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Denmark: Slotsholmen

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Slotsholmen > Denmark > Europe

[Visited: November 2004]

Originally the site of Christianborg Slot, a palace for the Danish royal family, Slotsholmen, literally 'the palace island', was separated from the rest of Copenhagen by a canal running around it. Nowadays, it is easy to cross into the island by one of the many bridges spanning the canal. The palace has been turned into the seat of government, and now houses the national parliament, Supreme Court, and Folketinget, or parliamentary chamber. Its royal grandeur cannot be missed. In front of the palace, in the courtyard, under the watchful eye of Christian IX seated on a horse, horsemen still train in their royal uniforms.

Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Christianborg Slot courtyard, statue of Christian IX

Walking through a throughfare brings you to a garden in front of the royal library. The garden is a pleasant little haven of quietness. A statue of Denmark's famous philosopher Søren Kierkegaard overlooks the little pond in the middle. While the library building is classical in itself, with an ivy-grown facade, the back is a modern building on Inderhavnen. Here, it is possible to visit expositions and have a drink (and cake!) overlooking the waterside of Copenhagen. Walking on takes you to the city's stock exchange, a renaissance building holding the oldest stock exchange in Europe, with a remarkable tower on its roof.

Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Thorvaldsen Museum: modern art fountain

There are several museums on this islet. One of them is Thorvaldsen Museum, with sculptures of the Danish artist, the Royal Arsenal Museum, the Court Theatre museum, and it is possible to visit the Royal Stables and Coaches which naturally holds everything related to royal horses. Furthermore, you can enter the ruins of earlier castles that existed on this spot. They are right under the existing palace building. Finally, there is a church on Slotsholmen, the Christianborg Slotskirke. Walking around the islet gives you nice views on its buildings and bridges reflecting into the canal.

Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Stock Exchange of Copenhagen in Renaissance building
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Statue in front of Stock Exchange
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Stock Exchange building: rooftop
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Christianborg Slot courtyard: portico
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Christianborg Slot with statue of Frederik VII in front of it
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Royal Library
Picture of Slotsholmen (Denmark): Christianborg Slot courtyard

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