Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taxis everywhere

You'll find plenty of taxis in Copenhagen, although you might also find them to be somewhat expensive. After all, Copenhagen is the fourth most expensive city in the world!

Taxis are recognized by their roof signs, and display the word FRI (Free) when available. Generally, all drivers also speak good English.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Bicycles everywhere!

One of the things Copenhagen is known for is its positive attitude towards cyclists. There are many bicycle-only roads and every station or public area has parking for bicycles.

This photograph was taken in the centre of the city near Gammelholm.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taxis everywhere

You'll find plenty of taxis in Copenhagen, although you might also find them to be somewhat expensive. After all, Copenhagen is the fourth most expensive city in the world!

Taxis are recognized by their roof signs, and display the word FRI (Free) when available. Generally, all drivers also speak good English.


Pretty window

This window is on Nyhavn Harbour in central Copenhagen. The 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district has so much detail!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking out for Mariners

In 1924 the sculptor Svend Rathsack and Ivar Bentsen won the competiion for a Maritime Monument on Langelinie, part of Copenhagen's waterfront. It was unveiled in 1928.

After beginning his artistic career as a painter, Rathsack turned exclusively to sculpture in 1913. In Denmark he is known for statues of standing figures such as Standing Woman [1940-41] and the Hunter (1941, some of his last works.

Ivar Bentsen was a Danish architect and professor who was a central figure in both the Bedre Byggeskik-bevægelsen (Better Building Practices movement), Neo-classicism and functionalism .


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The Norwegian-Danish sculptor, Stephan Abel Sinding, created this extraordinary sculpture in 1910 and today it stands in Churchillparken.

Many of the Sinding's sculptures are credited to Realism but together with Danish sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen, among others, is considered much more in the style of Symbolism. An example of his Symbolic work is his sculpture Valkyrjen (The Valkyrie.

In Norse mythology, a valkyrie is one of a host of female figures who decides who falls and dies in battle. The valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin.


Monday, March 26, 2012

With The Law One Shall Build The Country

The District Court of Copenhagen is situated on Nytorv in the centre of Copenhagen. This Neoclassica building was inaugurated in 1815 and was built to the design of Christian Frederik Hansen.

The construction was started in 1803 and the project was delayed by scarcity of building materials as well as the British bombardment of the city in 1807 in the Battle of Copenhagen. Materials from the demolition of Hirschholm Palace were used for the building.

The building served a dual purpose for almost one hundred years, until the current Copenhagen City Hall was inaugurated in 1905. After that it has been exclusively used as the District Court of Copenhagen.

The inscription is from the Codex Holmiensis, the manuscript of the Danish Code of Jutland.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oxblood paint

Oxblood or deerblood tempera has been used since ancient time to protect structures from the elements. In Denmark the climate is extreme in the sense that water and ice form in the winter and high humidity is typical in summer. This leads to mould and water damage being a constant threat to structures.

In Kastellet near Langelinje the barracks and other buildings are painted in red and yellow colours derived from burnt ochre and either golden ochre or ferric oxid (I could not find a definitive answer as to which)mixed with oxblodd.

Many stories abound of the durability of tempera and the Rennaissance paintings certainly show it being true. One of specific interest is the story that an oak door on the "Priorshus" (Priors house) in "Ærøskøbing" on the island of "Ærø" in Denmark has, according to the tradition, been painted with only one layer of oxblood. This took place in 1690 and it has never been necessary to repaint it again.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Graffiti everywhere

As you would find in any major city people have the need to make the city their own. This is usually done by graffiti artists and some stunning examples of this art abounds in the city.

However, there seems to be a undercurrent of gang-related tagging going on in the city which is very disturbing.


Friday, March 23, 2012

All dressed up...

Earlier this month I showed you the bicycle with knitting on it I came across in the city centre. Near Nørreport station there is construction happening on Kultorvet (tr. The Coal Square) and new trees are being planted.

Someone has also covered these with knitting. I love how Copenhagers make public spaces their own in ways other than with graffitti!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

How far is it?

There are at least three distance markers in Copenhagen, one on Rådhuspladsen, one near Østerport station and this one at Nørreport station just as you exit the Metro station. The 1distances to the centre of certain towns are shown from these points.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summer is here soon

At leat, that is what I hope dressing up statues in summer clothes signify!

This was taken in Roskilde, erstwhile capital of Denmark. Since 1971, the annual Roskilde Festival, a rock music festival, has been held near the town.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ol' Blue Eyes

This building is the head-office of the shipping company AP Møller Mærsk. It is sometimes locally referred to as "Old Blue Eyes" due to the tint on the windows. It dominates the Esplanaden and overlooks the area where the queen arrives and departs for the royal yacht.


Monday, March 19, 2012

The little opportunist

This little dachshund (gravhund in Danish) certainly knows who to charm to get a little extra food. It made me smile to see it "sneeking" behind the restaurant staff memebr when he went to the stores.

The photo was taken near the parliament building on Gammel Strand. This used to be where fish was sold and the area is under construction at the moment - as it seems most the rest of Copenhagen too - but the restaurants and coffee shops still operate.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Enjoying the sunshine

A favourite spot for walking around in the sunshine is the area around Kastellet, or The Citadel, near Langelinie. From here one has a very good view of the surrounding areas and, even though it is not allowed, some people also sit on the grass to relax.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Come on Spring!

