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Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) is at the heart of Copenhagen. Here, you'll find the Town Hall and the house of Politiken, where neon signs provide the passers-by with news from all over the world. The Scandic Palace Hotel, outdoor restaurants, newspaper stands and the famous Danish plsevogne (hot dog stands) are all in the vicinity. Rådhuspladsen is an important social meeting point, and a magnificent place to watch the Tivoli fireworks. The square was originally built in the shape of a shell, based on one of the squares in the Italian town of Siena.
Founded in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is a unique amusement park located where the once-fortified city's ramparts used to be. In fact, the on-site lake is a remnant of the city's moat. Known around the world for its infectious carnival-style atmosphere and exciting attractions, Tivoli Gardens combine the charm of the yesteryear with the dynamism of the future. The park spans a staggering 80,000 square meters (861112.8 square feet) of space in the heart of Copenhagen, making it one of the largest amusement parks in the country. Tivoli Gardens has great attractions like a historic rollercoaster, a mythical pirate ship, and magically lit carousels. There are around 40 bars and restaurants, some of which are gourmet and many date as far back as 1843. World-class live entertainment is always provided, and the festivities get kicked into high gear during the Christmas season.
Established in 1819, the National Museum of Denmark is housed within the remarkable grandeur of The Prince's Palace. This comprehensive museum features a varied collection that spans numerous continents and significant periods in history. From ancient Stone Age relics and sacred exhibits such as the pre-historic Sun Chariot, to exhibits procured from the Renaissance and beyond, the museum's collection is truly awe-inspiring. There are also collections of ancient treasures from Egypt and the Viking Age, as well as ethnographic collections about natives. Through a spellbinding collection that speeds through varying events in time, the National Museum of Denmark lets one relive glorious moments of a long lost past.
In no time at all this modern building has become the new landmark of Copenhagen, and has contributed to the beauty of the city. It is situated just by Sankt Jørgens Sø. The building was erected during the late 1980s, financed by private means. Most importantly the building contains the huge omnimax cinema where films about nature and the universe are shown with computer-graphic and optical techniques, giving the spectator the feeling that he is actually walking by the river in the Grand Canyon or flying in the galaxies. At the planetarium you can also learn about the development of astronomy from the Middle Ages (when Tycho Brahe lived from 1546 to 1601) throughout modern day. The side of the planetarium that turns towards the lake has become a popular place for the people of Copenhagen to gather during the summer. Inside the planetarium there is an excellent restaurant called Cassiopeia.
Teatermuseet i Hofteatret is an enticing museum that hosts a huge collection of artifacts, photographs, drawings, paintings, engravings, costumes, set models and other exhibits that reveal history of theater in the region. A visit to the museum is an amazing way to find out how theater, music, ballets and other cultural activities developed in the country.
Christiansborg Slot is home to the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister's Department. Bishop Absalon built his castle on this site as far back as 1167, though in 1732 the building of a magnificent Baroque castle began at the request of Christian VI. Christianborg had to be rebuilt twice after it burned down, once in 1794 and once in 1880. A third Christiansborg was built between 1907 and 1923 in Baroque style according to architect Thorvald Jørgensen's drawings, and this is the one that stands on the site today. Behind the castle, you'll find stables and grounds that date from Christian VI's old Baroque building. In the summer, the riding grounds are used for theater performances and concerts (jazz, rock and classical music).
The Black Diamond, simply known as "The Diamond," is an extension of the Royal Library, designed in a modern architectural style, smooth as a mirror, by the architect firm Schmidt, Hammer and Lassen. The main entrance to the Royal Library is from Søren Kierkegaards Square, and you'll find the ticket office as well as restrooms, the cloakroom and a bookshop here. The entrance to Restaurant Søren K is from the vestibule. The entrance to the Queen's Auditorium is from Christians Brygge 9. This hall is hired out for different arrangements of rhythmic and classical music, as well as for some lectures and conferences. Tickets for the musical arrangements can be bought at the ticket office.
