Among the landmarks of Copenhagen, the Gefion fountain also has a symbolical meaning for Denmark. Designed by Anders Bundgård in 1908, it actually depicts the ancient legend of how Gefyon, a norse goddess, defines the size of Zealand. She was promised the territory she could plow in a night by the Swedish king Gylfe, after which she smartly turned her sons into oxen. Apparently, the legend might be based on the fact that the Swedish lake of Vänern has roughly the shape and size of Zealand.
Originally, the fountain was supposed to be at the Rådhusplassen or City Hall Square, but instead was erected near Kastellet on the harbour front, near Churchillparken and the English church. It makes a nice stopover on a walk from the city centre and Amalienborg to the Little Mermaid, and although the latter is the famous landmark of the city, I think the Gefion fountain is a much more interesting sight at a more beautiful location - even though it would have been perfect also at the City Hall Square.
When you arrive at the fountain, you look up at the sculpture of Gefion and her four oxen. The fountain itself is not high, but the way the water flows, gives it more power and makes the statue more convincing. You can almost imagine the power it must have taken Gefion and her oxen to plough the Swedish lands from which they carved Zealand in just one day. Walking up the stairs next to the fountain, you will see small waterfalls, snake heads, and then you come to the higher plateau from which you have a close look to the oxen and the water spraying out of their noses.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Gefion fountain (Denmark). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Gefion fountain. Read more about this site.