Wonderful Copenhagen Denmark

cpnhgnIt’s almost impossible for me to think about Copenhagen without the strains of the tune `Wonderful Copenhagen’ that was sung by Danny Kaye in the film `Hans Christian Andersen’.

Apparently the song must be correct because Copenhagen has been declared to be “the world’s most liveable city” and Denmark has been declared as some of the world’s happiest people. It must be the Australian princess they have living in their midst that has made them so happy. Or it could be simply that Copenhagen is a great city.

It is certainly an attractive city, with much character due to the fact that the Danes have managed to preserve many of their attractive, historic buildings yet still imbibe the city with a contemporary feel.

Copenhagen is built around a harbour on the eastern side of the island of Zealand. The city consists of a number of islands, and water is an important element of the city. Particularly because the warm waters of the Gulf Stream effectively keep the temperature in Copenhagen warmer than other cities on the same latitude.

One of the most popular places in Copenhagen is Stroget, which is a popular shopping district and one of Europe’s longest pedestrian malls. Whilst there are stores catering to every budget along the street there are also interesting places to visit such as Helligandskirken, the Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), the court house at Nytorv Square and the Stork Fountain at Amagertorv Square.

The famous Tivoli Gardens are a “must” visit too. Although Tivoli is the worlds second oldest amusement park (the oldest is Brakken, just to the north) it has not remained static, and new rides are being introduced each year. One of the wildest new rides is called Aquila, which means Eagle, for which you climb on board on the giant eagles and experience Copenhagen upside down at breakneck speed.

If you have a penchant for hippiedom, then a visit to Christiana should be in order. Although controversial, Christiania was founded in 1971, when a group of people cut a hole in the fence to the military barracks in Badmandsgade. Soon the area was known for Pusher Street, where you could buy hash and pot from various stalls. A lot of the people living in Christiania built their homes themselves giving the area an extremely interesting architectural feel. And you will find a variety of eco-restaurants, workshops, galleries and music venues offering all sorts of cultural experiences. Unfortunately, the hippie ideals of peace and love have evaporated over time with criminal gangs now controlling the area.

Of course, one cannot visit Copenhagen without following the Hans Christian Andersen Trail, and visiting one of the world’s most famous statues, The Little Mermaid. This is not as imposing as it would seem being quite small. At over one hundred years old the sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.

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