Finished with Hygge - 2 - The City East End

Motif for the East End walking tour Copenhagen Map for the EastEnd walking tour Copenhagen

Highlights: Almalienborg Palace.
The Citadel and harbour.
Lakes and parks.
Nyboder and Kartoffelrækkerne.
Distance: 7 km.

Introduction

The east end of the City (really the north-east end) contains a wide variety of places and spaces to explore, from the Royal Palaces to the Citadel, from the harbourfront to popular yet peaceful green parks. The 1658 map marks the city north-east of Gothersgade and contained within the fortifications as "New Copenhagen". A map or satellite image clearly shows the streets laid out on a grid in comparison to the higgledy-piggledy layout in "Old Copenhagen". The bastions and ramparts of the fortifications can be traced by the zig-zag lakes in the park of "Østre Anlæg".

This walking tour will take in the best of "New Copenhagen", and extending a little into the "Østerbro" district to visit the Lakes and the embassy quarter. From the elegance of the Royal Palaces to the terraces of Nyboder. The old Citadel and the modern harbourfront, with the "larger than life" statue of the Little Mermaid.

Note: The map (above) and photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them (opens in a new browser tab). On the map north is 30° clockwise, i.e. at 01:00 on an old school analogue clock.

S-tog tart:

There are two Metro stations on this tour "Marmokirken" on the M3 and M4 lines and "Østerport" also on the M3 and M4 lines. Either one could be used as a startpoint and obviously the tour can be done clockwise or anti-clockwise. Starting from "Marmokirken" metro station the draw of the Marble Church and the Royal Palace is irresistible, so the tour will be described anti-clockwise. So begin at Marmokirken Station (Metro M3 or M4 line) (GPS 55.68521 12.58870).

Marmokirken and Amalienborg:

POI Coming out of the Metro station the scale of the vast, green dome of the Marble Church (Marmokirken or Frederiks Kirke) is blatant. Started in 1749 it was essentially a ruin until its completion in 1894. The style and impact of the exterior hide a slightly gloomy interior of grey stone highlighted by the dome.

Go round the Marble Church to its east side and ahead of you, down Frederiksgade you can see the equestrian statue of King Frederik V in the centre of Amalienborg Palace Square. This is the next stop on the tour. Cross Bredgade and continue to the cobbled square of Amalienborg (GPS 55.68402 12.59322).

POI 1 Amalienborg Palace Square is actually an octagonal courtyard surrounded by four identical palace facades. Originally built for noble families the royal family took them over when Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794. Members of the royal family decide which of the palaces they wish to live in. Christian VIII's palace (the northerly one) contains the Amalienborg museum which is open to the public. The Queen uses Christian IX's palace (the southerly one) as her winter residence.

Cross the square, passing the statue of Frederick V mounted on his horse, and head east for the break between Frederick VIII's and Christion IX's palaces. Through the break the impressive Opera house looms large across the harbour. Across the road (Toldbordgade) are the fountain and gardens of Amamiehaven. Continue to the waterfront and admire the 180 degree view of the harbour - (GPS 55.68340 12.59554). Significant landmarks from south to north are the Royal Theatre Playhouse, the Opera House, the energy plant Amager Bakke and the old shipbuilding sheds of Refshaleøen.

The Citadel and the little mermaid:

Turn to the left and head north along the waterfront. After 300m a copy of the classical statue of David is passed. And shortly after the modern Tolboden (Customs House) sculpture by Søren Georg Jensen (GPS 55.68629 12.59790).

After another 200m along the waterfront the promenade opens up where the harbour water bus (Havnebussen) terminal of Nordre Tolbod juts out into the harbour (GPS 55.68825 12.59930). Continue past one of the unusual dragon streetlight and the two royal pavilions to the main entrance of the Nordre Tolbod area where a gateway with two large gate pillars, topped by lions, is seen on the left (GPS 55.68903 12.59848).

POI 2 Go through the gate, heading for St Alban's anglican church. In front of the church is the striking fountain and cascade depicting the Norse god Gefion driving oxen to create the island of Sjælland. Go up the ramp beside the fountain to a viewpoint overlooking the moat and ramparts of the Citadel (GPS 55.68947 12.59777).

