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The Gefion Fountain is the biggest monument in Copenhagen, one I liked very much.
The tiered fountain is topped by goddess "Gefion" who is whipping her sons [Oxen] The Oxen look angry to me as their heads are down, and they have water spurting from their noses! They are putting all their strength into working hard.
This famouse Fountain was donated by the Carlsberg Foundation as a gift to the city on the occasion of the Carlsberg brewery’s 50 year anniversary in 1897.
The Goddess Gefion is from Nordic mythology.
WHO WAS SHE?
The Goddess Gefioin, was offered as much land in Sweden as she was able to plough during one day and one night by the Swedish King Gylfe. She had 4 sons who she turned into Oxen so the Island of Zealand could be created, and this is where Copenhagen stands today.
The entire fountain with the basins and sculpters were completed and revealed in 1908 to the public
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At the back side of the museum of Danish Resistance is a big park, it’s called Churchillparken, a park that surrounds Kastellet.
We walked for a while there, the path around the Kastellet is nice (pic 1) but we also noticed some interesting sculptures(pics 2-3). Not many people around though, although it’s not really far from the center (about 30’ walk).
The park is named in honor of the British leader Winston Churchill that supported Danes during their resistance against the Nazis at WWII events, as I said the Museum of Danish Resistance is also there. Some other nice spots to check/visit are the St.Alban’s church and the Gefion fountain (pic 4) that was always full of people trying to take pictures in front of it, more details about it at my next tip.
- Historical Travel
To commemorate the assistance given to the Danes during their liberation in World War 2, the people of Copenhagen named the park near the once formidable Kastellet after the British leader of the day, William Churchill. It's fitting, really, as there had long been a British presence on the land, in the form of the elegant Anglican church of St. Alban's. Also fittingly, you will find the Danish Resistance Museum here, as well as a statue of the man himself, Churchill.
VISIT THE DANISH RESISTANCE MUSEUM
On my way to visit and look upon the "Little Mermaid" I passed through Churchill Park..this park of course was dedicated to the memory of Winston Churchill and his help and persistance in the Danish peoples pursuit of freedom against Hitlers Nazi Germany in the Second World War of 1939 -45. Also located here is the Danish Resisitance fighters Museum, so it was very appropriate to also visit this museum. A museum that I wanted very much to see while in Denmark.
" The Frihedsmuseet" although only small , this museum tells a big story of the persistant and very brave resistant movement that was such problem for the local occupying German Army. The first thing that I saw upon reaching the Museum was a locally constructed " armoured car " of the resistance movement. Painted grey with"free Denmark" written across the front and sporting many bulletholes...made me realise the dangerous lives these people lead. Containing many displays of weapons, uniforms, and various items used in saboutage along with captured printing presses and illegal wartime newspapers along with accounts of the many exploits of these resistance fighters. I found this to be a really interesting Museum to visit.
I know while living in Denmark I read about many of the exploits of the Danish and Norwegian resistance fighters...one such book was called "The Yellow Canary" .I also, while living in Hjorring was to learn from the landowner that the farmhouse where I was staying was used as a "dropzone" for the RAF to deliver "caches" of many weapons and items for saboutage for use by the local resisitance .These were then recovered and hidden in the barn. Having a big interest in Military history this Danish Resisitance movement and stories all for me was most exciting.
There was a large Gestapo Headquarters that was located on the upper floors of "Shell House" in the centre of Copenhagen. This became a target for The RAF as it was found that the lower floors contained a very harsh interrogation prison and many resistant fighters were imprisoned there. Winston Churchill decided along with his RAF advisory staff that they would attack "Shell House" and bomb the top three stories of the building enabling the prisoners interned there to escape. The upside of the attack was that the bombing raid on Shell House was successful ,but , unfortunately one of the attacking aircraft bombed a childrens School causing many casualties.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
The English Church
St Alban´s, Copenhagen is the only Anglican church in Denmark. It is known as the English Church and is part of the Church of England´s Diocese in Europe. It is right next to the Gefion Fountain so it was mentioned on the HOHO bus tour.
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Churchillparken (Churchill Park) surrounds Kastellet and makes a pleasant area to stroll through on your return from visiting Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid). The park is quiet and gives itself as home to an assortment of waterfowl.
There are also some statues within the park and a windmill within Kastellet.
