Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace, krɪsdjænsˈbɔːɐ̯ˀ, on the islet of Slotsholmen
Slotsholmen is an island in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark, and part of Copenhagen Inner City. Bishop Absalon constructed the city's first castle on the island in 1166-67 at the site where Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament lies today...

 in central Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, is the seat of the Folketing
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

 (the Danish parliament), the Danish Prime Minister's Office
Ministry of the State of Denmark
Ministry of the State of Denmark is a Danish government ministry. Atypical of a Danish ministry it does not have any councils, boards or committees associated with it and its near sole responsibility is to act as the secretariat of the Prime Minister of Denmark...

 and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy
Monarchy of Denmark
The monarchy in Denmark is the constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Denmark, which includes Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.As a constitutional monarch, the Queen is limited to non-partisan, ceremonial functions...

, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the palace chapel and the royal stables.

The palace is thus the house of Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

's three supreme powers: the executive power
Government of Denmark
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a representative democracy based on a unicameral parliamentary system. The affairs of Government are decided by a Cabinet of Ministers, which is led by a Prime Minister...

, the legislative power
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

, and the judicial power
Courts of Denmark
The Danish Supreme Court is the highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in Denmark. The Kingdom of Denmark, consisting of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, does not have a single unified judicial system – Denmark has one system, Greenland another, and...

. It is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government. Christiansborg Palace is owned by the Danish state, and is run by the Palaces and Properties Agency.

The present building is the last in a series of successive castles and palaces constructed on the same site since the erection of the first castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 in 1167. Since the early fifteenth century, the various buildings have served as the base of the central administration; until 1794 as the principal residence of the Danish kings and after 1849 as the seat of parliament.

The palace today bears witness to three eras of Danish architecture, as the result of two serious fires. The first fire occurred in 1794 and the second in 1884. The main part of the current palace, finished in 1928, is in the historicist Neo-baroque
The Baroque Revival or Neo-baroque was an architectural style of the late 19th century. The term is used to describe architecture which displays important aspects of Baroque style, but is not of the Baroque period proper—i.e., the 17th and 18th centuries.Some examples of Neo-baroque architecture:*...

 style. The chapel dates to 1826 and is in a neoclassical style. The showgrounds were built 1738-46, in a baroque style.

Absalon's Castle

The first castle on the site was Absalon's Castle
Absalon's Castle
Absalon's Castle, was a fortification on the island of Slotsholmen in Copenhagen, located at the site of the later Copenhagen Castle and Christiansborg Palace. According to the chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, the castle was founded by Bishop Absalon in 1167 to protect the emerging city of Copenhagen...

. According to the Danish
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

 chronicler Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.- Life :The Jutland Chronicle gives...

, Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...

 of Roskilde
Diocese of Roskilde (Roman-Catholic)
The Roman-Catholic Diocese of Roskilde was a diocese within the Roman-Catholic Church which was established in Denmark some time before 1022....

 built a castle in 1167 on a small island outside Copenhagen Harbour. The castle was made up by a curtain wall, encircling an enclosed courtyard with several buildings, such as the bishop's palace
Bishop's palace
Bishop's Palace may refer to the official residence of any bishop, such as those listed in the :Category:Episcopal palaces.Specific residences called Bishop's Palace include:* Bishop's Palace, Castres, France...

, a chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

 and several minor buildings. The ruins of Absalon's Castle can be seen today in the subterranean excavations under the present palace and show how the castle's owners developed and renewed the castle.

At the death of Absalon in 1201, possession of the castle and city of Copenhagen passed to the bishops of Roskilde
Diocese of Roskilde (Roman-Catholic)
The Roman-Catholic Diocese of Roskilde was a diocese within the Roman-Catholic Church which was established in Denmark some time before 1022....

. A few decades later, however, a bitter feud erupted between crown and church, and for almost two centuries the ownership of the castle was heavily contented between kings and bishops. Furthermore, the castle was frequently under attack, for example by Wend
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

 pirates and the Hanseatic
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 cities, and during the years 1249 to 1259 it was occupied and plundered.

In 1368 the castle was taken by the enemies of Valdemar IV
Valdemar IV of Denmark
Valdemar IV of Denmark or Waldemar ; , was King of Denmark from 1340 to 1375.-Ascension to the throne:...

 from the Hanseatic League. The following year, the Hanseatic League sent 40 stonemasons to demolish the castle stone by stone. The castle had long been a terrible nuisance to the Hanseatic cities' trade in the Sound
The Sound , is the strait that separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania. Its width is just at the narrowest point between Helsingør, Denmark, and Helsingborg, Sweden...

