September 2007

In September we took our monthly trip to Copenhagen, with a small detour into Sweden. Originally Tom was to go to Copenhagen on a business trip last year with Susan joining him, however that got cancelled at the last minute. We decided to change our travel plans and go to Copenhagen this September, before the weather got too cold.

The long line of colored buildings is an area of Copenhagen known as Nyhavn, and the colored buildings are primarily restaurants. In the past this area along the canal was a rough area frequented by seamen, however it is a trendy area today with the restaurants and bars.

Not far from the canal at Nyhavn is the Royal Theater. The Copenhagen Royal Theater was founded in 1748 but the theater pictured here dates from 1874.

Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family. There are four large buildings in the square and they date back to the 1700's and were originally intended for noble families. When the Christianborg Castle burned down in 1794, the royal family purchased the buildings and moved in.

Frederik's Church (also known as the Marble Church) sits a short distance from the Amalienborg Palace. The church was started in 1749, but due to funding difficulties it was not completed until the late 1800's. It has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of close to 100 feet.

The Gefion fountain in the picture sits near the harbor and features a group of animals (like oxes) being driven by the Norse goddess, Gefyon. There is a mythical story which tells about the creation of the island where Copenhagen is located. The story goes that Gefyon was promised all of the territory that she could plow in a single night. So she turned her 4 sons into oxen and plowed all night. People say that the maps of Zealand and that of a certain lake Vanem, have roughly the same shape.

Tom is standing in front of Copenhagen's famous "Little Mermaid" statue which dates from 1913. The Little Mermaid fairy tale was written by Denmark's favorite son Hans Christian Andersen, who also wrote the Ugly Duckling and the Snow Queen. This picture was taken during our first day in Copenhagen, when it was wet, cold and windy.

On the second day of our trip, we took a detour into Malmo, Sweden. Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden and is just a 30 minute train ride from Copenhagen. The Town Hall pictured here dates from 1546 but was extensively restored in the 1860's.

Inside one of the churches in Malmo there is this rather ornate and detailed fresco which is unlike anything we have seen in the old churches of Europe. Usually this detailed artwork has not survived in the the old churches.

Rosenborg Slot is a small castle in central Copenhagen. The castle was used as a royal residence in the 1700's and was one of many building projects done by King Christian IV around Copenhagen. Inside the castle there is a museum which houses the crown jewels and other royal regalia.

Most large european cities seem to have impressive city hall's and Copenhagen is no exception. However, the Radhuset only dates from 1905 but it impressively overlooks the main square in Copenhagen.

Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park in the center of Copenhagen that dates back from 1843, it is one of the oldest amusement parks in existence. While it may be relatively small by today's standards, the gardens have many restaurants, rides and other attractions all within a short walk from the center of town.

On a building facing the town hall is a large thermometer with the temperature in celsius. In the picture you can see it was 15 degree celsius (59 degree Fahrenheit). At the top of the thermometer are two golden sculptures of women.

ere is a close-up of the two women at the top of the thermometer. One woman is riding a bike, symbolizing nice weather while the other woman is carrying an umbrella signifying rainy weather. They are supposed to become more visible depending upon the weather conditions, although they both seemed to be partially visible during our four days in Copenhagen.

Each day during the summer in Tivoli Gardens there are multiple parades by a marching band. Susan got this picture of the last parade during our trip to the park.

Until the 1970's this building, the "Borsen" housed the Denmark stock exchange. Built in the early 1600's, during the reign of Christian IV, the Borsen is known for its unique spires, they are in the shape of four dragons with their tails intertwined.

The Christianborg Slot complex currently contains the Parliament and the Royal Reception Chambers but until a huge fire in 1884 it housed the royal family. Underneath the buildings are the remains of the original fortress from 1167 which was erected by the city's founder Bishop Absalon.

King Christian IV was one of the best known rulers of Denmark and evidence of his building program in Copenhagen can be found everywhere. As you walk through the streets you will see numerous spots where his symbol is on the building.