We will visit the Citadel shortly, but first there is an even more famous sight to take in. Continue over the bridge leading to the raised promenade overlooking the harbour. Further on the walkway slopes back to ground level by Langelinie Park with its promininent Ivar Huitfeldt Column commemorating the loss of the ship of the line Dannebroge in 1710 during the Great Northern War (GPS 55.69095 12.59872). The promenade continues past the glass-fronted Langelinie Pavilion close to the waterfront. Ahead of you a crowd of people will be seen gathering round a pile of stones in the water.

POI 3 This is, of course, the statue of the little mermaid, the world-renowned symbol of Copenhagen. And it is surprisingly little for such a monument, this is no statue of liberty (GPS 55.69291 12.59916).

When you are ready to move on continue along the waterfront for 50m then turn left (west) alongside the marina. On the right is the sailor's monument to those lost in the first world war (GPS 55.69366 12.59780). A further 150m, where the road bends right, a flight of stairs leads down to a bridge crossing the moat to the gate and tunnel entrance (Norgesporten) to the Citadel (GPS 55.69336 12.59540). The Citadel can be visited between sunrise and sunset.

Cross the bridge and enter the Citadel, respectfully passing the guards. Our tour will exit the Citadel by the southern gate (Kongeportern) and bridge which lies straight ahead between the barracks. But you cannot visit the Citadel without walking along the ramparts. So choose one of the paths to the left or right that lead up to the rampart. If you don't want to walk the whole way round then I would suggest taking the right hand path and walking the western side of the ramparts, as you have already seen the harbour waterfront.

This western path skirts round the Prince's Bastion, the King's Bastion with its windmill (GPS 55.69140 12.59105), and the Queen's bastion, before reaching the southern gate.

POI 4 Make your way down from the ramparts to the southern gate (Kongeportern) and cross the bridge. Immediately after the bridge (GPS 55.68944 12.59550), turn right along the gravel track parallel to the moat and to the right of the memorial to the fallen of World War II.

The moat and path turn right at a defensive position called Falster's Contregarde, opposite the Queen's Bastion (GPS 55.68865 12.59293), Stay on this path, next to the moat, heading north to the next position, Funen's Ravelin, where the path turns gently left through an avenue of trees. Continue along the moat to the next turn, at Moen's Contregarde, opposite the King's Bastion which is topped by the windmill. Another memorial is found here "Mindesmærke for frivillige og faldne" recognising the Norwegians, Swedes and Finns who helped Denmark during the two Schleswig wars in the 19th century.

Østerport:

Pass behind the memorial and exit the quiet of the Citadel by crossing the bridge over the outer moat and, turning right, emerge onto the busy street of Folke Bernadottes Allé (GPS 55.69160 12.58857).

POI 5 Use the pedestrian crossing to go over Folke Bernadottes Allé and pass in front of the grey shopping centre to the quaint, Romantic style, station building of Østerport Station. The railway serves the suburban S-trains, as well as mainline services. Cross Østbanegade and pass by the Metro station which serves the M3 and M4 lines.

Garrison Cemetery:

Turn right along Kristianiagade (GPS 55.69325 12.58525), and after 100m turn left into the cul-de-sac of Bergensgade. There are some significant embassy buildings in the area resulting in an increased security presence. Where the road ends take the path on the left and after 20m turn you will find an entrance to Garrison Cemetery (Garnisons Kirkegård) (GPS 55.69505 12.58603).

POI 6 Garrison Cemetery was originally a military burial ground dating from 1664. It was used to bury plague victims of the 1711 outbreak, and from 1720 was open for civilian burials. The plots are laid out between an abundance of trees and bushes which make for a peaceful atmosphere, and especially lush in springtime, in the heart of the city.

Weave your way through the cemetery north and west (to the right from the entrance) to the exit in the far corner that leads onto Dag Hammarskljölds Allé (GPS 55.69570 12.58161).

The Lakes and the potato rows:

Emerge onto the busy thoroughfare of Dag Hammarskljölds Allé and turn right (GPS 55.69536 12.58099). After 100m cross Classensgade then use the pedestrian crossing on the far side to cross Dag Hammarskljölds Allé to the trees lining the banks of Sortedams Lake (GPS 55.69632 12.57941).

The Lakes are a series of dammed reservoirs that once served as both a water supply and defensive line for the inner city. Today they are popular with walkers and runners. The northern most lake, Sortedams Sø, has an artificial island, which is popluar with birds. Turn left, then follow the lakeside path along Øster Søgade to where it kinks to the left. Continue for another 100m until level with the south end of "Bird island", just before the path kinks to the right again (GPS 55.69327 12.57533).

