Charlottenborg Palace

Copenhagen, Denmark

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 by King Christian V to his half brother Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve on 22 Marts 1669 in connection with the establishment of Kongens Nytorv. Gyldenløve built his new mansion from 1672 to 1683 as the first building on the new square. The main wing and two lateral wings were built from 1672 to 1677, probably under the architect Ewert Janssen. In 1783 mansion was extended with a rear, fourth wing was designed by Lambert van Haven.

In his old age, the large mansion became too big for Gyldenløve who sold it to the dowager queen Charlotte Amalie in 1700, hence the name. After the King Christian V´s death in 1699 the Queen Mother, Charlotte Amalie, purchased the Palace for 50,000 Danish crowns. Hereafter named Charlottenborg Palace. In 1714, when the Queen Downer died, it was passed to King Christian VI. Renovations began in 1736-1737, and its use and users shifted for a period of time. A small theater was constructed and used for various concerts, operas and theatrical performances. The Palace Garden contained the Botanical Garden between 1778-1872.

In 1701, the old Academy of Arts began its activities in the Palace. The small school slowly grew and was finally formally inaugurated in the Charlottenborg Palace on March 31, 1754. In 1787, the ownership of the Palace was transferred to The Royal Danish Academy of Art. The Academy still occupies the Palace.

Charlottenborg is a four-winged, three-storey building designed in the Dutch Baroque style but also with some Italian influence. The main wing towards the square has a central risalit flanked by two more pronounced, two-bay corner risalit. All three are topped by balustrades. The central risalit is decorated with Corinthian pilasters and a Tuscan/Doric portal with balcony The facade has sandstone decorations and window pediments.

The lower rear wing consists of three pavilions. The central pavilion has a Tuscan arcade below, niches with busts above, and a lantern on the copper-covered roof.

The floor plan is remniscient of French castles. It has a piano nobile with a banguet hall above the main entrance, with access to the balcony, a ground floor with lower ceilings, and a second floors for servants with even lower ones. Ths arrangement became characteristic of mansions and upper-class town houses in the entire 18th century. In the rear wing, above the arcade, there is a well-preserved domed Baroque room with a splendid stucco ceiling.

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Details

Founded: 1672
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eoin Rodgers (4 months ago)
Enjoyed the BIG exhibition there in January. Lovely space.
Oleg Koefoed (5 months ago)
Great spot and often worth a visit, many events, talks, installations, a place with character.
Jacek Mueller (8 months ago)
Lovly place. My very best place in CPH. Food is delicious.
irina patza (8 months ago)
I have visited an interesting art and architecture exxibition. Beautiful building and courtyard.
Dr. Justin Hasenecker (9 months ago)
Charlottenburg is always a nice Place to walk by.
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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.

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