Copenhagen is the capital of the Kingdom of Denmark and is situated on the east coast of Sæland Island on the Öresund, the link between the North Sea and the Baltic. It is a European capital of culture, home country of the Little Mermaid and a successful combination of Scandinavian elegance and Middle-European joie de vivre.
In 1167, Bishop Absalon of Roskilde was granted by King Valdemar I an area of land on Öresund, to which the small settlement of Havn also belonged. For the protection of both fishermen and traders, he built a fortress and the settlement developed into Kobenhavn, the Harbor of Merchants. Copenhagen was born and the fortress was continuously enlarged until in 1376, a castle was built on its foundation.
The huge Christiansborg Palace extends across the larger part of Slotsholmen, Castle Island and it has been Denmark’s power base for hundreds of years. The huge statue in the square features King Frederik VII on horseback, a monarch known in Danish history as the ‘King of Democracy’.
Each day, crowds of people make for Copenhagen’s world famous landmark, The Little Mermaid, created by artist Edvard Erikson. Tiny and elegant and seated on a stone, she gazes yearningly across the sea oblivious to the city’s hustle and bustle.
The Rundetårn is an unusual building that was built at the command of the Renaissance king, Christian IV. Its circular tower is 36 metres high and has a diameter of 15 metres. In place of a conventional stairway, royal architects Hans Van Steenwinkel constructed a winding 209 metre long ramp, thus the somewhat rotund king was able to travel without difficulty by carriage to the astrological observatory at the top!
Copenhagen is a friendly metropolis in which tolerance and openness are the order of the day, a ‘City on the Sea’ that fascinates all who experience it.