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Royal Copenhagen

sunny 18 °C

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The canalside port of Nyhavn is the picture-perfect heart of Copenhagen today, but it wasn't always this way. Not so long ago this was a rat-infested area of slums and dilapitated wharves. Today, its quays are lined with ancient sailing boats, (some a little worse for wear), while the quaysides are home to a plethora of bars and restaurants where a couple of the local Tuborg lagers will set you back $30Cdn. Location, location, location! But not everything in Nyhavn will break the bank. An hours guided cruise along Copenhagan's waterways cost only $11 and took us past many of the city's regal sights including the Christianburg Palace which has been taken over by the parliament and the supreme court. But, we should not feel sorry for H.R.H. Margrethe. She and the rest of the Danish Royal family seem to have more castles and palaces than Queen Liz and her boys in the U.K. Palaces like Amalienborg where we watched the changing of the guard – several times...
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Amalienborg consists of four almost identical palaces surrounding an octagonal plaza in the city centre. One is for the queen; one for her son, Prince Frederik, (a musical ironman who races motorbikes, hunts, shoots and is an arctic explorer); one is now a museum; and the fourth, we guess, is just to stop the place looking lopsided. There are many palatial rooms in the Amalienborg Palace but some of the grandest have been given over to an exhibition of theatrical costumes and sets designed, and even made, by the present Queen Margrethe...
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The chain-smoking Danish queen seems far more down to earth than her English cousin, Elizabeth. Our apartment is very close to the palace and we are told that the queen often walks past alone in the morning, although we haven't spotted her yet. And, at the age of 78 she is still working as a professional designer for the Danish Royal Ballet and for pantomimes performed at the Tivoli Gardens theatre. When the Queen wants to get away from the hub-bub of city life, and the cyclists using her palace as a shortcut, she can always retreat to one of her country pads where she keeps her jewels...
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The Rosenborg Palace is just a short carriage drive from Amalienborg and, although it's surrounded by beautiful gardens, it's hardly in the countryside today. But Copenhagen is a green city where you are never far from a park. At this time of the year the autumn colours reflect wonderfully in the city's many lakes...
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Another place for reflection is Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerod, (40 minutes by train but only a couple of minutes in the royal helicopter)...
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This aristocratic pile of bricks was first built in the late 1500s but has been burnt down and rebuilt several times since. A mere seventy of the rooms now house the National History Museum of Denmark with enough exhibits and paintings to keep your head spinning for a week. This is the incredibly ornate Royal Chapel where Danish Kings were crowned until 1840...
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And this is the Royal bedchamber...
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If you think the bed is a little over the top then how about this ceiling...
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With three palaces and several museums under our belts you might think we have done Copenhagen - Oh no...Not yet.

Posted by Hawkson 07:03 Archived in Denmark

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Comments

Beautiful buildings and rooms. They must have been in an historical wealthy period when they were all built. You need one of these on Gabriola.

by keithandhelen

Wow such decor. Are you coming home with more ideas for new buildings and Sheila any ideas for bed canopies for your guest bedroom. Can’t wait to see more.

by Sue Fitzwilson

To dust or not to dust..... Here’s to the common folk who keep all these places dusted! Glad to see all that blue sky to set off those lovely fall colours.

by Tom

Beautiful place. Wise people running it.

by janet

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