Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark with over 1 million citizens. Before Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark, it was a small fishing area right where the city center is now. The word is derived from the words buy and harbor, so this was always a place of trading. Being the home of the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk (in Danish Mærsk), you could say, that this is still the case. Copenhagen is located in the very eastern part of Denmark on the island of Zealand. Many years ago, when parts of today’s Sweden were Danish, Copenhagen was not just the cultural and political centre of Denmark, but also the geographical center.
On August 15th, 1843 Georg Carstensen opened the gates for new entertainment park Tivoli, in the heart of Copenhagen. He needed the king’s permission before he could build it. Tivoli was built at the outskirts of Copenhagen, but the city has grown, and now the location is right in the city center between the central station and the main square. Tivoli is the most visited tourist attraction in Denmark with around 4-5 million people coming every year from all over the world. The most famous attractions in Tivoli are The Pantomime Theater and The Old Rollercoaster. The Old Rollercoaster is one of the oldest still functioning rollercoasters built in wood. Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. The oldest one is called Bakken, and it is also Danish. It is located in the woods of Klampenborg just north of Copenhagen. It was established in 1583.
The free city of Christiania is a small city within the city Copenhagen. It is an area located around some former army barracks near the old fortifications of Copenhagen. It’s a place with a very special atmosphere, with some creative architecture located in a nature rich area. There are many small cafes and restaurants and colorful painted houses.
Christiania was founded in September 1971. It’s a place for people, who want to live in a different way than the rest of society. Unfortunately, this has also meant, that the place has come to be associated with the sale of hashish. It is not an unsafe place to visit, though.
There are about 630 adults and 130 children registered as living in Christiania. There is free entrance for everyone who want to visit Christiania. There is no entry by car. Christiania has a concert hall, The Grey Hall, where Bob Dylan, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others have played.
The National Museum is housed in a building, that originally served as the Prince’s Palace. It was built in 1746 for the crown prince. The National Museum was founded in 1849. At The National Museum in Copenhagen there are exhibitions, that tell the history of Denmark across the ages. From the Vikings over the Middle ages to modern times.
The Royal Theater was built in 1748. The scene was used for both opera, ballet and concerts. Now we also have The Royal Opera, which opened in 2005, and The Playhouse, which opened in 2008. The Playhouse is a new modern theater, where young actors and artist perform their plays.
The architect behind the Opera is Henning Larsen. It opened January 2005. There are two stages in the Opera where plays, opera, ballet and concerts are held. Other than that, the building has many rooms for practicing and wardrobes. The interior of the opera has been decorated by some of the best Danish designers.
Amalienborg Palace was built in 1767. It is the residence of the royal family. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II lives here during the winter. On royal birthdays people gather on the square outside the palace to see the royal family waving from the balcony. In front of every wing of the royal palace there are two royal guards posted. Every day at 12 pm the guard changes shifts, which is a good time to visit for tourists.
Nyhavn is a famous manmade canal in the center of Copenhagen. It is known for its colorful buildings. It used to be a place, where sailor went to have fun, but it is now lined with cafés and restaurants. In the summer, many people sit along the pier and enjoy the sun and a beer or an ice-cream. The famous author H.C. Andersen once lived here. The canal tours all stop here, so it’s a good starting point for a trip around Copenhagen’s harbor and canals.