Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Music for everyone

At Tivoli you can listen to music of any kind; jazz, classical, rock or pop. On Friday night in the summer season, there's a big rock name (in Denmark anyway) on the main scene and on the small scenes scattered around in the garden you can listen to Tivoli's Promenade Orchestra or Tivoli's Big Band almost every day. And then there's the concert hall. Here there's room for the big shows; musicals, plays and concerts of any kind. Tivoli has even got its very own symphony orchestra.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One of the oldest traditions in Tivoli is the Pantomime with Harlequin, Columbine and Pierrot performed on this Chinese style peacock stage. The performance dates back to 1874 when the theater replaced an older one. The absence of dialog is an advantage as Tivoli now has an international audience.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The old Tivoli

The Tivoli I remember best from my childhood is this; a narrow street with stalls selling sweets, ice cream and stuffed animals. Among them are also a lot of stalls of the "throw-three-balls-and-win-a-worthless-gift" variety. This alley is packed with people in the evening, all longing to part with their money. Beware of pickpockets!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


A good old fashioned merry-go-round is ideal for children (and their parents). This is Tivoli's version of the classic fairground attraction. With lots of colours, different animals, the "right" tune and a nice slow speed it's a hit for the small ones.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ferris wheel

The Ferris Wheel is another of Tivoli's more relaxing attractions. With a moderate height and a relatively slow rotation, even I can be coaxed into trying it out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A quiet ride

I've shown you some of the wild rides in Tivoli. If you like more relaxing ones they are here too. This is Bådene (the Boats) where you in relaxed style can sail very slow around the pond. Perfect for small children or couples:-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A lot of fish

Underneath Tivoli's Concert Hall is a giant saltwater aquarium filled with 1600 tropical fish including sharks, stingrays and moray eels. This 30m by 3m by 3m water tank is Europe's longest saltwater aquarium and the 270.000 liters is kept in place by a 15cm thick acrylic pane. With soft music in the background this is one of the quiet spots in Tivoli where you can just sit and relax, enjoying the flow of the colourful fishes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Number 8

When walking around the whole day in Tivoli you might be a bit footsore. Then it's nice to take a ride in the only bus inside the park. Made like the old trams of Copenhagen, the number 8 will take you on a roundtrip of the park. Behind it you might notice a little fire truck; that's the real one used when a fire breaks out until the real firemen arrive on scene. Being small it can navigate the narrow paths better than its bigger brothers from the fire department.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What would you like to eat?

When visiting Tivoli for a few hours the question inevitably pops up; what to eat? In Tivoli your not shy of choices, the food ranges from hot dogs and other junk food dripping in oil to gourmet dinners worthy of a Michelin restaurant (and at Restaurant Herman in Nimb Hotel and Restaurants they actually got a star in the Michelin Guide).

In Grøften (the Ditch) you'll be served traditional Danish open sandwiches for lunch, in the Chinese tower you'll get, well, Chinese dinners and at Ultimo the menu's got Italian dishes. Even a Bosnian and a Japanese restaurant are possibly here.

If you're not really hungry, a plenitude of cafés and ice cream bars will help you part with your money, for that is something that all the places has in common, it's expensive to eat or drink in Tivoli.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Porsche in Tivoli

Tivoli often has other things to offer than the gardens and the rides. In the season you can see a lot of concerts both pop, rock, jazz and classical and exhibitions of any kind comes regularly. These photos are from the Porsche Day in May where 70 classic Porsches were on display.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


At night Tivoli is transformed from a garden of flowers to a garden of lights. Paths, buildings, rides and restaurants are all lit with a multitude of coloured lights, often changing in slow rhythms, so that the effect is absolutely stunning. The firework show has been Tivoli's trademark since its opening in 1843, but now it's only on a few days a year that the sky above Copenhagen is lit by the rockets.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hanging gardens

In Tivoli the flowers are not only in the ground but also in hanging pots and growing above lamps and in any other free space. This does makes it a very cozy place to be.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A garden

Tivoli in Copenhagen is much more than an amusement park, it's also a garden. Parts of Tivoli is in more or less permanent bloom as it has been planted in such a way that there's always some flowers in full bloom.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A man with a dream

The founder of Tivoli was Georg Carstensen. He was born in 1812 in Algiers where his father was Danish consul and it was in the Near East that he spent large parts of his childhood. His education was in Denmark though, in Copenhagen and at the boarding school of Herlufsholm. He travelled widely in the 1830's with Spain, Algiers, Morocco, France, England and USA on the list. When he moved to Copenhagen in 1839 he founded the periodicals Figaro and Portefeouillen. During parties to promote these papers he used parks in Copenhagen that were illuminated with lanterns and fireworks. The success of these parties inspired him to mimic London's Vauxhall on the old wall terrain just outside the city, for which he got the king's permission. In the years 1843 to 1848 he developed Tivoli, until the war with Schleswig started. He joined the army and returned as lieutenant only to discover that he was no longer needed or wanted at Tivoli. He then travelled to the Danish West Indies to join the army there and found his way to New York City where he constructed New York Crystal Palace for an exhibition. When Carstensen returned to Copenhagen in 1855 he founded a rival to Tivoli; Alhambra on Frederiksberg, which only has left a street name to remember it by. Carstensen died in 1857 aged 44. And his largest legacy is still Tivoli, even though there is nothing left of the original buildings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Free fall

