Top historic sites in Copenhagen

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Palace was built in the period 1606-34 as Christian IV’s summerhouse just outside the ramparts of Copenhagen. Christian IV was very fond of the palace and often stayed at the castle when he resided in Copenhagen, and it was here that he died in 1648. After his death, the palace passed to his son King Frederik III, who together with his queen, Sophie Amalie, carried out several types of modernisation. The ...
Founded: 1606-1624 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

National Gallery of Denmark

Statens Museum for Kunst ('Statens Museum' or sometimes 'National Gallery of Denmark') collects, registers, maintains, researches in and handles Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century till the present day, mostly with their origins in western culture circles. The museum"s collections constitute almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, approximately 300,000 works of art on paper as well ...
Founded: 1896 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister"s Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables. The palace is thus the house of Denmark"s three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only buil ...
Founded: 1733 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum"s main domicile is located a short distance from Strøget. It contains exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America. The museum has a number of national commitments, particularly within the following key areas: archa ...
Founded: | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Church of Our Saviour

Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke) is a baroque church, most famous for its corkscrew spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering extensive views over central Copenhagen. It is also noted for its carillon, which is the largest in northern Europe and plays melodies every hour from 8 am to midnight. When Christian IV planned Christianshavn in 1617, it was intended as an indepen ...
Founded: 1695 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Rundetårn

The Rundetårn (Round Tower) is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory. It is most noted for its 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the top, and for the expansive views it affords over Copenhagen. The tower is part of the Trinitatis Complex which also provided the scholars of the time with a university ...
Founded: 1637 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

City Hall

Copenhagen City Hall is the headquarters of the municipal council as well as the Lord mayor of the Copenhagen Municipality. The current building was inaugurated in 1905. It was designed by the architect Martin Nyrop in the National Romantic style but with inspiration from the Siena City Hall. It is dominated by its richly ornamented front, the gilded statue of Absalon just above the balcony and the tall, slim clock tower. ...
Founded: 1893-1905 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

The University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden (Botanisk have) covers an area of 10 hectares and is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses dating from 1874. The garden is part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, which is itself part of the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science. It serves both research, educational and recreational purposes. The botanical garden was first establis ...
Founded: 1874 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Church of Our Lady

The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) is the cathedral of Copenhagen and the National Cathedral of Denmark. The present day version of the church was designed by the architect Christian Frederik Hansen in the neoclassical style and was completed in 1829. There has been several several churches on this site since 1209. The cathedral has been rebuilt four times: The first church was burnt down and reconstructed in 1316. ...
Founded: 1817-1829 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid (Den lille havfrue) is a bronze statue depicting a mermaid. 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. It has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists. The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, wh ...
Founded: 1913 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Amalienborg

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. Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal ...
Founded: 1750-1760 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederiksberg Palace

Frederiksberg Palace is a Baroque residence and should not be confused with Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød. As crown prince, Frederick IV had broadened his education by travelling in Europe. He was particularly impressed by the architecture in Italyand, on his return to Denmark, asked his father, Christian V, for permission to build a summer palace on Solbjerg as the hill in Valby was then known. The original building ...
Founded: 1703 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Kastellet

Kastellet is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners. Kastellet was continuous with the ring of bastioned ramparts which used to encircle Copenhagen but of which only the ramparts of Christianshavn remain today. King Christian IV of Denmark initiated Kastellet’s construction in 1626 with the building of an advanced post, ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Carlsberg Factory

Carlsberg center is located in Valby at the location of the first Carlsberg Brewery. The visitor centre will give you an idea of how the world-famous Carlsberg Beer is made. Carlsberg is among the largest tourist attractions in Copenhagen. The Old Carlsberg Brewery from 1847 has been converted into a modern centre for visitors which exhibits the history of the beer.
Founded: 1847 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Charlottenborg Palace

Charlottenborg Palace is a large mansion originally built as a residence for Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve. It has served as the base of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts since its foundation in 1754. Several other institutions of the Danish art world are also based at Charlottenborg, which today also serves as an exhibition space for art exhibitions, which is called Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The site was donated b ...
Founded: 1672 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederik's Church

Frederik"s Church (Frederiks Kirke), popularly known as The Marble Church for its architecture, was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740. It was along with the rest of Frederiksstaden, a district of Copenhagen, intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg. Frederick"s Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m, ...
Founded: 1749-1894 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.