We Saw Some Lovely Palaces And Castles In Copenhagen
On our 5 day stay in Copenhagen, we toured and saw several of the lovely palaces and castles in Copenhagen. We started with the Christiansborg Royal Palace and the fascinating ruins under the current palace. Our next stop was the new Royal Palace at Amalienborg where we saw the changing of the Guard and toured the Amalienborg Museum. We finished up with a visit to Rosenborg Castle and a tour of the stunning inside beauty.
This view of Royal Copenhagen presented an interesting variety. And added several other palaces and castles for a return visit to Copenhagen one day.
Explore The Old Christiansborg Royal Palace
The historic palace for royalty in Copenhagen was the Christiansborg Palace. It stood on a small island called ‘Slotsholmen’ (Castle Island). Many times we saw this large site from the outside as we moved about Copenhagen on foot, by bus and on our two canal tours. The palace housed the national parliament, the Prime Minister’s office, the Supreme Court and the Queen.
Guided tours in the palace were included on our Copenhagen Card. The tour ticket included the Royal Reception Rooms, Great Hall with the Queen’s tapestries, Royal Stables, Royal Kitchen and Christiansborg Palace Chapel. The Royal Reception Rooms included The Tower Room and The Oval Throne Room.
On this visit to the palaces and castles in Copenhagen we just wandered around outside but did not do the full palace tour.
Tour The Christiansborg Ruins
While we didn’t see the inside of the palace, we took a tour and saw the ruins under the Christiansborg Palace. The castle was expanded and burned down many times. The new structures were built on the ruins of the old buildings. Under the present palace we saw the ruins of first castle (the Bishop Absalon’s Castle). One of the exhibits in the ruins showed the different structures that stood on this spot.
As we wandered through the ruins we saw the old stone walls. We saw a few artifacts dug up from the foundations. And parts of building facades and tiles.
We were sorry we missed the inside of the Christiansborg Royal Palace on our tour of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen. But our ruins tour brought another element to the history of this city.
See The New Royal Palace at Amalienborg
The Amalienborg palaces were originally built as residences for four high-ranking aristocrats. But when the old Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794 the Danish royal family moved to Amalienborg. We got our first view of Amalienborg Palace with Frederick’s Church (the “Marble Church”) beside it on our canal cruise.
Amalienborg had four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard . In the centre of the square we saw the equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards. They guard marched from Rosenborg Castle at 11.30 am daily through the streets of Copenhagen and executed the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg at noon. We enjoyed the ceremony of the changing of the guards in Athens and at home at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. So we were glad we timed our visit properly and saw the changing of the guard.
The Amalienborg Palace was a great stop on our tour of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen.
Touring The Amalienborg Museum
The museum was spread over two floors in the Christian VIII Palace building. As we wandered through the Amalienborg Museum we saw the private interiors of the most recent kings and queens.
The rooms remained fully decorated and it provided a view into the royal life and the different personalities of the rulers. We were fascinated by the old decorative ceramic stoves. We saw these again when we toured the palaces in St Petersburg in Russia. There were many exhibits and photos of the monarchy with its many traditions.
We were glad we made time and saw the Amalienborg Museum on our tour of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen.
See The Rosenborg Castle From The Botanical Gardens
Before we visited the Rosenborg Castle, we strolled through the Botanical Gardens across the street. The gardens were part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and covered about 10 hectares. The site was notable for the 27 greenhouses and the largest collection of living plants in Denmark.
We stayed on the grounds and did not visit inside the Palm House greenhouse. The large glass and cast-iron Palm House was built when the Botanical Garden first opened in 1874. The cost of a visit would have been covered by our Copenhagen Card.
From the Botanical Gardens we got our first glimpse of the fairy tale Rosenborg Castle. We were excited to head off and get close to more of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen.
Explore Rosenborg Castle
Crossing the street, we entered the grounds of the Rosenborg Castle and strolled around the “King’s Gardens”. This Renaissance style garden was established in the early 17th century. The gardens had a large hedge border, a rose-garden and many sculptures.
As we approached the castle, we got a view of what remained of the moat that once circled the castle.
Rosenborg Castle was protected by soldiers from the Royal Life Guard regiment. Their barracks were right next to the castle.
Once we finished our walk around the outside, we started on our tour of the inside treasures at Rosenborg Castle.
Wander Inside the Beautiful Rosenborg Castle
We were not really prepared for how stunning the inside displays were. It was always a disappointment when castles only restored the outside. But the Interior of the Rosenborg Castle was well preserved and took us back in time. It reminded us of our visit to the Madrid Royal Palace.
We moved from room to room and saw the rooms as they once were. The decoration was ornate and filled with detail. Beautiful art was on display.
Our eyes were constantly pulled up. The ceiling art was varied and quite amazing in detail.
We spent time in the Throne Room and Great Hall. The lion statues circled the throne and kept watch. Throughout the castle we found photographs that showed the history of this great castle.
We moved on to the Treasury. The royal jewels and crowns of the Danish kings and queens were embellished with cut stones, enamel and gold ornamentation. One section was devoted to weapons.
The inside of Rosenborg Castle was truly amazing and unexpected. We were so glad we got this view of history on our tour of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen.
Head Out Of Town For More Palaces And Castles In Copenhagen
We wanted to head out of town for the boat tour around the Fredericksborg Castle. This was touted as “Denmark’s most beautiful nautical mile”. We also wanted to head north and tour the Kronberg Castle and the Nautical Museum. This castle was immortalized by Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Also on our list was the Egeskov Castle. This was one of Europe’s finest Renaissance buildings with a real moat, spires and a knight’s hall. There were many things for families at this site.
We were sure there were many other amazing castles to visit in Denmark. But the weather was rainy for several of the days during our stay in Copenhagen and we just finally ran out of time.
We Enjoyed Our First View Of The Palaces And Castles In Copenhagen
We found so much to see and do in Copenhagen. But we were glad that we saw several of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen. Our visit to the Christiansborg Royal Palace included the fascinating ruins under the current palace. When we stopped at the Royal Palace at Amalienborg we saw the changing of the Guard and wandered through the Amalienborg Museum. On our visit to Rosenborg Castle we got a tour of the beauty inside.
The castles and palaces gave us a look into the history of Denmark. Even if we knew there were still many others for a return trip.
Do you have a favourite of the palaces and castles in Copenhagen? Is there one for the top of our list on a return visit?
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