29 August 2013

Through the streets of Copenhagen :)

Copenhagen, Denmark - GMT +2
Officially - Kingdom of Denmark
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Currency - Danish Krone
Flying time - 6 hours
Airport code - CPH

Home of the Vikings, Little Mermaid and Lego!
It was noon when we took a map of the city and cameras in our hands and went out to explore another amazing European city, originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century...
What to do in Copenhagen? What NOT to do?!
Walk walk walk all over the city, rent a bike and cycle around, breathe some fresh air, take lots of pics, enjoy the architecture, visit all the beautiful historic places, eat as much as 'Danish' pastries as you can, meet a Danish guy (if you're into blondes :p), read at least one H.C.Andersen story before you even come here, shop in one of the longest shopping streets in the world, meet a Little Mermaid, say hi to the Queen, enjoy the nature in one of the many parks and gardens, or even take a train and cross to Sweden, Malmo is just an hour away... :)

What to see? Everything! If you have the time... If you don't, prioritize :) Like we do, every time when we come to a place so rich with history and beauty that we have to decide what to see and where to go first and which things to leave for 'the next time'...

So we did it again, not like Britney did it of course, but like cabin crew does it :)

We were happy to see that everything is very close to each other so it's pretty easy to visit most places from your list by just walking around the streets, and the most important thing is - you can't get lost, it is so easy :)
Even though I find getting lost the best way to discover something new, something that's not on the map or in a guide.

Anyhow, this was our list...
1. Christiansborg - is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court. It is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government - the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power.
Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables.

By the time we got there the rain started, just a shower but still enough to make us run through the building and its courtyards... But when we found the Royal library, the sun showed just enough to capture its magnificence... What can I say, I'm weak for books and libraries :)

On the way to our next stop we grabbed a hot dog out on the street, bought a few souvenirs and walked through the shopping street with our eyes wide closed :p reminding ouselves we don't have enough time (not to mention money) and Miss Little Mermaid is waiting impatiently for us to take some pictures with her :))

2. Rosenborg Castle - The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects and was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710. It is situated in Kongens Have ("The King's Garden"), also known as "Rosenborg Castle Garden". The Rosenborg Castle Garden is the country's oldest royal garden...

Next time would be very nice to visit its museum in the basement where the crown jewels are on display :)

3. The Little Mermaid - Den lille havfrue is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade. Her face is modelled on Ellen Prince, a popular ballet dancer, whilst it's rumoured that Eriksen's wife Eline posed for the body.
Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913.
Aside from the Copenhagen's, thirteen undamaged copies of the statue are located in locations around the world, listed by Mermaids of Earth.

Must say the girls were pretty disappointed by the size of it but still it is one of the MUST HAVE pictures in one traveler's photo album ;)
Once again rain was pouring so we had to be fast and couldn't enjoy the scenery as we wanted, not to mention buses of tourists just arrived there so the promise was made - see you again next time :)

Tired, wet and hungry we continued our walk to the Nyhavn area but first there was one more church and castle to walk by, one more story to be heard from my i-guide :D

4. The Marble Church = Frederik's Church -  an Evangelical Lutheran church located just next to Amalienborg Palace, our number 5.

The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V in 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts.
The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several initiatives to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894.

Amalienborg  is the winter home of the Danish royal family.
It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard, in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V.
It was originally built for four noble families,however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down in February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.

Amalienborg is guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards (Den Kongelige Livgarde). Their full dress uniform is fairly similar to that of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. The guard march from Rosenborg Castle at 11.30 am daily through the streets of Copenhagen, and execute the changing of the guard(unfortunately we didn't know so we've missed it).

When the Queen is in residence the The King's Guard (Kongevagt) also march alongside the changing the guard at noon, accompanied by a band that plays traditional military marches. The Guard Lieutenant (Løjtnantsvagt) is always alerted when Prince Henrik or another member of the royal family are reigning in absence of the Queen.

Despite the grandness of her house, Queen Margarethe II has a reputation for being down-to-earth and spirited - a keen painter. She illustrated an edition of Lord of the Rings under a pseudonym. She is hugely popular amongst Danes, they say... :)

The sun showed behind the clouds once again, in perfect time to click a few colorful photos of Nyhaven street, Copenhagen's harbour before we sat down for some dinner... The perfect sunset after the rain, clean air, wooden sailing ships and happy looking houses from 17th and 18th century was an ideal end of a day like this!
Houses to note are number 9, the oldest in the harbour dating back to 1681 and the three residences of Hans Christian Andersen at numbers 18,20 and 67.

(Once the area was divided into 'nice' and 'naughty' sides, the latter swarming with sailors and prostitutes. Now, the dens of iniquity have been turned into expensive hotels and restaurants.)

I don't have to mention I've slept for 12 hours straight and had a few extra Danish pastries with chocolate for breakfast :D

Have a wonderful day! :*


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