to the legend, the Swedish king Gylfi promised Gefjun the territory she could plow in a night. She turned her four sons into oxen, and the territory they plowed out of the earth was then thrown into the sea between Sweden and the island of Fyn in Denmark. The recorded guide material on the bus says that it could be true because Zealand and one of the lakes resemble each other in size and shape. My granddaughter found it amusing that the narrative said that the legend could be true.
Favorite thing: We wandered through the Town Hall Square more than once. It was so big that I did not have a very good idea of which direction to go once I got there although I knew it was not far from our hotel, and was across from Tivoli.
We took several pictures of the Dragon's Leap Fountain (sculpture "Contest of the Bull with the Lindworm" by Joachim Skovgaard, 1923). It had pigeons near it and I took a picture of my granddaughter chasing them. There was also a large memorial to Hans Christian Andersen and some things that looked like rhinoceroses with wings.
Favorite thing: When we got into Tivoli, we went first on the Ferris Wheel. We went around twice because I wanted to have a second chance to take pictures of the town.
Fondest memory: under construction
Lightship from across the harbor
Favorite thing: I am always on the lookout for lighthouses or the rarer lightships. I saw two in Copenhagen. The first (photos 1 and 2) was one that was across from the Little Mermaid. The lights were displayed from a lantern atop the mainmast.
Fondest memory: This peripatetic lightship dates from1877 but is no longer active as she was decommissioned 1972. The 103 ft wooden lightship with light tower amidships, is painted red with white trim and a white horizontal stripe. This Danish vessel is said to be the world's oldest surviving lightship. During its long career it served many stations around the Danish coastline. Moored near Tower Bridge in London, it was converted into a restaurant in 2005. In February 2008 ir was moored at the Sun Pier in Chatham, on the Medway. On 10 May 2008, the ship was spotted under tow through the Kiel Canal in Germany, on its way back to the Baltic. By July the ship was in København, moored in the Refshaleøen neighborhood, where I saw in in June 2009
Photos 3 and 5 are of the Fyrskib No. XI (Lightship No. 11). It is now a private residence moored on the Frederiksholm Canal in Copenhagen, very near the Christiansborg Slot (Castle) which houses many of the Denmark government offices. The ship from 1878 was decommissioned in 1977. This ship was never powered (i.e. it was towed onto the site and anchored). It served from 1919 to 1977 on the Drogden station. In 1977 it was sold to an artist, Bo Bonfils, who built additional superstructure to serve as a residence and studio. The current owner, Stig Romain Andresen, bought the ship in 2005.
Near the railroad tracks
Favorite thing: My daughter-in-law told my granddaughter that there wouldn't be graffiti or vandalism in European cities, and my granddaughter was disappointed to find that this was not so. So she took a lot of pictures of what she thought was vandalism - she included graffiti in this.
From cruise ship
Favorite thing: Under construction
Stubben (Frihavn Nordmole)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); green flash every 3 s. 7 m (23 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, painted green. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater on the north side of the northern entrance to København. Site open, tower closed.
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); continuous green light. 4.5 m (15 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern, painted green.
Fondest memory: Frihavn Sydmole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); red flash every 3 s. 7 m (23 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the long breakwater extending from the north side of the island of Trekroner. Site and tower closed.
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