POI 7 On the left is an area housing row upon row of 19th century terraced houses called the potato rows (Kartoffelrækkerne). The area was originally a potato field, but the demand for improved housing saw its development by the worker's housing association into desirable terraced housing. Today they are even more desirable and far too expensive for the ordinary worker.

Cross the road (Oster Søgade) and walk down Hallinsgade, between the potato rows, to where it meets Øster Farimagsgade opposite the red-brick shool (GPS 55.69262 12.57710).

Østre Anlæg and the State Museum for Art (SMK)::

Immediately to the right of the school building (20m from the pedestrian crossing) is an alleyway leading to the small square in front of Isaiah's Church (Esajas Kirke). Pass by the church, cross the road (Upsalagade) and proceed straight down Malmøgade to its end. Cross the tree-lined street (Stockholmsgade) and enter the park (Østre Anlæg) through the gate (GPS 55.69134 12.58034).

POI 8 The public park of Østre Anlæg was once part of the old city fortifications. The three lakes mark the line of the zig-zag moat that lay on the outer side of the defensive bastions. These can be traced further through the Botanical gardens and Ørstedsparken to the south-west.

Once inside the park follow the path on the right downhill (keeping left at forks) passing a playground and then uphill to where the white and glass facade of the State Museum for Art (Statens Museum for Kunst) appears (GPS 55.68973 12.57979). Turn left to pass between two lakes and then right.

POI 9 The State Museum for Art is the Danish national gallery. It contains a traditional collection of medieval to romantic European Art, and a comprehensive collection of Danish and Nordic Art. There are regular exhibitions and it has an dramatic atrium seperating the old building and new extension. Note it is closed on Mondays.

Nyboder::

Where the path bumps up against the SMK turn left and emerge onto the main road (Øster Voldgade) (GPS 55.68824 12.57981). Cross Øster Voldgade and turn left passing the yellow-brick building of the Geocenter (Center for Geological Sciences),

At the next junction turn right down Stockhusgade (GPS 55.68918 12.58209). On the left is the Methodist Jerusalems Church. At the crossroads with Rigensgade go straight across into the colourful lane of Krusemyntgade. This leads to a T-junction with Kronprinsessegade (GPS 55.68828 12.58547).

POI 10 Turn left and soon you will reach the terraced streets of Nyboder (New Houses). These houses were originally built for personnel of the Royal Danish Navy, and they are not so new, being built in stages from 1631 until 1795. The yellow colour of the houses is a very particular hue and is known as "Nyboder yellow".

The first row of these ancient terraces is seen down Haregade. Continue to the next street (Suensonsgade) (GPS 55.68917 12.58620), and turn right down this to get a feeling for life among these terraces. At the next junction, with Borgergade, turn right (GPS 55.68839 12.58919).

Continue down Borgergade for 100m until you reach Sankt Pauls Gade. To the right you can see the tower of St Paul's Church and closer at hand a row of Nyboder terraced houses that begin as two storey, but then change to single storey. The latter are amongst the oldest houses in Nyboder, whose occupants must have been very small. Walk 100m more along Borgergade to where it meets Hindegade (GPS 55.68624 12.58739). Turn left down Hindegade and where it meets the busy road of Store Kongensgade turn right (GPS 55.68581 12.58898).

Marmokirken:

POI After just 50m the view of Marmokirken opens up on the left and you have arrived back at the Metro station where it all began. (GPS 55.68521 12.58870).


Notes on the Amalienborg axis:

The statue of Frederick V in Amalienborg Palace Square marks the intersection of two axes that form the gates between the four palaces in the square. One runs south-west to north-east along the line of Amaliegade. The much more interesting one bisects Marmokirken, runs through Amalienborg Square, continues through the fountain in the Amalie garden and crosses the harbour where it meets the modern Opera House.


Copenhagen East End walking tour - Marmokirken
Marmokirken from Amalienborg
Copenhagen City cycle tour - Amalienborg
Amalienborg
Copenhagen East End walking tour - David
Michelangelo's David
Copenhagen City cycle tour - The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue)
Copenhagen East End walking tour - Langelinie Marina
Langelinie Marina
Copenhagen East End walking tour - The Citadel
The Citadel (Kastellet)
Copenhagen East End walking tour - Garrison Cenetery
Garrison Cemetery
Copenhagen City cycle tour - National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery (SMK)
Copenhagen East End walking tour - Nyboder
Nyboder
Copenhagen East End walking tour - Krusemyntegade
Krusemyntegade