, and the time had now come to remove it. Since Denmark had considerable interests to defend in the area, a new castle was soon built to take its place.

Copenhagen Castle

During the years after the demolition of Bishop Absalon's castle by the Hansa League in 1369, the ruins on the island were covered with earthworks, on which the new stronghold, Copenhagen Castle
Copenhagen Castle
Copenhagen Castle was a castle on Slotsholmen in Copenhagen, Denmark, built in the late 14th century at the site of the current Christiansborg Palace....

, was built.

The castle had a curtain wall and was surrounded by a moat and with a large, solid tower as an entrance gate. The castle was still the property of the Bishop of Roskilde until King Eric VII
Eric of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania KG was King Eric III of Norway Norwegian Eirik, King Eric VII of Denmark , and as Eric King of Sweden...

 usurped the rights to the castle in 1417. From then on the castle in Copenhagen was occupied by the king.

The castle was rebuilt several times. King Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

, for example, added a spire to the large entrance tower, which under the name of the Blue Tower
Blåtårn was a tower at the royal Danish palace of Copenhagen Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark. The tower was used as a prison and has been known as such in history...

 gained a reputation as a prison. In the 1720s, Frederick IV
Frederick IV of Denmark
Frederick IV was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 until his death. Frederick was the son of King Christian V of Denmark and Norway and Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel .-Foreign affairs:...

 entirely rebuilt the castle, but it became so heavy that the walls began to give way and to crack. It became therefore evident to Christian VI
Christian VI of Denmark
Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway from 1730 to 1746.He was the son of King Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. He married Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and fathered Frederick V.-The reign and personality of Christian VI:To posterity Christian...

, Frederik IV's successor, immediately after his accession to the throne in 1730, that an entirely new castle had to be built.

The demolition of the overextended and antiquated Copenhagen Castle was commenced in 1731 to make room for the first Christiansborg.

First Christiansborg

King Christian VI commissioned architect Elias David Häusser
Elias David Häusser
Elias David Häusser was a German-Danish architect working in the Baroque and Rococo styles. He is most known for designing the first Christiansborg Palace which was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 1794...

 to build the first Christiansborg Palace (Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, Christiansborg Slot), and in 1733 work started on the magnificent baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 palace. By 1738, work on the main palace had progressed so far that it was possible to start on the other buildings included in the total project. The palace included show grounds and chapel. Most of the palace complex was completed in 1745. The palace and church were ruined by a fire in 1794, but the showgrounds were saved.

Second Christiansborg

While the royal family lived in temporary accommodations at Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

 (after first having lived at Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects...

), the master builder of Altona
Altona, Hamburg
Altona is the westernmost urban borough of the German city state of Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937...

, architect Christian Frederik Hansen
Christian Frederik Hansen
Christian Frederik Hansen , known as C.F. Hansen, was the leading Danish architect between the late 18th century and the mid 19th century, and on account of his position at the Royal Danish Academy of Art the most powerful person in artistic circles for many years...

, was called to Copenhagen to resurrect the palace. Hansen started building the second Christiansborg in 1803 in a French Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 style. By the time the palace was finished in 1828, King Frederick VI
Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

 had decided he did not want to live there after all, and he only used the royal premises for entertainment.

The palace also housed the Parliament (Folketing
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

) and administrative services.

Frederick VII
Frederick VII of Denmark
Frederick VII was a King of Denmark. He reigned from 1848 until his death. He was the last Danish monarch of the older Royal branch of the House of Oldenburg and also the last king of Denmark to rule as an absolute monarch...

 was the only monarch to live in the palace. This was between 1852-1863.

The second Christiansborg burned down in 1884. Saved were Hansen's chapel, the showgrounds, the building linking the palace to the chapel, and the ministerial buildings on Slotsholmsgade.

Third Christiansborg

Thorvald Jørgensen
Thorvald Jørgensen
Thorvald Jørgensen was a Danish architect, most known for his design of Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament, after it had been destroyed in a fire. His other work mainly consists of churches. He was Royal Building Inspector from 1911 to 1938.-Biography:Thorval Jørgen was born...

 won an architecture competition to decide who would design the third Christiansborg, which was built from 1907-1928. The palace was to contain premises for the royal family, the legislature and the judiciary, and was built in Neo-baroque
The Baroque Revival or Neo-baroque was an architectural style of the late 19th century. The term is used to describe architecture which displays important aspects of Baroque style, but is not of the Baroque period proper—i.e., the 17th and 18th centuries.Some examples of Neo-baroque architecture:*...

 style in reinforced concrete with granite-covered facades. Fragments from C.F. Hansen's palace were preserved in the north facade facing Prince Jørgen's Yard (Prins Jørgens Gård). The original roof was tiled, but after a national collection, the tiles were replaced with copper in 1937-1938. A weather vane with two crowns was later added to the tower, and at 106 meters became the tallest tower in the city.

