Copenhagen is one of the most prominent capitals in the world and a city with many varied facets. It is the capital of the world’s oldest monarchy which is still being preserved in Denmark. It also holds the proud position being one of the oldest capitals of Europe.
The history of the city is said to be related to a settlement of more than 6000 years ago but its first written records dates back to 1043 AD. It was originally a fishing village which later went on to become one of the most dazzling capitals of the Danish Empire.
Copenhagen was originally called Havn which literally meant harbor in Danish and most of the people earned their livelihood by fishing. The next few centuries saw the small fishing village turning into a prosperous town with the growth in fishing and trade. This resulted in the town being made the capital of Denmark in 1343 by King Valdmer Atterdag. Today it is the seat of the government and the hometown of the Danish Royal Family.
Prior to the introduction of Christianity, the ancient Nordic religion prevailed in the country. In 1160, Bishop Absalon took over the city as a gift from King Waldemar. This saw tremendous growth of the town. Many churches and abbeys were founded and the Catholic Church ruled for a long time. But in 1536, King Christian III decided to separate the Danish Church from the Roman Catholic Church following a civil war from 1534-36.
Copenhagen is sometimes also referred to as the “City of Spires” due to its horizontal skyline, broken only by the spires at the churches and castles. One of the most distinctive examples of this is the Baroque spire of the Church of Our Savior. This is also one of the most popular destinations for the visitors too. There are some other spires which are also interesting. The Christiansborg Palace, the City Hall and the former Church of St. Nikolai also have beautiful spires. Then there are spires on the Rosenborg Palace and also on the Christian IV’s former stock exchange which is named as the Dragon Spire as it is shaped as the tails of four dragons twined together.
The city of Copenhagen also has the distinction of being one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. There are different paths especially for the bikers which also have their own signal systems and are often separated from the main traffic lanes.
But the most exciting and attractive feature of the city is the Palaces of the Royal family which are spread around the city. This is one of the most popular tourist spot and attracts a large crowd. There are main four palaces which are a must see for anyone visiting Copenhagen.
Palaces of Copenhagen:
Amalienborg Palace is the residence of the Queen and her family. The Royal Palace, in fact, is not one but a collection of four palaces which flank a square. The four palaces were built by four noble families on the orders of King Fredrik V. The royal family moved to the four palaces in 1794 which is considered to be one of the architectural masterpieces in Europe. There is a statue in the middle of the square which has been sculpted by the French sculptor Saly. The visitors can also see the change of guards in the courtyard every afternoon. When the Queen resides here, she flies her colors with the royal coat of arms.
Christiansborg Palace is the most significant building in Denmark. It is the center of the Danish democracy as the seat of the Folketinget (The Danish Parliament), the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Royal Reception Rooms. The Palace is situated in the small Slotsholmen, the Palace Island. This palace dates back its origins to thousand years back when the Archbishop Absalon stayed here. It has been a site for parliament and sovereigns since then.
Frederiksberg Palace was built as a summer palace by the Crown Prince Frederik in 1699. Then when he became the King, he built a bigger palace in 1709. The King was so much in love with this palace that he hardly ever visited Copenhagen, which is a mere short distance from this place. The interiors of the palace are very well preserved and many of the rooms have been kept in the same condition as during the times of King Frederik V. The palace Church dates back to 1734. The park surrounding the palace is one of the most beautiful spaces in the Northern Europe.
Rosenborg Palace was built by King Christian IV in the beginning of the seventeenth century. He had planned to build a garden but impressed with the new trends of other European courts he decided to build a summer residence in the form of Rosenborg. The Rosenborg Park is one of the most popular destinations for the locals as well as visitors.
The main attraction in the Rosenborg Palace is the display of the Crown Jewels and the Crown regalia which are part of the Royal Danish Chronological Collections which also includes the paintings, chinaware as well as silver.
Thus this very green and one of the most beautiful cities in the world is a haven for the visitors with its rich cultural heritage and the inherent warmth and hospitality.
2015 – Hoorn – Roode Steen Square
Image by Ted’s photos – Returns Late September
This is the heart and main square in Hoorn Noord Holland – Roode Steen.
Roode Steen is the historical locale of the city’s cheese market. The name, meaning "red stone", has its origins in the bloody executions that took place here centuries ago.
Hoorn’s many historic buildings form a spectacular backdrop to the art and culture of today. There are 365 Grade I listed buildings – one for every day of the year – placing Hoorn in third place on the Netherlands’ league table of historic cities (after Amsterdam and Haarlem). The many historic monuments include buildings on the two oldest public squares in the town, Roode Steen and Kerkplein.
One’s eye is immediately drawn to the colourful lions and crests which adorn the facade of the Statencollege, built in 1632. The building has housed Westfries Museum since 1880.
Tthe Museum houses much of the region’s cultural heritage from the ‘Golden Century’.
The square statue is Jan Pieterszoon Coen Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies Company from 1619 until 1629.
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