Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the largest city in the entire Scandinavian Area. The city, with its monuments and museums, is a cultural centre of such prestigious proportions, that it has been dubbed 'Paris of the North'. Copenhagen, situated at the extreme eastern point of the Island of Sjaelland occupying also the near Island of Amager, looks out onto Oresund in the Baltic Sea. The strategic position of the city played a fundamental role in establishing Copenhagen as an important port and sea-trading area. Today however the city has become an important Danish industrial centre, and boasts important activities in the mechanical, petrochemical and food industries.
In spite of Copenhagen's high geopolitical importance, it has however managed to maintain a calm and relaxing air, little influenced by modernization and new architecture. The city has vast pedestrianized areas and large open spaces, that give Copenhagen a human feel. The city's skyline is not dominated by tall skyscrapers, but rather by old houses with pointed roofs. The centre isn't congested with traffic or smelling of car exhaust fumes, but full of bicycles and scented with the sweet smell of freshly baked bread. The museums, restaurants and a lively night-life contribute to the fascination of this European city with the provincial heart. But the city's true strength lies in its lively, creative, friendly and anti-conventional residents, who, with their civic maturity, make Copenhagen one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world.
Hotels and lodging
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The Statens Museum for Kunst is definitely the most important museum of art in the whole of Scandanavia and one of the most important in Europe. The museum is housed in a large building dating back to 1896, built to house the private art collection of the Danish royal family, who remained without a suitable site for their art collection after the fire at the Christianborg in 1884.
Some of the most important collections include Italian, Dutch and Flemish artists from the 13th to 15th century, French artists from the 19th and 20th century and Danish works from the 18th to the 20th century. Some of the artists present include Mantegna, Tintoretto, Tiziano, Parmigianino, Matisse, Modagiani, Picasso, Braque, and Chagall. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm ( Wednesday until 8pm).
Tivoli, created in 1843 on the site of the old city wall, is Copenhagen's well-known amusement park. In addition to the fair ground; the complex houses, restaurants, theatres and concert halls and is decorated with colourful flower beds and graceful swans, who glide across the various lakes. More than 5 million people annually visit Tivoli. Copenhagen - Walks and tours
A tour of the city can start in Stroget, the long pedestrianized area between Radhuspladsen and Kongens Nytorv, which represents the fundamental axis of the historic centre of Copenhagen. Although it has a Neo-classic look to it, the Von Fue Kirke, located at the beginning of Norregardes is one of the oldest churches in the city.The Helligandskirke, destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, before acquiring its present Renaissance look, is located a short distance away. Amagertorv, a beautiful square surrounded by 16th and 17th century buildings, forms the nucleus of the historic city centre of Copenhagen. Continuing along the Kolmagergade, the city's main street, the visitor arrives at the Rundertarn, a round tower which forms part of a renaissance building, dating back to 1637. The tower is topped by a rotating dome, used as an astronomic observatory. The island of Slotsholmen, to the east, is the site of the Christianborg Castle, destroyed numerous times by fire and finally completely re-built in 1907 in its present Rococo style. The castle's interior serves as function rooms for official Court occasions. The National Museum, the most important museum detailing the history of the Danish civilization, is located a short distance away and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, is a highly important museum. The building dating back to 1888, houses the private collection of Carl and Ottilia Jacobsen, Danish merchants and owners of the famous Carlsberg Brewery. The collection includes ancient Roman-Greek artefacts and French impressionist masterpieces.
By taking the Bredgade and crossing the Frederiksstad district, it is possible to visit the Analienborg royal residence. The building, constructed between 1750 and 1768, is a harmonious complex of four almost identical Rococo palaces, which surround an octaagonal square, site of a statue of King Friederich V on horseback. This is the location of the daily changing of the guard ceremony.
Leaving the square and continuing along Amaliegade, brings the visitor to the Kastellet, a citadel built to compliment Copenhagen's fortifications. A beautiful walk along Langelinie, at the side of this complex, leads to the famous mermaid statue Lille Havfrue, symbol of the city. Upon returning towards the centre, a visit to the Rosenborg Slot ( Rosenborg Castle ) and the surrounding Rosenborg Have park, is obligatory. The castle, a beautiful Danish Renaissance building, whose construction started in 1606, was only occupied by the royal family for a short 80-year period, during which time the Rosenborg family started to collect notable art trasures. The building has today been transformed into a wonderful museum, with a particularly interesting Crown jewels collection. It's not necessary to have the use of a car in order to enjoy visiting the city. The major attractions are all located within easy walking distance or a short bus jorney away.
Maps and transportation
Getting to Copenhagen
The public transport system is both large and efficient. It consists of a 10-line metropolitan network and a bus service ( hovedstadsomradets Trafikselskab), which has its terminus in Radhuspladsen. Fares vary depending on the zone.
Practical information and resources
Copenhagen is a very lively city in the evening, but can be a delusion during the day. The best days are Thursday to Saturday, with Friday evening being the high-light of the week. The largest concentration of pubs and clubs are located around the zones of Nyhaven and Stroget. In the past the cuisine in offer in Copenhagen's restaurants was not held in great regard, however with the opening of new quality restaurants this situation has changed greatly. Copenhagen has a wide choice of foreign restaurants in particular French and Oriental, however it is also recommended to try the various restaurants offering modern Danish cooking.
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