During the digging work, they came across the ruins of Absalon's Castle and Copenhagen Castle. It was decided to make them publicly accessible, and the ruins under the current palace, and the historical exhibition opened to the public in 1924.

Christiansborg Palace today

The palace now houses the Royal Reception Rooms, the Queen's Library, the audience chambers, the Sovereign in Council rooms, the Chapel, Parliament
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister's
Prime Minister of Denmark
The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in Danish politics. The Prime Minister is traditionally the leader of a political coalition in the Folketing and presides over the cabinet....


Royal Reception Rooms

The Royal Reception Rooms at Christiansborg Palace are located on the first floor, the so-called bel-étage, at the north end of the main wing and in the wing running along the courtyard, Prince Jørgen's Yard.

The Royal Reception Rooms are used for official functions of the Royal Family such as New Year Levee, reception of ambassadors or gala banquets. The Reception Rooms are richly adorned with works of art rescued from the two earlier palaces, as well as decorations by some of the best Danish artists from the early 20th century.

To reach the Royal Reception Rooms one goes through Dronningeporten (Queen's Gate), and through Drabantsalen (Guards' Room) you get to Kongetrappen (King's Stairway). At the foot of the stairs are Audiensgemakket (Audience Chamber) and Statsrådssalen (Council Room). The Queen holds an audience every other Monday and attends Council with the government as required. The Queen in Council signs new Acts after their adoption in Parliament. The Audience Chamber and the Council Room are the only Royal Reception Rooms that are closed to the public.

The King's Stairway gives access to Tårnsalen (Tower Room). The Tower Room displays a series of tapestries with motifs from Danish folk songs, woven after cartoons painted by Joakim Skovgaard. The Royal Reception Rooms also include the oval Tronsal (Throne Room) where foreign ambassadors are received by Queen Margrethe II
Margrethe II of Denmark
Margrethe II is the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 1972 she became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375-1412 during the Kalmar Union.-Early life:...

. The Throne Room gives access to the balcony where the Danish monarchs are proclaimed. The Throne Room is decorated with a large ceiling painting by Kræsten Iversen, depicting how the Danish flag, Dannebrog
Flag of Denmark
The national flag of Denmark, Dannebrog is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side...

, fell from the sky in Estonia in 1219.

The Great Hall is the largest and most spectacular of the Royal Reception Rooms. The Hall is 40 metres long with a ceiling height of 10 metres, and a gallery runs all the way around the room. The Great Hall was renovated on the occasion of Queen Margrethe II's 60th birthday when artist Bjørn Nørgaard
Bjørn Nørgaard
Bjørn Nørgaard is a Danish artist who has been active in a variety of fields. He has significantly influenced the art scene in Denmark both through his "happenings" and his sculptures in Danish cities...

's 17 tapestries recounting the history of Denmark were hung on the walls. The tapestries were a gift from the Danish business community on the occasion of Queen Margrethe II's 50th birthday.

The Royal Reception Rooms also include Fredensborgsalen (Fredensborg Room) with Lauritz Tuxen's painting of King Christian IX
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

 and his whole family together at Fredensborg Palace
Fredensborg Palace
Fredensborg Palace, , is a palace located on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum in Fredensborg on the island of Zealand in Denmark. It is the Danish Royal Family’s spring and autumn residence, and is often the site of important state visits and events in the Royal Family...

, as well as part of the Queen's Library.

The Prime Minister uses the Royal Reception Rooms as well, particularly in connection with state visits. On such occasions the official banquet is often held in Alexandersalen (Alexander Room). The Alexander Room is decorated with Bertel Thorvaldsen
Bertel Thorvaldsen
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a Danish-Icelandic sculptor of international fame, who spent most of his life in Italy . Thorvaldsen was born in Copenhagen into a Danish/Icelandic family of humble means, and was accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts when he was eleven years old...

's marble frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

 "Alexander the Great Enters Babylon". The frieze was made for the second Christiansborg Palace, and parts of it survived the fire. It was later restored and mounted in this room.

