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 family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces. Amalienborg is the centrepiece of Frederiksstaden, a district that was built by King Frederick V to commemorate in 1748 the tercentenary of the Oldenburg family's ascent to the throne of Denmark, and in 1749 the tercentenary of the coronation of Christian I of Denmark. This development is generally thought to have been the brainchild of DanishAmbassador Plenipotentiary in Paris, Johann Hartwig Ernst Bernstorff. Heading the project was Lord High Steward Adam Gottlob Moltke, one of the most powerful and influential men in the land, with Nicolai Eigtved as royal architect and supervisor.

According to Eigtved’s master plans for Frederikstad and the Amalienborg Palaces, the four palaces surrounding the plaza were conceived of as town mansions for the families of chosen nobility. They were identical from the outside, but different on the inside. The building site for each palace was donated free of charge to the chosen aristocrat to build on, and they were further exempted from taxes and duties. The only conditions were that the palaces should comply exactly to the Frederikstad architectural specifications, and that they should be built within a specified time framework.

Building of the palaces on the western side of the square started in 1750. When Eigtved died in 1754 the two western palaces had been completed. The work on the other palaces was continued by Eigtved's colleague and rival, Lauritz de Thurah strictly according to Eigtved’s plans. The palaces were completed in 1760.

The four palaces are: Christian VII's Palace, (originally known as Moltke's Palace), Christian VIII's Palace (Levetzau's Palace), Frederick VIII's Palace (Brockdorff's Palace) and Christian IX's Palace (Schack's Palace).

Currently, only the palaces of Christian VII and Christian VIII are open to the public.

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Details

Founded: 1750-1760
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jamie Carrahar (5 months ago)
A great place to watch the tradition of changing the guard at the Danish Royal Court. Very similar in tone to Buckingham Palace, with a much more family feel to the affair. Palace Guards are very well turned out and are impressive, for national servicemen. Great museums nearby too. Well worth a visit.
Arvind Yerram (5 months ago)
There are 2 ways of looking at this palace – we can either call it a palace which allows crowd to pass by or a square which has identical buildings on 4 sides. In the center of this palace is a big statue of a member of the royal family and is the spot of changing of royal guards’ ceremony. On one side we have the beautiful marble church and on the other we have a river/canal. There is an untold symmetry about this place which leaves us with a unique feeling. If you are a museum lover, you can go in and spend few hours watching the artifacts or just spend some time in the center, watch guard changing ceremony and leave.
Lizel Potgieter (6 months ago)
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here. The palace is maintained well, the location is open, the soldiers are a main attraction, and the statues are lovely. It's close to the Baltic Sea, so the whole area is really lovely. If you're in Copenhagen, you should go here.
Nik Kontrimas (6 months ago)
The Queen of Denmark's official residence in Copenhagen. The square in the middle of the palace is nice to go for a stroll and you can even watch the changing of the guard every day around 12 noon. If you get there early, you'll be able to see the new guards marching in.
Andy Price (7 months ago)
What a lovely place to go and visit. Full of great Danish history and also a chance to see the crown jewels up close. Entry fee was really reasonable and my 10 year old son was free. They have a few guards parading around. They offer free WiFi and if you connect to it and type in what it tells you to do in your browser then you can get a free tour guide on your mobile phone. This is a brilliant idea and made it so much easier to understand what each item and room were all about. Make sure you start the tour in the correct order as we saw on person being told that his ticket wouldn't let him in the crown jewel part until he looked around the main castle. There are loads of historic items on display to see here and my history buff son loved it. After taking the tour we used the cafe there . It's quite small but again expensive, especially for drinks. . We all had a cheese and ham toasted sandwich which was very tasty. We stopped there about 2 hours which was enough to explore castle and have lunch. .
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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.