Monday, August 25, 2014

Travel Series: Copenhagen, Denmark

As most of you know, I spent 5 months living in Copenhagen and studying at Kobenhavn Universitet (University of Copenhagen).   If you are traveling there anytime soon, here are the spots you need to hit! 

Folketinget (Danish Parliament) passes all laws and serves the people as supervisors of all government work in the Kingdom of Denmark.  Folketinget is located in Christiansborg Slot (Christians Palace) which until 1794 was the primary home for Denmark's King (Kong).  The building below was built in 1914 but in 1167 the first Castle was built in this same location.  Since then many Castles have resided in this same spot.  

Nyhavn (pronounced Nu-Hown) means New Harbor and was built in the 17th Century.  It served as a gateway from the sea to the old city center, Kongens Nytorv (King's Square) and was dug out by Swedish prisoners of War that the Danes had captured during the Dano-Swedish War (1658-1660).

I'm not a big burger or hot dog kinda gal, but the hot dog stands in Copenhagen really know how to make a damn good hotdog.  Just trust me & #treatyoself. 

Rosenborg Slot (located in Kongens Have - the King's Garden) was built in 1624 as a summer home for Kong Christian IV.  Currently, the Danish crown jewels are kept here as well as many other artifacts of the Danish monarchy and culture.

Saint Alban's Church is an Anglican Church in Denmark.  There was a large British population that moved to Denmark in the early 16th century and they brought "The English Church" with them.  

Right next to St. Alban's you will find The Gefion Fountain (Gefionspringvandet).  According to Norse (Scandinavian) Mythology, Gefion plowed away what is now lake MälarenSweden, and with this land formed the island of Zealand, Denmark, where Copenhagen is located. The Swedish King Gylfi promised Gefion the territory she could plow in a night. She turned her four sons into oxen, and the territory they plowed out of the earth was then thrown into the Danish sea between Sweden and Denmark.  
The fountain is the largest monument in Denmark! 

Den lille havfrue (The Little Mermaid) by Hans Christian Anderson is a classic (and a Disney favorite).  She's a lot tinier than you'd think and is the most visited tourist attraction in Copenhagen.  
Bought by Kong Frederick V in 1794 for the Royal Family, Amalienborg Slot was originally built for 4 different royal families in Copenhagen.  It currently is used as the Monarchy's winter home.  Anyone may drive a car through the square, however if you drive around more than 1 time, the guards will chase you out.  During Queen Margarethe II's birthday, Danes gather in the square to sing her Happy Birthday (tillykke med fødselsdagen)!

The Danes aren't particularly religious or spiritual, however about 78% of the population are members of Folkekirken (The Church of Denmark).  It is supported by the state, ruled by the monarchy, but is voluntary to join.  Their religion is described as Evangelical Lutheran.  
Above is Frederik's Kirke (Frederick's Church) or more popularly known as Marmorkirken (The Marble Church).  Inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the church dome is the largest in all of Scandinavia.  

Stay tuned for a post on my favorite places to coffee, brunch, and hang in Copenhagen.  

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