The Palace Chapel

The history of Christiansborg Palace Chapel goes back to the first Christiansborg Palace, which was built by the contractor general Elias David Häusser from 1733-45. King Christian VI was keen on architecture, and he commissioned a talented young architect in the King's building service, Nicolai Eigtved
Nicolai Eigtved
Nicolai Eigtved, also known as Niels Eigtved, , Danish architect, introduced and was the leading proponent of the French rococo style in Danish architecture during the 1730s-1740s. He designed and built some of the most prominent buildings of his time, a number of which still stand to this day...

, to design the palace chapel (1738–42). Eigtved seized the opportunity and designed one of the most distinguished Rococo interiors in Denmark.

In 1794 fire ravaged the palace and it was decided to demolish the ruins completely. The demolition, however, never took place.

Architect Christian Frederik Hansen, who resurrected the palace between 1803–1828, was also commissioned to rebuild the palace chapel in 1810. Work commenced in 1813, using the existing foundations and masonry as far as possible. The church and main palace were built in strict neo-classical style, with a dome construction on top of a central church interior. The palace chapel was inaugurated on Whit Sunday
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

, May 14, 1826, to mark the 1,000 anniversary of the introduction of Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 to Denmark.
The second palace fire in 1884 spared the church, as the fire was stopped in the buildings linking it to the palace. However, fate finally caught up with the church June 7, 1992. The church burned to the ground, probably set ablaze by fireworks set off during the Whitsun carnival.

During the 1992 church fire, the roof, dome and dividing floor were burned down and the inventory severely damaged. Shortly afterwards, the Danish Ministry of Finance's Palaces and Properties Agency began rebuilding the chapel in collaboration with Erik Møller's Drawing Studio A/S and Royal Inspector of Listed State Buildings Jens Fredslund. No drawings existed of the dome and roof, but a systematic exercise in building archaeology registered the charred remains of the building, and made it possible to recreate the dome and roof. Historically accurate building methods were also used throughout the rebuilding process.

Danish craftsmen were unable to undertake the difficult work of restoring and recreating the interior's scagliola
Scagliola , is a technique for producing stucco columns, sculptures, and other architectural elements that resemble inlays in marble and semi-precious stones...

. One of Germany's leading experts, Manfred Siller, took charge and taught the venerable technique to Danish stucco workers.

The rebuilt church was inaugurated on January 14, 1997 to celebrate Queen Margrethe II's Silver Jubilee. The rebuilding was awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, is the representative platform of 250 heritage NGOs active in 45 countries across Europe...


Ruins beneath the Palace

Beneath the present Christiansborg Palace lie the ruins of Bishop Absalon's Castle and Copenhagen Castle. When the foundations of the present Christiansborg Palace were being cast, workers came across ruins of several buildings and parts of a curtain wall.

Experts were called in from the National Museum of Denmark
National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum's main domicile is located a short distance from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen. It contains exhibits from around the world,...

 and the ruins, which lay beneath the inner palace yard, were unearthed. Public interest in these ruins, which dated back to around the year 1167, was tremendous. It was therefore decided that the ruins should not be covered over again but preserved for posterity. The reinforced concrete structure erected to cover the ruins was the biggest of its kind in Denmark when it was built in 1908.

The ruins beneath the palace square were excavated in 1917 and a cover was also built over them. The ruins have been open to the public since 1924. The Ruins Exhibition was renovated during the period 1974-77 and has remained more or less untouched since then.

Riding Ground Complex

The Show Grounds are now all that remain of the first Christiansborg Palace. They consist of two symmetrical wings with a straight, low and narrow stable building followed by a high broad building and narrow, curved stables, after which a one-story narrow end building closes off the wings at the Frederiksholm Canal end.

In 1742, the north wing became the first one to be finished. Building work on the south wing started in June 1740 but ground to a halt by the autumn due to difficulties in obtaining supplies. Work did not recommence until January 1744, now under the supervision of the young architect Nicolai Eigtved. Eigtved's superior artistic insight meant it turned out more beautiful than the north wing. In 1746, 87 hunting horses and 165 carriage horses moved into the new stables, the largest number ever.

In 1766-67, the architect Nicolas-Henri Jardin
Nicolas-Henri Jardin
Nicolas-Henri Jardin , neoclassical architect, was born in St. Germain des Noyers, Dept. Seine-et-Marne, France, and worked seventeen years in Denmark as an architect to the royal court...

 built a court theatre on the floor above the big stables. It now houses the Theatre Museum.

In the Riding Ground Complex, one can visit the Theatre Museum and The Royal Stables.