During Spring, the park has a lovely display of Spring flowers.
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Gefion Fountain , near Churchparken.
We came across the spectacular Gefion Fountain as we strolled down Amaliegade, and passed the Amalienborg Palace. We had a quick look in the Museum of Danish Resistance 1940 - 45 intending to return later but left it too late and it was closed!. Then towards Churchillparken when the Fountain came into view .
When I first saw it, the Fountain with its huge statue of a woman driving four oxen,, my first thought was “It must be someone like Boudicca”. My handy little guide book told me it was the Nordic Goddess Gefion, who according to legend was promised as much land as she could plough in one night.
To achieve this prize she transformed her four strapping sons into oxen; overnight they together ploughed out a huge piece of Sweden - land which they moved into the sea and was afterwards known as Zealand..
It is said that the deep hole left in Sweden by the removal of this land is now the Lake Vänern.
I could find no reference to the fate of the four oxen/sons!
The Fountain and statue is the work of Anders Bundgard and was created in 1908.
Churchill Park- St Alban's - The English Church
This Anglican Church is also known as the English Church but it has people from many nations among its congregation.
It was built in1885 in a simple style but has some lovely stained glass windows, a team of bellringers and a new organ.
The Church website reflects an active congregation which welcomes visitors.
We passed this fountain in Churchll Park on our way to and from the Little Mermaid. The water wasn't on when we were there in November but the rian and the wind made up for that.
It must look good in the summer months.
The sculpture was created in 1908 by Anders Bundgard.
The story behind the fountain originates from Norse mythology, by which the Swedish king Gylfe offered the goddess Gefion as much land in Sweden as she was able to plough during one day and one night. She transformed her four sons into oxen. Gefion and the oxen did their job so well that they were able to acquire Zealand.
The park surrounding the Citadel is named in honour of Churchill as this corner of Copenhagen is very much dedicated to the WWII events with the Resistance Museum (see tip) and the St Albans Anglican church here too. Just like the Citadel, it is a great place to stroll around on a sunny day and maybe eat a lunch sandwich. The nicest thing to look at is the famous and impressive Gefion fountain by Bundgaard. Gefion is the Norse Godess of unmarried women but despite this, she had four sons together with a giant! These were in the form of oxens and she put them in front of a plough given to her by king Gylfi of Sweden as a reward for good company. Gylfi had told her that she would have the land she could plough. This turned out to be such a chunk that it left a great hole in Sweden, today known as Lake Vänern (Sweden's biggest lake), and this chunk was dropped into the sea and created Sealand :) A great legend which gets even better when you consider the fact that Vänern and Sealand are very similarly shaped! in any case the sculpture is from 1908 when the romantic era made Scandinavians proud of their viking legacy.
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Windmill in Churchill Park
We chose to walk out the The Little Mermaid. There are busses available, but we wanted to see the sites and walking is the best way to do it. Its a good walk from the city center but not one that is over tiring. On our way we walked through Churchill Park and came across this beautiful windmill. It was kind of funny to me. I had been to Amsterdam and never got out into the country to see any of the wind mills that Amsterdam and The Netherlands are famous for. Yet when I traveled to Norway and Sweden I found windmills in both countries. This one is not difficult to find once you reach the Little Mermaid and its worth a picture.
World War II Memorial
I came across this World War II Memorial in Churchill Park which is appropriate. I liked it very much because its very simple and yet very inspiring. Just one lone soldier with his weapon commerating the sacrifice of many during World War II.
It was a beautiful day for a walk along Churchill Parken.
At the end of the walk, you will find the legendary Little Mermaid.
Take a closer look at the old Gamlastan with an old windmill standing at the centre of the town.
This is a small park adjacent to Kastellet, in honour of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War. There's a small statue here, in his honour as well. Other statues dot the park, including the one shown in the photo of a man with spear on horseback. (I feel the statue does a good job of conveying motion and action.)
I'm not sure if there's any special significance to Danes for having a park named after Churchill...perhaps one of our Danish members can fill me in...?
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Before approaching the Little Mermaid by land there are gardens, colorful and in bloom during the summer. Don't know the name of this park but it was a delight walking though. Ok...there is a monument extending from my head as well. In the background our cruise ship is docked before departure. There are shops by the docks as well. Not terribly priced either.
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