The palaces in and around Copenhagen
Copenhagen has for decades been looked upon as the fount from which many of Europe’s royal families originate. King Christian IX (1818-1906) was popularly known as the ”Father-in-law of Europe”, insofar as four of his six offspring ascended to European thrones. The Danish royal dynasty has traditionally played an important role in the national conscience and, all over the country, there are notable historical landmarks and current royal residences for the Royal Family.
Below is a brief guide to some of our favourite palaces in and around Copenhagen.
ROYAL LIFE GUARDS AND CROWN JEWELS
Our first stop, which is just a stone’s throw from the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, is the Amalienborg Palace complex. The palace is not home to just one family but two – Queen Margrethe and her husband, Prince Henrik; Crown Prince Frederik and his family. If you are on the palace square to admire the complex of mansions, then why not take in the Changing of the Guard, which takes place each day at 12:00 noon.
From Amalienborg Square you can walk along Frederiksgade, turn left on Bredgade and right along Dronningens Tværgade, which will take you straight to one of Copenhagen’s most popular parks – Kongens Have (King’s Garden). From the park entrance, right ahead is Rosenborg Palace, built initially by King Christian IV as a country retreat, but used as the Royal residence until 1710. Since then it has housed a variety of Royal collections, amongst others the Royal regalia, which are still on display. The incredibly well preserved palace offers an exceptional insight into how Royalty lived in the 17th and 18th centuries.
UNESCOS WORLD HERITAGE
A 5 minute walk from Kongens Have and you will be at Nørreport Station and from there it is only a 15-minute train journey to Klampenborg Station, at the entrance to the Royal Deer Park. In addition to the landscape here, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, you will also find the Eremitage Palace in the middle of the park. The Royal Deer Park was one of King Christian IV’s favourite hunting grounds in the late 17th century. Built in 1736, the present palace is one of Denmark’s finest examples of late Baroque architecture. As part of the building, the master carpenter Johan Jeremias Reusse constructed a ”banquet machine” – a machine that consists of a table with accessories, which was laid with food served in the serving quarters and then hoisted up to the banquet room, so that the company could dine
without the interference of service staff!
Taking a train a little further north from Klampenborg, you will reach Helsingør where a visit to Kronborg Castle, a beautiful renaissance building from 1585 is an imperative. Built originally to control all shipping that passed through the straits, along with Helsingborg Castle on the opposite shore, and levy tolls that swelled the Royal coffers of Denmark. The castle has become famous as Hamlet’s Castle, thanks to the publication in 1603 of William Shakespeare’s ”Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” and this too is a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 250,000 visitors every year.