The Marble Bridge and the pavilions

In Häusser's original project from the first Christiansborg, the two wings of the palace were linked by a gatehouse at the Frederiksholm Canal end, and a drawbridge lead over the canal. The Palace Building Commission was not completely satisfied with the proposal and asked two young architects working for the royal building authority, Nicolai Eigtved and Lauritz de Thurah
Lauritz de Thurah
Laurids Lauridsen de Thurah, known as Lauritz de Thurah , was a Danish architect and architectural writer. He became the most important Danish architect of the late baroque period...

, to come up with an alternative suggestion.

Their proposal included a permanent bridge over Frederiksholm Canal forming the main entrance to the palace and two portal pavilions flanking an open drive and closing the complex off between the two wings. Both bridge and pavilions were in the new rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...


Responsibility was transferred to Eigtved, who was the prime mover behind the project.

The bridge was extremely elegant— sandstone covered with medallion decorations by the sculptor Louis August le Clerc
Louis August le Clerc
Louis August le Clerc , also known as Louis-Augustin le Clerc, was a French-born sculptor working in Denmark. He was born in Metz, France to copperplate engraver Sebastian le Clerc and his wife Charlotte van den Kerckhove...

. The pavements were paved with Norwegian marble, hence the name the Marble Bridge (Marmorbro), and the roadway paved with cobblestones.

The pavilions were every bit as magnificent as the bridge. They were covered with sandstone from Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, and the sculptor Johan Christof Petzoldt richly decorated the concave roofs with the royal couple's back-to-back monogram
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a...

s and four figures on each roof symbolising the royal couple's positive traits. The interior decoration was by the court's master stonemason Jacob Fortling
Jacob Fortling
Jacob Fortling was a German-Danish sculptor, architect and manufacturer, described as one of the most industrious people in the Denmark of his day. He came to Denmark at age 18 and embarked on a successful career, first as a sculptor and later also as an architect...

. The bridge and pavilions were finished in 1744.

In 1996, when Copenhagen was European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

, the Palaces and Properties Agency finished a restoration of the Showgrounds that had taken many years. The Marble Bridge and Pavilions were restored between 1978 and 1996 by architect Erik Hansen and the Show Grounds from 1985-1996 by Royal Inspector of Listed State Buildings Gehrdt Bornebusch.

King Christian IX's equestrian statue on the Riding Ground Complex

A collection was started for the construction of a monument to King Christian IX
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

 shortly after his death in 1906. The following year four artists were invited to compete for the commission. There was no discussion about the position of the statue. It would be erected on Christiansborg Riding Ground Complex as a pendant to the statue of King Frederick VII on the Palace Square.

Sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen
Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen
Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen was a Danish sculptor. Her preferred themes were domestic animals and people, with an intense, naturalistic portrayal of movements and sentiments. She also depicted themes from Nordic mythology...

, the wife of composer Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen
Carl August Nielsen , , widely recognised as Denmark's greatest composer, was also a conductor and a violinist. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age...

, won the competition with her proposal for a new equestrian statue. In the proposal, the statue was shown on a high pedestal, on the sides of which were reliefs depicting a procession of the leading men of the day, including industrialist Carl Frederik Tietgen
Carl Frederik Tietgen
Carl Frederik Tietgen was a Danish financier and industrialist. The founder of numerous prominent Danish companies, many of which are still in operation today, he played an important role in the industrialisation of Denmark...

, politician Jakob Brønnum Scavenius Estrup and poets Jens Peter Jacobsen
Jens Peter Jacobsen
Jens Peter Jacobsen was a Danish novelist, poet, and scientist, in Denmark often just written as "J. P. Jacobsen" and pronounced "I. P. Jacobsen"...

 and Holger Drachmann
Holger Drachmann
Holger Henrik Herholdt Drachmann , was a Danish poet and dramatist. He is an outstanding figure of the Modern Break-Through....

. The reliefs were later axed, and the architect Andreas Clemmensen designed the pedestal that bears the horse today.

The sculptor sought throughout the country for the right horse to stand as a model, but found it in Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

 in Germany. This gave rise to a good deal of displeasure among Danish horse breeders.

The monument took a long time to complete, but in 1927, 21 years after the king's death, it was unveiled on the Riding Ground Complex.

Visiting the palace

The palace is open to the public after published schedule, with guided tours available. It is centrally located in Copenhagen's Indre By
Indre By
Indre By , also known as Copenhagen Center or K or Downtown Copenhagen or City, is one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark...

 ("City Center") district.

See also

  • List of castles and palaces in Denmark
  • Tourism in Denmark
    Tourism in Denmark
    Tourists in Denmark consist mainly of people from neighboring countries, especially Germany, followed by Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. With 4.7 million visitor arrivals in 2007, Denmark ranked 43rd in the UNWTO's World Tourism rankings...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.