I've learned, especially in Europe, to always start a visit by checking out city hall because it usually sets the tone and Copenhagen, population 1.2 million, has a real red brick beaut.
Check out the gargoyles near the entrance to city hall. The building was started in 1893 and completed in 1905.
Near the front side of city hall stands this statue of Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish writer of children's fairy-tales. His left knee is showing wear and tear from people hopping up and having their picture taken with him. Note the oncoming bicycle riders--much more about this bicycle mad city later.
Built in 1894, Stork Fountain seems to be a popular hangout for kids after school. Those are storks and not herons.
This is Caritas Well, the oldest fountain in Copenhagen. How old? How about 1608.
On the Queen's birthday (yes, the Danish are big on royalty) copperballs covered in 24 carat gold, symbolizing golden apples, shoot up and down in the fountain. No, not in the bottom part but up in the top part where the bronze of a pregnant mother with her children stands. Why is the bronze placed way up high? It was moved up there shortly after the unveiling to keep kids from seeing it. Evidently the sight of water spraying out from the woman's breasts and her little boy "peeing" into the basin was too much.
These bikes for transporting kids are a very common sight here.
This is the back of Christianborg Palace. Constructed started in 1733 and due to several serious fires over the years, wasn't finished until 1928. Up to 1794 it was the prinicipal residence of the Danish kings. Since 1849 it has been the seat of parliment.
Closer view of Christianborg Palace. With the Prime Minister (executive), the Danish Supreme Court (judicial) and Parliament (legislative) all in the same building--it's the only country in the world to have all three branches of government in a single building. A good piece of trivia at a cocktail party. Note the royal crown atop the tower.
This is the front view of Christianborg Palace. Yep, the blue skies are gone and here comes the rain.
This spiffy building stands a stone's throw away from Christianborg Palace. Built by King Christian IV, construction started in 1619 and was completed in 1649. The king wanted a stock exchange and so that's what it became. It housed the Danish stock exchange until 1974. Now it's privately-owned.
The coolest thing about the structure is the spire. I tried zooming in but the photos didn't turn out very well. Called the Dragon Spire, it's shaped to the tails of four dragons twined together with their heads at the bottom. Copenhagen is called the "City of Spires".
This is the entrance to the stock exchange building.
Known as the Black Diamond, this is the modern extension (1999) to the National Library's old brick building to the left. The unofficial nickname is due to its polished black granite cladding and irregular angles.
This is the main entrance to the old National Library.
This is Nyhavn harbor, very popular with tourists
Colorful Nyhavn harbor is where canal rides start. An unending stream of restaurants line the street.