If Rådhuspladsen is Copenhagen's most popular square, then Kongens Nytorv is the city's most distinguished and exclusive one. Limousines glide up in front of Hotel d'Angelterre to drop off their guests. Kongens Nytorv was constructed in 1670 on the side of the former ramparts of the city. Many beautiful buildings are situated around Kongens Nytorv, for instance Charlottenborg, built for Frederik III's half brother in Dutch Baroque style. Charlottenborg is the former location of the Architectural School and now contains the Art School and Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Other buildings are the Thotske Palace (now the French Embassy), and Magasin du Nord, a high-end department store. During the Christmas season, the square is turned into an ice skating rink and the trees and many buildings are decorated with lights that transform the square into something from a fairy tale. The statue in the middle of the square represents Christian V, made by Frenchman Abraham-Cesar Lamoroux in 1687.
The Charlottenborg Palace was constructed in 1672-83 in Dutch Baroque style for Ulrik Frederik Gyldenlve. Queen Dowager Charlotte Amalie bought the palace in 1700 and gave it its present name. The main building facing Kongens Nytorv was built in 1827 by C.F. Hansen, and contains the Fest and Antiksalen Halls. Charlottenborg is home to the Royal Danish Academy of Art, as well as a library with a sizable collection of literature on art. First and foremost, this is the place for new and established artists to have their exhibitions, and houses the contemporary art repository Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Charlottenborg is also famous for its spring show, Forårsudstilling, an open, censored exhibition of work in painting, crafts and architecture.
This grandiose building was erected in 1889-96 after plans drawn by Wilhelm Dahlerup in Italian Renaissance style. In autumn 1998, an extension was opened that gave the National Gallery of Denmark the facelift it needed. The architects were Anna Maria Indrio. This deeply original new building was constructed in the park behind the original building and is connected to it by a glass-covered walkway, the so-called Street of Sculptures. The street stretches along the full length of the museum, and within it concerts and dance performances are held. The museum contains collections of art dating from the 12th Century. Among the older European and Danish collections, feast your eyes on paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Breugel, Rubens, Frans Hals and Rembrandt. The modern collection comprises work by Picasso, Braque, Leger, Modigliani and Emil Nolde. Danish painters are richly represented, and you can enjoy the styles of Oluf Hst, Edward Weihe, Olaf Rude and Harald Giersing. Entrance to the permanent collections is free, but special exhibits require a modest entry fee.
Built by Frederik V to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the House of Oldenborg, Amalienborg consists of four palaces built around a square. These are Moltkes Palace (Christian VII's palace), Schackske Palace (Christians IX's palace and residence of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik), Levetzau Palace (Christian VIII's palace) and Brockdorfske Palace (Frederik VIII's palace and residence of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary). Architect Niels Eigtved was heavily influenced by the Rococo style. Of the four palaces, Moltkes Palace is considered the most outstanding. When Christiansborg burned down in 1794, the royal family moved to Amalienborg, and since then it has been their official residence. The square is dominated by Saly's equestrian statue of Frederik V (1723-1766) which, together with the palace buildings, forms a breathtaking architectural ensemble. Lovers of the royal family flock to the square once a year to celebrate Queen Margrethe's birthday. Two of the four palaces are open to the public on weekends from July to October.
The Copenhagen Opera House with its neo-futuristic architecture makes for an enigmatic building along the city's sparkling harborfront. One of the most modernly-clad opera houses in the world, this stately venue packs in fourteen stories of awe-inspiring design in its gigantic space. Designed by native architect Henning Larsen, the opera house comprises of one striking feature after another. From secret subterranean floors and foyers swathed in Sicilian marble, to ceilings gilded with 24 carat gold leaves, the opera house is a fine example of modern-day opulence. The prime highlight of the opera house remains the star-studded main auditorium, which holds an audience of 1400 in its rich surrounds.