COPENHAGEN — Østerbro

Østerbro is found to the north of the city centre of Copenhagen. It is considered to be an upper class district which is shown by its wide boulevardes, beautiful green areas which include the huge park, Fælledparken and the expensive houses found here. The district is named for its position near the old eastern gate of the city, and its rough translation is the Eastern borough. It is a lovely place to visit as a quiet alternative to the centre of the city because of its cobblestone and tree-lined streets full of wonderful shops and cafes.

The sights found here are:
The Hirschsprung Collection
Den Frie Udstilling
Nyboder District
Danish Resistance Museum
The English Church
Gefion Fountain
Kastellet
The Little Mermaid
Customs Museum
Trekroner Fortress
Østre Gasvark Teater
Brumleby
Fælledparken
Zoological Museum

The Hirschsprung Collection
This art museum is located in the beautiful Østre Anlæg park near Rosenborg Castle. The museum houses the private art collection of tobacco manufacturer and patron of the arts Heinrich Hirschsprung. This wonderful collection of art was founded in 1865 with works of Danish master painters from the 19th and early 20th centuries with special emphasis on works from 1800 to 1850. Artists include Eckersberg, Købke, Krøyer and Hammershøi.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.hirschsprung.dk/default.aspx

Den Frie Udstilling
This centre for contemporary art was established by a group of artists in protest against the rules set up by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts to submit works of art. Every year this group presents an exhibition.
For information about Den Frie Udstilling visit the website at: http://en.denfrie.dk

Nyboder District

Nyboder District
This area was set up by King Christian 1V to house mariners and their families. The area contained a private hospital, private schools and its own police force. Due to the facilites provided in the area all male residents had to peform military duties for up to 20 years. The outstanding feature of the houses in this are are their yellow colour and uniformity. You can visit one of the first houses ever built at 24 Sankt Pauls Gade on Sundays from 11am until 2pm which contains the Memorial Rooms.
For information about the Memorial Rooms visit the website at: http://www.nybodersmindestuer.dk

Danish Resistance Museum
This museum tells the story of Danish resistance during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945. The collection provides information on the illegal press, sabotage and the flight of many Danish Jews to Sweden. Included in the exhibition are wireless sets, blackout curtains, blackout lamps, ration cards and other examples of what daily life would have been like during the occupation. There are also videos giving eyewitness accounts by members of the Danish resitance. The museum is found in the Churchill Park, next to the English Church.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://natmus.dk/en/besoeg-museerne/frihedsmuseet/museumofdanishresistance

The English Church

The English Church
St Alban’s Church or The English Church as it is commonly known is found next to Churchill Park and is named after Saint Alban who was the first matyr of England. It is a fine example of Victorian architecture. It was built in the 1800s in response to the growing English population in Copenhagen. The Danish Princess Alexandra who later became Queen of England after she married King Edward V11 helped raise funds for its construction and later laid the church’s foundation stone.
For information about the church visit the website at: http://www.st-albans.dk

Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain
This fountain is found in a corner of Churchill Park, near The English Church. It is the largest monument in Copenhagen and is as popular in Copenhagen as the Trevi fountain is in Rome and as such is used as a wishing well. The fountain was donated to the city by the Carlsberg Foundation for the 50th anniversary of the Carlsberg Brewery in 1897. The fountain’s most striking feature is the sculpture which features a large group of strong oxen pulling the plough of the legendary Norse goddess Gefion. The legend of Gefion is that the powerful goddess was given land by the Swedish King Gylfe in exchange for her ploughing as much land as she could for one night and one day. Gelfion turned her four sons into oxen so they could do the ploughing and when the time was up she put all the earth into the sea and created Zealand which is now where Copenhagen is situated. The hole in the ground that was left after the ploughing became Lake Vänern found in Sweden. You can decide for yourself the validity of this story by looking at the map of these two areas and you will see the similarities in their shapes.

