Hans Christian Andersen, fancy design, a monkey made of wood and a little mermaid: Copenhagen delights its visitors with a fabulous mix of fairy tales and modern flair. Let us tell you a little bit about Denmark’s colourful capital ….
Fairy tale meets modern times: København
Once upon a time there lived a little mermaid … Surely, everyone of you knows at least one of the many fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen , who spent the biggest part of his life in Copenhagen. The Little Mermaid is one of those many fairy tales, and it gave the City of Copenhagen its major landmark : A bronze figure of the Little Mermaid at the waterfront of Langelinie Pier . With just 125 cm the statue of the Little Mermaid, which was put up in 1913, is probably the smallest landmark in the world. It was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, the fairy tale-loving son of the founder of the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen.
So, Hans Christian Andersen, fairy tales and Carlsberg are already three characteristics of the city, called København in Danish, with its more than 500,000 inhabitants. Speaking of “Havn”, here’s another popular attraction: the Harbour of Copenhagen ( Nyhavn ) ! The first objects to strike one’s eye are the colourful facades of the old houses that are such a typical view of Copenhagen. Best sit down in one of the many cafés along the quayside for a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the unique flair!
Modern and stylish: Denmark is well known for its unique design . Danish designers are among the world leaders of their trade. And when talking of Danish design, one simply must visit Royal Copenhagen – The Royal Danish Porcelain Manufactory . The company is located at Amagertorv Square in the centre of Copenhagen. Some of you may know the famous chinaware with its mussel decorations (Musselmalet design) that is still such a bestseller!
By the way: When a baby is born, the Danish give a very special wooden toy monkey as a present. The monkey is 20 cm in size and was designed by Kay Bojesen. It is considered a classic of Danish design.
Another stylish highlight was opened on 22 June 2012: The Red Square . It’s a new park called “The Super-Wedge ” – and this park is glaring red! The park has been furnished with various exciting objects from no less than 57 countries, ranging from Moroccan fountains to Chinese palm trees. It’s located in the Nörrebro district.
Facts and Figures
- Denmark is Europe’s oldest monarchy
- Denmark has more than 400 islands ; Copenhagen is situated on the island of Zealand
- The national currency is the Danish Crown
- Smørrebrød is a traditional Danish dish; pieces of buttered bread are served with various toppings: Pieces of fish (also shrimps or caviar), pâté, sausages, cheese, onions, beetroot, fried egg, etc.
- It takes three years of education to become a Smørrebrødsjomfru (a Smørrebrød maid) and learn how to correctly prepare Smørrebrød.
- Copenhagen is the most bicycle-friendly city in Europe . The rate of bicycle riders amounts to 40%.