Squares & Statues, Copenhagen
At even the slightest hint of sunshine Copenhagen explodes into a city of outdoor hedonism. Every cafe, bar and restaurant gets its street furniture out and the squares and parks become hives of activity.
One of my random wanderings brought me to the square here at Christianshavn on a pleasantly mellow May afternoon. All this random wandering is very dehydrating and so regular rehydration stops have to be taken, at each, and every, opportunity - after all, one never knows when the next opportunity will arise - HA!
The central feature, to me at any rate, of Christianshavn Torv is the little kiosk surrounded by its street furniture. It seems this was formerly a telephone booth, sadly replaced by the various modern variants, but happily has evolved into an equally useful little outdoor café.
The beer was cheap, and as I sat at the periphery of one of the tables I was soon involved in the hygge with my new-found friends and drinking companions. It would, of course, have been churlish to only have one beer, especially since the guys insisted on not letting me pay for mine.
Well worth seeking out purposefully next visit :-)
The Isted Lion is a Danish war monument originally intended as a monument of the Danish victory over Schleswig-Holstein in the Battle of Isted (Idstedt) on July 25, 1850 — at its time the largest battle in Scandinavian history.
The Danish sculptor Herman Wilhelm Bissen traveled to Paris to study an actual lion in the Jardin des Plantes. He created a life-size model before returning to Denmark. The finished monument is approximately four meters tall, and carried the following inscription:
Isted den 25. Juli 1850. Det danske Folk reiste dette Minde
(Isted, 25 July 1850. The Danish people set this memorial)
The statue was unveiled on the 12th anniversary of the battle, July 25, 1862, at St. Mary's Cemetery in Flensburg, Schleswig's largest city. Among the celebrities attending the ceremony was fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
Erecting the monument in Flensburg rather than Copenhagen or Isted, was seen as a provocation by the region's German nationalists who opposed the Danish claim to sovereignty over the area. The decision to let the lion face south reinforced this feeling. It was moved to Berlin by Prussian authorities and remained there until 1945. It was returned to Denmark as a gift from the United States Army
The last photo is of a copy of Auguste Cain sculpture Lion and Lioness (French: Lion et lionne se disputant un sanglier). As indicated by the name, it shows a lion and a lioness fighting over a wild boar. The sculpture was created in 1879 and the copy was installed at the site in 1889 as a gift from Carl Jacobsen's Albertina Foundation
Frederik VII (1808-1863) was the King of Denmark from 1848.
As a Crown Prince, Frederik lived a debauched life, which contributed to the discussions concerning the abolishment of the absolute monarchy.
The year after his succession Denmark became a constitutional monarchy with the King's signing of the Constitution on the 5th June, 1849. His reign was marked by the national confrontation in Schleswig-Holstein (the Three Years War, 1848-1850), at which the King became a national symbol of unity.
Fondest memory: Frederik VII was unstable by nature, but his unpretentious style won him many supporters.
He had no 'king' personality, was simple and very popular because of that. He was a drinker, philanderer, and hate any study. His moto was 'my power in people love'.
His marriage to Louise Rasmussen was a cause of great opposition in bourgeois circles, but the couple were popular with the rural population.
He was interested in national history and archeology, and he organized excavations in many parts of the country.
The equestrian statue of Frederik VII is situated in the middle of Christianborgs Slotsplads in front of the Castle. The statue was created by H.V. Bissen.
When we were trying to find the HOHO (hop on hop off) bus, we came to this square. I thought the memorial was a War Memorial. Actually it is the Liberty Memorial which is kind of the opposite. It celebrates the end of adscription.
Adscription is another name for serfdom. That's what the translation from the Danish comes up with. Under adscription, farmers and workers had to stay on the land where they were born and work without pay for the estate holder. They couldn't leave without the permission of the landowners.
In England serfdom died out between the 14th and 17th centuries, but it lasted in France until 1789, in Russia until 1861. I didn't realize that and in many other European countries this system was in effect until the early 19th century. So Denmark was in advance of most other European countries when they abolished this practice.
Fondest memory: The Liberty Memorial was placed on Vesterbrogade opposite the Grand Central Station (which we also saw). It was erected in 1797 on its present location, which was at that time far outside the city walls. Prince Frederik – later King Frederik VI laid the foundation stone in 1792 (five years earlier) as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the end of adscription in 1788.
