I haven’t written any ‘oh how much I loved Copenhagen’ related posts for a while. Well, I really did fall in love with Copenhagen when we visited there at the end of March. While reading my notes I wrote down during our trip, I noticed some interesting facts about Copenhagen I haven’t told you yet.
You are probably familiar with some of these facts, but could you say you already knew them all?
1. The new harbour is really old!
Nyhavn means ‘new harbour’. Well, this fact probably didn’t come as a big surprise for you. But did you know that Nyhavn is the oldest part of the Copenhagen harbour? The ‘new harbour’ is actually very old, as it dates back to the 17th century. The oldest building in Nyhavn is house number 9, which was built in 1681.
Did you know that H. C. Andersen, the man behind the Little Mermaid and many other fairytales, used to live in Nyhavn for 18 years? He got inspiration for quite a few stories from this lovely old harbour.
Actually, Nyhavn inspired me to rhyme a little bit as well. Have a look at my fairytale of Copenhagen in case you didn’t read it yet.
One last fact about the ‘new harbour’ of Copenhagen:
It’s most probably the cutest harbour you’ll ever visit!
2. The longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, Strøget, is not a street
Strøget in Copenhagen is the longest car free shopping street in the whole Europe. When you look at the map, you can’t find a street called Strøget, no matter how hard you try. What on earth?
In reality Strøget is a name for a few different pedestrian streets that are joining each other. Either or, you can really call Strøget as a shopaholic’s paradise.
You might have heard Copenhagen being a very expensive city for shopping. Well, I dare to disagree with this known fact.
I’m not much of a shopper and I know very little of fashion, so I avoid Guccis and other ‘fashion Meccas’ that you can find also along Strøget. Instead I found very nicely priced souvenirs that both, me and my wallet were extremely satisfied with. To mention one, I bought a pair of boots for 13 euros. That’s way cheaper than in Finland!
3. Walt Disney was inspired by Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen opened its’ doors in 1843, which makes it the second oldest amusement park in the whole world. Besides Legoland, Tivoli is for sure one of the most famous attractions in Denmark. But did you know that Tivoli Gardens was a great inspiration for Walt Disney when he was dreaming of Disneyworld? Walt Disney visited Tivoli on 1951 and loved it.
Tivoli summer season starts on the 1st of April. Our timing sucked, as our return flight to Finland was on the 31st of March. Of course it was. Don’t make the same mistake we did!
As stated, Tivoli is the second oldest amusement in the world, but where is the oldest one?
Did you know that the world’s oldest amusement park is located about 10 kilometers from Copenhagen? Dyrehavsbakken, better known as Bakken, was opened in 1583.
You could say that the whole amusement park culture was born in the Copenhagen area.
4. Børsen: crocodiles or dragons?
Børsen a.k.a. The Stock Exchange of Copenhagen with its’ tower is one of Copenhagen’s architectural treasures. The tower is especially well known of ‘the dragon spiral’, the three dragon statues on the roof with joining tails going to the top. These dragons represent the Scandinavian empire: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. But are they dragons after all?
Story tells that the architect originally designed the creatures on the tower to be crocodiles, but in the 17th century no Danish knew what a crocodile looked like. No one had ever seen one.
I can only wonder how many dragons had they seen?
5. The Headless Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid statue is the symbol of the city of Copenhagen. Would you believe that Denmark’s most photographed beauty is already over 100 years old?
Being a celebrity is never easy, not even for a statue. This poor lady has lost her head three times. The first time her head was sawed off in 1964. The missing head was never found, so they needed to cast a whole new head for the mermaid. She ended up headless also in 1990 and 1998.
This spring she was sitting in the Copenhagen harbour looking very pretty and most importantly, in one piece.
Legend states that The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen might not be the real thing. There is a rumour about the original statue being hidden by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s heirs.
True or false, I wonder?
Do you know any other wild or funny facts about Copenhagen? Please share your fun facts on the comments below ↓
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