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Copenhagen’s Museums

If you ever decide to spent your vacation in Denmark’s capital you must take your time for exploring the numerous museums.

Thorvaldsens Museum

Northwest of Christiansborg Palace lies the Thorvaldsens Museum, with works by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), the greatest of all Danish sculptors. The building, in Neo-classical style, was constructed in 1839-48 to designs by Gottlieb Bindesboll. On the exterior facing the canal are frescoes depicting Thorvaldsen’s return from Rome in 1838. In addition to Thorvaldsen’s works the museum contains his own private art collection.

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ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

The museum is located in the suburb-city Ishøj, close to the bay of Køge (Køge bugt), 20 kilometers south of Copenhagen. ARKEN was designed by the Danish architect Søren Robert Lund, in a distinctive architectural form. It was opened on 15 March 1996 by her majesty of Denmark, Queen Margrethe. The museum re-opened in January 2008 after major refurbishing, which included an expansion providing an additional 50% of gallery-space.

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Danish Museum of Art and Design

The Danish Museum of Art & Design was founded in 1890 by the Industriforeningen i København (now Dansk Industri – The Confederation of Danish Industries) and the Ny Carlsberg Museumslegat. It first opened to the public in 1895 in a completely new museum building situated on what is now H.C. Andersens Boulevard, in the very centre of Copenhagen.

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Nationalmuseet

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history. The museum’s main domicile is a classical 18th century mansion just a stone’s throw from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen. The National Museum is the museum for all Denmark, where you can follow the history of the Danes right down to the present day. At the National museum you can take a journey around the world from Greenland to South America.

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Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

The Glyptotek is one of the great art museums of Europe. Founded by the 19th-century art collector Carl Jacobsen, Mr. Carlsberg himself, the museum includes modern art and antiquities. It reopened in June of 2006 after a 3-year closing and the expenditure of 100 million DKK ($17 million/£9 million), part of which was spent for the construction of a wing that celebrates the ancient Mediterranean world.

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Statens Museum for Kunst

At a beautiful location in the Østre Anlæg park in central Copenhagen, near the Nørreport and Østerport stations, stands Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark’s national gallery. The old museum’s architecture catches your eye first with its elaborate facade. Once inside, a wide vista opens up, revealing a view across old and new buildings, and then out into the surrounding park – a spectacular framework for the museum’s rich collection of Danish and international art from the 14th Century to present day.

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Christiansborg

Nestled around the bustling shopping streets of inner-city Copenhagen lays Slotsholmen: Literally, ‘the castle island’, this small islet contains both the origins of the city and the nation’s current power base. In addition, there are more than a handful of other fascinating museums to explore. Connected by nine bridges to the rest of Copenhagen’s ‘Indre Byen’ or inner city, Slotsholmen is home to Christiansborg Slot – a modern-day castle shared equally by the reigning Royal Family and the nation’s Parliament, called ‘Folketinget’ in Danish. Underneath this palace are traces of the two previous incarnations of Christiansborg – both of which were claimed by fire in 1794 and 1880 respectively. At the very bottom are the remains of Absalon’s castle, the original settlement around which Copenhagen developed in the 12th-century, and which were discovered accidentally during excavations in 1907.

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The Royal Stables (Kongelige Stalde og Kareter)

Here you can see the many royal carriages used by the Danish Monarchy, some of them around 200 years old, as well as the royal horses that continue to be stabled here (today they number just under 20).

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The Royal Court Theatre Museum

Located above the Royal Stables, this delightfully atmospheric little museum is a recreation of the original 18th-century Court Theatre of King Christian VII’s reign.

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Hirschsprung Collection

The Hirschsprung Collection was established by the tobacco manufacturer Heinrich Hirschsprung (1836-1908). Originally, he focused on acquiring art produced during his own lifetime. However, he later took an interest in Danish “Golden Age” painters, which enabled him eventually to build up an excellent collection of Danish art from the entire nineteenth century and extending a number of years into the twentieth. In 1902, Hirschsprung decided to donate his collection to the Danish state on the condition that the Municipality of Copenhagen should provide the premises, and that the city and the state should jointly build a museum.

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David Collection

The David Collection is a museum of fine and applied art in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is particularly noted for its collection of Islamic art from the 8th to the 19th century, which is one of the largest in Northern Europe. The museum also holds fine and applied art from Europe in the 18th century and the Danish Golden Age as well as a small collection of Danish early modern art. All the works of art in the collection of Danish early modern art were acquired by C.L. David himself.

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The Black Diamond (The Royal Library)

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