Have you ever dreamed of trying to free fall 60m strapped to a chair? In Tivoli you can try that experience out again and again and again, if you dare! The Golden Tower is one of the most popular rides in the park but I always compare it with the sensation of cutting the wires in the elevator when on the top floor. In Tivoli though it's not the concrete floor that'll stop your rapid descend but a couple of big shock absorbers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Star Flyer

The Star Flyer is Tivoli's highest ride; 80m high and you're sitting in a chair on the end of a couple of thin wires. The view over Copenhagen must be magnificent from up there, as most of the buildings in the inner city are far lower than that.

At night time coloured spotlights make this tower an almost abstract artwork.

Monday, September 14, 2009


If you're into speed and thrills the newest roller coaster in Tivoli, Copenhagen will be a hit. Aptly called Vertigo it's two "planes" on two long arms that can be controlled by the passengers. Both speed and direction of the planes can be controlled which makes it possible to, say, fly backwards upside-down with a speed of up to 100 km/h. I must confess that I haven't tried it out and I'd rather have a couple of teeth pulled out at the dentist:-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Upside down

Tivoli in Copenhagen is the place to be if you like to be upside down in a roller coaster. The amusement park's got a couple of rollercoasters with this one, called the Demon, being the wildest of them. It's got three loops and is fairly fast.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From moat to Tivoli Gardens

It's hard to tell but until the 1840's this was part of the fortifications around Copenhagen. Actually this lake was the moat just outside the western gate. When the inner fortifications were demolished because the city needed space to expand, this area was bought by George Carstensen to build his amusement park, the Tivoli Gardens. To this day Tivoli is one of the top sightseeing places in Denmark with its gardens, amusement rides and restaurants. In the coming time I'll show you some more photos of Tivoli.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The last tower

In the center of Copenhagen near the City House Square is a ruin of a tower hidden behind a statue. This is Jarmer's Tower, named after a Wend lord named Jaromar of Rügen who raided the city in 1259 and broke through the defenses at this place. The tower was built in the beginning of the 16th Century as part of the defense wall and it was partly covered by dirt when the defenses were renovated in 1607. When the inner defensive wall was demolished in 1884 the tower was uncovered again along with a section of the old wall. The wall was an obstruction to the city gardeners so it was removed and only the ruin of the tower was left standing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The first line of defense

In the years before the WWI the Danish Army Command realised that the fortifications built in the late 19th Century was situated 7 km from the center of Copenhagen, while the cannons of Germany and Austria had a range twice that. A new line of defense was then hurriedly constructed in a line from Roskilde to Karlslunde. The coastal battery of Mosede Fort or Mosede Batteri is the eastern most of these new defenses.

It was built in 1913-16 originally to defend against a landing of troops in Køge Bugt. It was armed with 6 12cm howitzers and 75mm guns, and manned by 175 troops. It was abandoned after WWII and used as a refugee camp. In 1969 it was listed and in 1972-76 it was partly renovated. Today it's a recreational area with benches, grills and big lawns, but the old fortifications are very much evident. Renovations are still under way on parts of the fort.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to the forts

The smallest of the late 19th Century forts north of Copenhagen is the Fortunfortet. Situated in the middle of a residential area it seems out of place today, but when it was built in 1891-92 it had a clear line of sight and fire around it so that it could defend against an attack across the western Eremitage Plain and the Lundtofte Plain. It was built like most of the others in a triangular shape so that it had as few sides to defend as possible for its 110 troops and 8 75mm guns.

Today it's in fairly good shape though marked by time and partly overgrown. It has since its decommission in 1920 been used as a storage room for powder for Tivoli and as a mushroom farm until it was abandoned. In 2002 reconstructions began and these are still ongoing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Citadel

The Citadel (Citadellet Frederikshavn in Danish also known as Kastellet) is the best preserved of the old fortifications that encircled Copenhagen. Located near the harbour entrance its cannons could prevent enemy ships from entering the inner harbour and its star configuration made it extremely difficult for enemy troops to take it by storm. It was built by King Christian IV in 1626 as part of the defense wall around the city and it was used in the Swedish siege of 1658-60 and against the English in 1807. The small prison here have been used for enemy of the state and the last one sitting there was the German governor during the occupation Dr. Werner Best who was imprisoned in 1945.

Today the Citadel is still in use by the military and the Chief of Staff of the Defense Forces has his residence here. It was renovated latest in 1989-99 with funds from A.P. Møller and Wife Chastine McKinney Møllers General Fund. It's open to the public though and is a nice place to take a walk.