Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark (Part 2)

Smack dab in the middle of Copenhagen stands Rosenborg Castle. This renaissance castle was built in 1606 and was originally a country summerhouse. I've seen quite a few summer palaces in many countries and it always cracks me up. Why? The summer residence usually ends up being within one to five miles of the prinicpal royal residence. The main residence in Copenhagen is ONLY a mile away. I mean even back in the horse and buggy era how long would it take to travel a mile and though the royals would escape the bustle of the court, it's still going to be the same weather.
A moat surrounds the castle. Having visited hundreds of castles I'm not too impressed as it's not very big or imposing. But, attached you'll find the oldest royal garden in Denmark. Dating back to 1605 and covering 25 acres, the lush grounds attract 2.5 million visitors a year.
In this photo you can see two guards on duty near the entrance. Why? Next to the castle are the barracks where the Royal Life Guards are garrisoned. The castle houses a museum. Not just any museum but, the Danish Treasury Museum---which includes the Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia.
Cycling is a way of life in Copenhagen. Matter of fact, 36% of its population cycle to work! (I believe it's the highest in the world). At this red light I counted 70 cyclists waiting to go forward!
This is the main hall in Copenhagen's central train station. Built in 1911, if you are into train stations (like me) it's a real beauty.
Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Copenhagen, with Amsterdam in second place, gets my vote as the city with the most bicycles. This is outside the train station.
 This is a view of bicycles outside another side of the central train station.
 These are more bicycles piled up outside the back part of Copenhagen's central train station.
You like to shop? Stroget is the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe. The brown building houses the flagship store for Royal Copenhagen, maker of fancy porcelain since 1775. To the immediate right is Georg Jensen, a very prestigious purveyor of jewelry, silver and watches for over 100 years (similar to Tiffany) and yes, the letter "e" is left off the name Georg.
It's raining but I'm not the only tourist snapping photos of colorful buildings and streets.
Note the animals mounted on the side of the red building.
There're quite a few street mimes. Can't blame them for taking advantage of the long pedestrian shopping street. I wonder if this guy needs help in the morning putting on his "uniform".
Here's a closer view. Is he an angel? By the way, he's standing in front of a church
Copenhagen has several big (and fancy) department stores and of course, the first place I head for is the basement as that's where the food courts (pastries) are located.
Located in central Copenhagen and constructed way back in 1637 by King Christian IV, Round Tower was built as an astronomical observatory. Today it's used as an observation tower (of course you have to cough up money to enter) and the expansive views of Copenhagen are worth the hike to the top. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the best part: There are no stairs leading to the top but, a cobblestone brick ramp that winds around the tower seven and a half times. Back in 1726 the Czar Peter the Great made the trek to the top but, the lazy czar (male diva?) rode a horse up the ramp! In 1902 a Beaufort car was the first motorized vehicle to ascend the tower. The first bicyle race was held in the tower back in 1888--that must have been one bumpy race going over the bricks! Nowadays, every year a unicycle race going up and down the tower is held. The time to beat? One minute and 48 seconds.
This is Copenhagen Opera House, the national opera house of Denmark. Completed in 2005, the cost was a whopping $500 million!
The round dome in the background is Marble Church and I don't think I need to tell you how it got the name. Constructed in 1750, the buildings on the left and right make up half of the identical four building complex of Amalienborg Palace, the winter home of the Danish royal family.
This is another partial view of Amalienborg Palace where Queen Margrethe ll, a chain smoker, calls home. When she's in residence the Royal Life Guards (in full dress uniform similar to Buckingham Palace in London) stand guard outside.

1 comment:

  1. christania’s “rent family bike” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.