Well, I am not the most patient of people...

After a relatively mild if wet winter Copenhagen's plant-life is coming round to the idea that it might be worthwhile waking up after their long slumber.

We are looking forward to the longer days, warmer weather, beach parties, open-air concerts, boat trips, etc., etc., etc!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Where is the Little Mermaid?

A tongue-in-the-cheek look at the fact that many tourists are surprised at how small the world-famous statue actually is and many walk around asking where she is.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


This decorated bicycle was spotted near Kongens Nytorv. Recently the street art of CPH Knitters and Knit Bitch has been adorning many public spaces and trees in them. Anyone going past Nørreport station would have come across their work.

I wonder if this bicycle belongs to one of them?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Denmark's latest bridge under construction

This photo was taken recently and shows the new pedestrian and cycle bridge which will connect Nyhavn and Christianshavn. The project is part of an effort to tie the various parts of Copenhagen together. This will make it easier for locals and tourists to enjoy the relatively unique and different feel each area has.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Aller Building


In the Copenhagen Harbour areas buildings have been shooting up since the ships moved outside of the city. At Kalvebod Brygge (Brygge being the Danish word for wharf) this building housing the Aller Media Co. has an appropriate form, looking almost like a ship.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Where the tea lady comes from

During the First World War the Germans started referring to their horse-drawn field kitchens as "Gulaschkanone" which translates to Goulash Cannons. Even today you will find military men referring to modern kitchens as such. (The photo is from the military museum at Christiansborg.)

Later, larger trailers evolved and horses were phased out in favour of motorised vehicles more capable of towing heavier loads. In World War Two these mobile canteens were used as a morale booster in the United Kingdom. The culture of the tea break, and in particular as a result of the successful wartime experiment on productivity and morale, the tea lady was born.

Believe it or not!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

That's runners for you!

While walking through Søndermarken park near Valby and Frederiksberg I was astonished to see these runners who seem to have started out feeling cold and gradually warmed up but then had to strip down and carry their warm clothes.

May I never feel the need for such extreme exercise...


Saturday, March 10, 2012

In for repairs

While on a walk near Sluseholmen I came across this interesting sight. Someone had towed a houseboat a few kilometres from its mooring in Christianshavn to here for refurbishment. I could only find someone from the nearby boat repair shop and was told that the houseboat had been sold and was being refurbished for its new owners.

How cool is that? You buy a place and it gets towed away only to come back all spanky new?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Like a fish out of the water

The Copenhagen Zoo is situated in Frederiksberg and is located on just over 11 hectares next to Frederiksberg Slot. It was founded in 1859 and is one of the oldest zoos in Europe.

It is the only zoo outside of Australia that has Tasmanian Devils in captivity and also has rare species such as the Okapi, Musk Ox and Amur Leopard.

In this photograph one can see the zebra in winter time with the characteristic Zoo Tower from 1905, an observation tower built entirely out of wood in the background.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Citadel

Kastellet, located in the old part of Copenhagen, is one of the best-preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. It was constructed by King Christian IV of Denmark in 1626 with the building of an advanced post, Sankt Annæ Skanse. It was developed over time and today the Citadel is still owned by the Danish Defence Ministry and is an active military area.

The photograph shows the southern gate, known as the King's Gate.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marble Church

Frederick's Church, popularly known as The Marble Church (Danish: Marmorkirken) is located just north of Amalienborg Palace. The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1749 by Frederick V of whom an equestrian statue stands in the palace complex.

The inspiration for this church was probably St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and it has the largest church dome in Scandinanvia.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Christiansborg Palace

This imposing complex on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power.

The palace is open to the public after published schedule, with guided tours available.


Monday, March 5, 2012

City Hall

In the centre of Copenhagen is the municipal council as well as the offices of the Lord mayor of the Copenhagen Municipality.

The current building was inaugurated in 1905. It was designed by the architect Martin Nyrop in the National Romantic style but with inspiration from the Siena City Hall. It is dominated by its richly ornamented front, the gilded statue of Absalon just above the balcony and the tall, slim clock tower. The latter is at 105.6 metres one of the tallest buildings in the generally low city of Copenhagen.

Tourists can undertake guided or unguided tours at designated hours.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rising with the sun

One good thing about the shorter days of winter is the comfort of getting to photograph sunrises without rising at ridiculous hours. This shot was taken in Nyhavn of Copenhagen just as the sun rose to send its rays along the harbour.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Taking precautions

The one downside of living in Copenhagen is bicycle theft. I know of very few people who have not had their bicycles stolen.

This store owner is taking no chances with this demonstration item! Even though it is near Nørreport station and quite high up on the building the store has had several attempts at theft.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Sunset at Copenhagen's latest hotel

With Copenhagen being a sea city and having a relatively unobstructed horizon sunsets can be stunning. Also, high-rise buildings are few and far between in the city centre but here in the Øresund district more skyscrapers add to the visual interest.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

When winter came to Copenhagen

Even though this has been one of the warmest and most sunny winters in Denmark we did have a few weeks of hard frost, as this photo shows. It was even hard enough to make it possibly for people to walk on the canals like these two did on Christianshavn's Canal.