Kastellet

Kastellet
This is one of the best preserved fortresses of its kind in Northern Europe. It is the oldest military fort still in operation in Europe and is used as the headquarters of the Danish Defence Intelligence. It is found near Churchill Park and The English Church. The citadel was first built by King Christian 1V in 1626 to protect Copenhagen against attack from the sea. It is built in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners which were used for defence until the mid 19th century. Amongst the buildings in the citadel is a church which was also used to house prisoners at the back of it and there is a windmill and some cannons. In the centre of the Citadel is The National Monument of Remembrance for Danish soldiers who have lost their lives helping to preserve democracy and freedom in the world.

Traveller's Tip

Take a walk around the ramparts for a great view of the harbour and city skyline.
  • If you happen to be here the day before The Day of Prayer or Store Bededag which falls on the 4th Friday after Easter you will see many locals strolling around the ramparts and after the walk they eat a special type of wheat bun called Hveder which is eaten with a cup of tea or coffee.
  • During August the Danish Royal Ballet performs in an open-air concert at the Citadel.
    The Little Mermaid

    The Little Mermaid
    This is the statue that everyone wants to see. It was sculpted by Edvard Erikson in 1913 and inspired by the fairytale of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. It was commissioned by the brewer, Carl Jacobsen who was the founder of Carlsberg Beer after he had watched a ballet performance based on the fairy tale. The statue is quite small — only four feet tall and sits on some rocks close to the shore of the cruise ship harbour in the old port district of Nyhavn as well as Kastellet. The statue has been vandalised on a few occasions and because of this consideration has been given to moving it.

    Customs Museum
    This small museum is found on the waterfront in a warehouse dating from the 1700s at Dahlerups PakhusLangelinie Allé21. It is open on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11am until 4pm as well as the first weekend of the month from noon until 3pm and entrance is free. Exhibits include objects, documents, photos and interiors associated with taxes or duties that had to be paid to the government or king over the centuries.

    Trekroner Fortress

    Trekroner Fortress
    This is the oldest sea fortress in Copenhagen’s fortifications and was built more than 200 years ago. It was the site of many battles including one with the famous Lord Nelson. It has been partially restored and you can explore the history of the fortress in the casemate and surrounding grounds during the summer months only from 10am until 3pm daily. You watch a film about the Battle of Copenhagen and then you can go exploring in the dark cellar with the aid of a flashlight. To get to the fortress you will need to catch the hop on/hop off canal tour ferry from Isbjørnen at Langeliniekaj which runs every 45 minutes from 10.20am and will cost you around 35Kroner but entrance to the fortress is free. To get to Langeliniekaj take a train to Østerport Station and then take bus 26.
    For information about the fortress visit the website at: http://www.trekronerfort.dk (in Danish only)
    For information about the ferry visit the follwing website at: http://www.stromma.dk/da/CANALTOURS/

    Østre Gasvark Teater
    This theatre is housed inside an old gasometer dating from 1883 and is worth visiting for the building itself. A variety of shows are presented here including musicals, plays and concerts. Most of the shows are suitable for English speakers.
    For information about the theatre visit the website at: http://www.gasvaerket.dk

    Brumleby

    Brumleby
    This is an estate of terraced houses found between Østre Alley and Østerbrogade just south of Parken Stadium. They were originally built between 1854 and 1872 to provide cheap and healthy housing for the poorest workers in the city. They are interesting because they were one of the first examples of social housing in Denmark and became a model for later projects. Brumbleby consisted of four rows of two-storey houses with an ochre coloured ground floor and white upper floor and slate roofs. Washing facilities were shared. Today it is still used for public housing but the apartments have been increased in size and private facilities have been fitted as well.

    Fælledparken

    Fælledparken
    This is the largest park in Copenhagen and it is found behind the football stadium. It is a popular place for locals to come and picnic or play a game of football. In the park you will find a lake, trees, a cafe and if you are here during the summer months you may also be able to listen to a concert. On the 1st May which is International Worker’s Day people come here to celebrate as well as to protest.

    Zoological Museum
    This small and rather obscure museum is run by the University of Copenhagen. If you have an interest in natural history then you will enjoy this museum. The museum is arranged into permanent exhibitions which include the different animals you would find as you travel from the North Pole to the South Pole from the Ice Age to the present day. Included in the exhibits is a 3 metres tall mammoth and other prehistoric animals. There are also some very good temporary exhibitions.
    For information about the museum visit the website at: http://zoologi.snm.ku.dk/english