Saturday, July 08, 2006

Copenhagen / København I

Surprisingly even after a year in Denmark, I hadn't seen the city. Well not a surprise considering that after staying in Delhi for 23 years I haven't seen the Qutub Minar. Copenhagen gets its name from it's Danish name København which literally is formed due to the amalgamation of the words Køben n Havn which means Merchant's Harbor. The city is a welcome break from the small town Aalborg where I stay. Of the 5.3 million inhabitants of Denmark 1.5 stay here. Well its neither too big nor too small... just the right size.

I started my day by going to the city hall the Rådhus and the square in front of it Rådhuspladsen (the Town Hall Square). It is the perfect place to start your tour of Copenhagen. It has the main bus station, hotels, restaurants and is in close proximity to Tivoli, Strøget (shopping street) and the tourist office is just about 200 mtrs down the road on Vesterbrogade.
The building was built at the start of the 20th Century and since then has been the political centre of Copenhagen. Its quite big and majestic from the outside and if u wish u can go in and have a look around n inside. The clock tower stands at 106m but the clock was placed in the tower in 1955. What purpose did it serve prior to that???? They also offer guided tours in the hall but I didnt atend one. Oh...and free washrooms as well.
On the right side of the building is Hans Christian Andersen Boulevarden and a statue of the great writer who gave us fairy tales like The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes and many more.

The bronze statue has shining thighs due the no of people who insist on sitting in it's lap and getting themselves clicked. Thanx to those bottoms at least something is shining.
Next up was the Amalienborg Palace. It consists of 4 seperate buildings, Christian VII, Christian VIII, Frederik VIII and Christian IX's Palace, built in rococo style and is where the Danish Royal family live. The equestrian statue in the middle of the square is Frederik V, the founder of Amalienborg. The Armaliemborg palaces have been home to the royal family since 1794 when the Christianborg Palace burnt down.

The Palace is guarded by the royal guards in their furry bear skin hats and once a day there is a changing of the guard at noon. The Royal Guards leaves the Rosenborg Castle at 11:30am in route to Amalienborg. Aftewards, the guard returns to Rosenborg. If the Queen is in the palace there is a band which accompanies the guards. Sadly, the Queen chose to be away when I paid her a visit... Can you believe that??? :-D
On one end of the square is Frederiks Kirke (Frederik’s Church) and on the other end is a beautiful fountain which overlooks the water front.On the other end of the water front is the Copenhagen Opera House designed by tbe Danish architect Henning Larsen (BTW Sydney opera House is also designed by a Danish architect Jørn Utzon).
The next thing I visited is a symbol of Denmark and something u would have def heard about - Den Lille Havfrue or The Little Mermaid... now fellas... the key word here is 'Little'.. believe me... its hardly noticeable..blink-and-you-will-miss-it types.
The little Mermaid sits at the waters edge with her back to the sea. This statue was inspired by The Little Mermaid fairy Tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The statue, made by artist Edvard Eriksen using his wife Elaine as the model, is made of bronze and was erected in 1913. A gift from the brewer Carl Jacobsen, of Carlsberg fame, to the city. The little one has suffered a tough life I must say. She has been decapitated twice and been covered in paint several times. Did someone say 'Living Dangerously’?
The next stop was Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady). This church is one of the most sober and simple one I have visited so far and yet so beautiful and impressive. The present church is the sixth to be built on the same site. After the fifth church was burned down during the bombardment of the town in 1807 the architect Christian Friedrich Hansen created the present classical building in 1811-29.

It has a two-storeyed interior. Behind the altar is Thorvaldsen's figure of Christ and along the walls the Twelve Apostles (on plinths). The church has witnessed many royal weddings and crownings, the latest being the marriage of The
Crown Prince Frederik and his lady love (now the) Crown Princess Mary on May 14, 2004.

To be continued....


Kusum Rohra said...

Good post :) but how can you NOT see Qutab Minar after being in Delhi for 23 years.


The chruch looks really good specially the figure behind the altar.

~ Deeps ~ said...

nice writeup....sahi hai sir qutab nahi dekha abhi tak........

Sakshi said...

but me third ;-(

Chitrangada said...

I just love all the pics n ur descriptive post Lalu :)

but what is best in ur post is that mermaid pic ..

and i really admire the way u capture all the pics :)

Sayesha said...

Lalitji, my Orkut account has some prob... can't sign in... thought I'd let ya know in case you message :)

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

hey baaaaaaaackkkk...

just posted too...

liked this post. how dare the Queen not be in attendance when the great Lalit was visiting...mebbe she was at qutub minar?

so when ru returning home? 1st?

Lalit Singh said...

how can you NOT see Qutab Minar after being in Delhi for 23 years
ab kya batayein mausi.. mera to dil hi kuch aisa hain :-)
The best thing about the church is that is so simple yet impressive

Koi nahi ab Dilli aake dekhengey na

Thx.. next time first aana.

Thx so much

Hope u get around the problem soon

welcome back... long time
Dekho na... main time nikal ke gaya and she wasnt there.. thisis simply not done HMPH!!!
14th night n back in good ol' delhi

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

When you're back in Delhi...we shud meet up and exchange notes. Infact, maybe some of us Delhi bloggers should meet up at a Barista or CCD. What do you say?

Oh and by the are gross..and a typical male...lizards freak me out...but i wud never be-tail them and then carry it around...please introduce me to ur gf..once she knows the "bare hands" thing..she'll never ever hold your hand again.


cK said...

Oh, good lord. I can't wait to return to Copenhagen (Only six weeks left!). Thanks for the post. It makes me feel hopeful.