Christiansborg Palace

Copenhagen, Denmark

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 building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government. Christiansborg Palace is owned by the Danish state, and is run by the Palaces and Properties Agency.

The present building, the third to be built on the site, is the last in a series of successive castles and palaces constructed on the same site since the erection of the first castle in 1167. The first castle on the site was Absalon's Castle. According to the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, Bishop Absalon of Roskilde built a castle in 1167 on a small island outside Copenhagen Harbour. Since the early fifteenth century, the various buildings have served as the base of the central administration; until 1794 as the principal residence of the Danish kings and after 1849 as the seat of parliament.

The palace today bears witness to three eras of Danish architecture, as the result of two serious fires. The first fire occurred in 1794 and the second in 1884. The main part of the current palace, finished in 1928, is in the historicist Neo-baroque style. The chapel dates to 1826 and is in a neoclassical style. The showgrounds were built 1738-46, in a baroque style.

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Details

Founded: 1733
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hoda Mahmoud (4 months ago)
Palace was closed as we arrived super late, it wa decorated decently with lighting Christmas trees. The garden was fascinating and it is easily walkable distance to city center or shopping malls. Loved it from the outside.
Tomas Sharky (4 months ago)
You can visit this place for free during Culture Night in Copenhagen. The palace looks STUNNING, just look at the pictures. I think it is a must to see place when visiting Copenhagen.
Fernando Moreno (4 months ago)
Kæde af japanske restauranter i København. Meget god kvalitet og rigelige mængder. Hermoso palacio en el centro de Copenhague. Hacen falta varias horas para visitarlo. Enorme zona hípica justo detrás. Kedja av japanska restauranger i Köpenhamn. Mycket god kvalitet och rikliga kvantiteter. Сеть японских ресторанов в Копенгагене. Очень хорошее качество и обильные количества. Kjede av japanske restauranter i København. Meget god kvalitet og rikelig mengder. Kette japanischer Restaurants in Kopenhagen. Sehr gute Qualität und reichlich Mengen. 哥本哈根的日本餐館連鎖店。質量非常好,數量充足。 コペンハーゲンにある日本食レストランのチェーン。非常に良い品質と豊富な量。 سلسلة المطاعم اليابانية في كوبنهاغن. نوعية جيدة جدا وكميات وفيرة. Łańcuch japońskich restauracji w Kopenhadze. Bardzo dobra jakość i obfite ilości. Keðja japanska veitingastaða í Kaupmannahöfn. Mjög góð gæði og nóg magn. Chaîne de restaurants japonais à Copenhague. Très bonne qualité et quantités abondantes.
Eric Sorensen (5 months ago)
Absolutely breathtaking castle! The grounds are spectacular. The castle itself serves as a museum of Danish history as well. Definitely worth a visit.
Robin Kennedy (5 months ago)
The tower is free to go up which is amazing because it offers a panoramic view of the city. I hear the restaurant is nice but haven't dared looking at the prices. Great place to visit if you want to feel like you are on top of the city
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.