The Liberty Monument itself was a gift to the city from reformers to honor King Christian VII for his agricultural reforms. The Liberty Memorial itself has four figures which symbolize Fidelity – Justice – Virtue and Courage. The monument was created by sculptor Nicolai Abildgaard.
I also have pictures in this tip of a column with Lur Horn players at the top (photos 4 and 5). The Lur was a trumpet-like instrument of the Viking Age. The primary use for the shepherd's lur-horn up to the present to call the cattle home. The statue dates from 1914, but it isn't in the same square with the Liberty Monument - it is really in the Town Hall Square.
We wandered through the Town Hall Square more than once. It was so big that I did not have a very good idea of which direction to go once I got there although I knew it was not far from our hotel, and was across from Tivoli.
We took several pictures of the Dragon's Leap Fountain (sculpture "Contest of the Bull with the Lindworm" by Joachim Skovgaard, 1923). It had pigeons near it and I took a picture of my granddaughter chasing them. There was also a large memorial to Hans Christian Andersen and some things that looked like rhinoceroses with wings.
Favorite thing: This 1914 bronze statue is situated in Radhuspladsen, between the Palace Hotel and city hall. Their musical horns are 6ft long! The instruments were considered sacred in the Bronze Age and many of them are located in the National Museum.
This ederly couple were enjoying a peaceful sit down in the Kultorvet square when several VT'ers launched there attack disturbing their peace. Donna & June fought over who gets to sit on the old mans lap obviously Donna with her charm, witt & devilish ways landed herself prime spot whilst June had to settle for a cuddle round the neck. Allan took the old ladys side of things & came to her aid after seeing her hubby covorting with two VT trollops.
Poons you had a lucky escape not sitting on the old man as Donna had to walk round town with a dirty bottom. So be warned some statues may be sticky so test before you rest
Favorite thing: This figure stands in the part of Kastellet known as Churchhill Park. It is dedicated to those Danes who joined the Allied Armies in the struggle against the Nazis during World War II. It's the work of Sven Lindhard, and was unveiled in 1960. It seems that the figure on the pedestal is a British soldier. Appropriately, the statue faces the St. Alban's church, another tribute to England.
Favorite thing: "En Fisker Lærer Dreng at Spille" by Otto Evens, dedicated in 1893. It's a cast of an earlier piece by Evens, in which he depicts a Neapolitan fisherman teaching his son to play the flute. This sculpture can be found near Nyhavn, on Store Strandstræde.
The equestrian statue of Frederik V (reigned 1746-66) stands in the center of Amalienborg Square. It was the work of French Jacques Saly (1717-76), who came to Copenhagen in 1752 and worked on it intermittently when he was not directing the newly founded Danish Academy. The statue - on its monumental pedestal - was finally unveiled in 1771, five years after the king's death.
The four corner palaces of Amalienborg were designed in the rococo style by polymath architect Nicolai Eigtved, and one of the "units" is still the main urban residence of the Royal Famly.
Svend Wiig Hansen (1922-1997) was an expressionist painter and sculptor. His work largescale fantasy "Slægt Løfter Slægt" stands near the antique market in Nybrogade. It was dedicated to the First Danish Minister of Culture.
"All in the Family" is my own non-literal (i.e. creative) translation of "Slægt Løfter Slægt". If you've got a better idea, please let me know.
Christian V was King of Denmark from 1660-99. He tried unsuccessfully to recapture territory in Skane lost to the Swedes. His equestrian statue stands in the middle of Kongens Nytorv, which was created during his reign.
I wonder why his sculpture is protected by an iron fence. Perhaps he has Swedish enemies?
The Lur Blowers stand proudly on their column (Lurblæserne) outside the Palace Hotel across from the Rådhus. It's the work of sculptors Siegfried Wagner (1874-1952) and Anton Rosen (1839-1928), and was unveiled in 1914.
The highly romanticized piece takes some liberites with the past. The figures shown are in vaguely Viking garb, while the lur horn which they blow dates from 1500 BCE. But hey, what's 2500 years!
Favorite thing: This gold plated fountain graces another one of Copenhagen's popular squares, this one Gammel Torv near the Domhuset. If you're meeting someone in the central city, it's a good place for a rendezvous.
These dragons patrol the Copenhagen City Hall and make sure that any errant mimes don't penetrate the inner sanctum of the town council.
At least I think they are dragons. Danish rhinoceroses? With wings?