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1, The Charlottenborg Palace ; 2, Interior of the Vor Frue Kirke ; 3, University; 4, Kongens Nytorv ; 5, Bourse;
6, Thorwaldsen's Museum ; 7, Christiansborg Palace.
shields, armour, and specimens of carly printing are displayed ad infinitum. Here is a Feliquary containing the arm of St. Olaf, King of Norway, who fell at Stiklestad in 1030, the said reliquary having been made, as the inscription testifies, for the Princess Helen of Denmark, grandniece of Canute the Great. One of the special treasures of the collection is the celebrated Dagmar Cross found in the tomb of Queen Margareta Dagmar, the wife of Waldemar II., and the idol of Denmark. Old ballads tell how in 1205 the victorious Waldemar wedded the fair daughter of the King of Bohemia, how by her grace and kindly deeds she won the hearts of her subjects, and how after six short years of happy wedded life she died in child-birth, and was buried in the holy cloisters of Ringsted. More than six centuries have passed since the young queen died, but less than a century ago farmers and peasants were still wont to cry “ Dagmar, hail !” as they passed the good queen's grave. The cross is of cloisonné enamel and of Byzantine workmanship. Amongst the presents to the Princess Alexandra on her marriage was an exact copy of this cross, given by King Frederick VII. This model is made to open, and contains a fragment of silk from the cushion found under the head of Canute in his tomb, and an alleged fragment of the true Cross. The above-mentioned cushion is in the Museum. Another curiosity is the superb drinking-cup of Queen Margaret, of great size, and marked with rings supposed to indicate the portion which each person was to drink when it was handed to him.
The Ethnographic Museum, under the same roof, illustrates the progress of civilisation in other countries outside Scandinavia in very early times, and affords opportunity for comparison with the condition of tribes remaining uncivilised at the present day. In the same building are also placed the collection of Classic and Oriental Antiquities, the Royal Collection of Engravings and Drawings—many by Albrecht Dürer, presented by the painter himself to Christian II.,—and the Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, which, as regards mediæval coins, is the most complete in Europe. It contains the oldest known mediæval coin with date of coinage, struck by Bishop Uffo in 1247.
The Thorwaldsen Museum is a quadrangular two-storeyed building, erected by the city as a mausoleum for the great sculptor, and as a repository for his works. Bertel Albert von Thorwaldsen was (like Canova) the son of a stonemason, and in his twenty-third year (1793) gained a silver medal in the Copenhagen Art Schools. In 1797 he went to Rome to study, and after six years of obscurity, was coming back in despair, when Thomas Hope, an English banker, saw his model of Jason and gave him a commission to execute it in marble. This was the turning-point in his career, and sixteen years later he returned to Copenhagen, the most famous sculptor in Europe. He again resided at Rome from 1820 to 15:39, when he finally returned to his native city, where he died in 1844, and his funeral was attended by the whole population of Copenhagen. He bequeathed to the city his fine collections of pictures and statues purchased in Italy, and a number of his own works, together with the models, casts, and sketches used in creating them. The exterior of the Museum resembles a Greek mausoleum, and is adorned with frescoes representing the scene at the landing-place on his return from Rome, and his triumphant reception by the whole populace, rich and poor. Within are some forty saloons, in which are exhibited about eighty statues from Thorwaldsen's own chisel, and numerous reliefs, busts, &c., modelled by him. In the inner court is the great sculptor's grave—an ivy-covered stone of statues is the arms appears above is at the steps thi
surmounted by a black cross. Around it are rooms fitted up like those in which he passed his last days. There are his pictures and furniture, even his very inkstand. There in a glass case is a head of Luther, on which the sculptor was working on the very day of his death. His last sketch hangs upon the walls. “I have always observed,” says Mr. Marryat, “that visitors leave this chamber somewhat quiet and subdued, speak little when there, and in a voice half whisper.” It would be impossible to estimate the value of the Thorwaldsen Museum in the educational training of the people of Copenhagen, with whom it is a favourite resort.
The only memorial of the mediæval convents of Copenhagen is to be found in the names of two or three of the streets. Of churches architecturally noteworthy it never had any. The principal church, or Cathedral, is the Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), founded in the twelfth century. The original building, rich in relics and costly treasures, and associated with the coronations of many Danish kings, perished by fire in 1728. A magnificent church succeeded, but was destroyed by the English bombardment in 1807. The present basilica-like edifice derives its chief interest from the splendid sculptures of Thorwaldsen. On either side of the nave are arranged colossal statues of the Twelve Apostles, leading up to the chancel where the celebrated “Baptismal Angel ” kneels at the steps, whilst the majestic figure of Christ with outstretched arms appears above the altar. The grand effect of this imposing series of statues is truly marvellous.
The Trinity Church is a Pointed Gothic edifice, erected by Christian IV. in 1642, and chiefly celebrated for its Runde Tärn (Round Tower), built as an observatory from the designs of the Danish astronomer Langberg (alias Longomontanus). It is forty-eight feet in diameter, and one hundred and fifteen feet high, and consists of two cylinders, between which an inclined plane winds spirally from the street to the summit. During the bombardment of 1807 the inner cylinder served as a repository for the rare books and MSS. of the University Library. In 1716 the Empress Catherine is said to have ridden to the summit in a coach and four, preceded by her husband, Peter the Great, on horseback. How they got down again is not stated, but it is morally certain that the coach an l horses did not turn round at the top.
Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's) has a steep winding staircase outside the spire. The view from the summit (two hundred and eighty-eight feet) is very extensive-across the Sound in one direction into the Swedish districts of Malmö and Lund, and far across Zealand in the other. At the corners of the square base of the tower are figures of the four Evangelists, and on a globe at the summit is a colossal figure of our Saviour bearing a banner of victory. Of the interior of the church, a beautiful font with alabaster sculptures is the chief ornament. The Helligeist Kirke (Church of the Holy Ghost) has an interesting ancient chapel with monuments of burghers and nobles. St. Johannes is a modern Gothic edifice of red brick. Near the Amalienborg stands the Marble Church, begun in 1719, and for want of funds never finished. The immense square tower of St. Nicolai is all that now remains of the first church in Copenhagen in which the doctrines of the Reformation were preached.
The Holmens Kirke was originally built as a place of worship for the dockyard men. It was made a parish church in 1642 by Christian IV. In the adjacent mortuary chapel are the sarcophagi of two great sea-heroes of Denmark-Niels Juel and Peder Vessel—the latter is more commonly known as Tordenskjold (“ Shield against Thunder"). The first flourished in the seventeenth, the other in the eighteenth century, and both attained fame in fighting the Swedes. To this church appertains a cemetery outside the city walls, consecrated in 1666. In it is the monument of those who fell in the great sea-fight with the English in 1801. The Danish cemeteries are all extramural ; near the one just mentioned is the Garnisons Assistenkirkegärd, where numerous naval and military men of note are interred, including a large number of the victims of the SchleswigHolstein campaigns. The largest cemetery is beyond the Norrbro, and in its beautifully laid-out grounds are many stately tombs. Amongst the persons of eminence buried here are Razmus Rack, the philologist; J. C. Forchhammer, the mineralogist; H. C. Oersted, the discoverer of electro-magnetism; and though last, far from least, Hans C. Andersen, the writer of delightful fairy tales, who died on August 4th, 1875.
The Arsenal of Copenhagen, near the Christiansborg Palace, is occupied by a large collection of arms of all descriptions. Some of the oldest extant specimens of fire-arms are shown here; amongst them is a sixteenth-century cannon, twenty-three and a half feet in length. The Royal Library is contiguous to the Arsenal, and still occupies the edifice erected for it by Frederick III. in 1667, having escaped numerous fires. It contains 500,000 books and 20,000 manuscripts. Here are found the earliest copies of the Eddas, and other treasures of Scandinavian literature ; also the noted Icelandic code of laws known as “Graygoose," collections of mediæval letters, early Danish books, and so forth. The University Library is much younger, as it replaces one burnt in 1728, but contains much that is very valuable. The principal wing of the University Buildings faces the Frue Kirke; the buildings date from after the bombardment, but the University was founded in 1479 by Christian I. Nearly a thousand students now attend the teaching of some forty professors. In the oak-panelled hall, used for special solemnities, is a picture by Marstrand, representing the granting of the University Charter by Christian I. There are zoological and mineralogical museums attached to the University, also a botanic garden, chemical laboratories, &c. The upper classes in Copenhagen are fully alive to the importance of higher education, but the Folkesthing are more favourable to agricultural and technological schools than to high art or academic learning.
Charitable institutions of various kinds are found in Copenhagen. The Communal Hospital, completed in 1863, is an extensive brick building in a prominent position, with eight hundred and fifty beds. There are four piles of buildings, similar to our Peabody Buildings, accommodating with healthy abodes colonies of working men, and paying a fair interest on the capital laid out.
Of the municipal buildings only the Exchange is architecturally worthy of notice. It is a fine specimen of Dutch Renaissance, and was originally built by Christian IV., as a row of superior shops for the neighbourhood of the Palace. Roof and walls are profusely adorned with decorated windows and gables and copings, and from the centre rises a curious spire, consisting of four entwined dragons, with their tails meeting at the summit, and their heads at the base pointing to the four corners of the compass. A bronze statue of Christian IV. by Thorwaldsen, and cartoons by Fröhlich, decorate the Great Hall.
The theatres of Copenhagen are an important feature of social life, and have done much to foster national sentiment; and patriotic Danes witness with enthusiasm the heroic dramas of Ewald or Oehlenschläger, or the light comedies of Holberg. At the Royal Theatre foreign operas and dramas are represented, but are kept strictly subservient to the national element as interpreted by Hartmann and other Danish composers. Even the ballet has acquired a special phase from its association with the mythic poetry of Scandinavia. “Ej blot til Lyst” (“Not only for pleasure”) is the motto which the present Royal Theatre (erected in 1874) received from its predecessor. There are some other theatres and places of entertainment in Copenhagen, but the favourite place of popular resort is Tivoli. This is a public garden, beautifully laid out, on the site of part of the old ramparts. Restaurants, bazaars, theatres, concert halls, and other attractions are to be found here—all high-toned and well conducted and all classes wander about the lawns and avenues, or enjoy the entertainments in the halls. It is a delightful spot, and it is to be doubted if its exact counterpart is to be found anywhere in Europe.
Very brief must be our glance at the environs of Copenhagen, much as there is to linger over. At Frederiksborg (connected by tramway with the city—and, by the way, there are first-rate tramcars in Copenhagen) there are a much-frequented park and zoological gardens. The Palace, built by Frederick II. in 1562, has been once or twice burnt and rebuilt, and is now a military academy. Railways give speedy access to all parts of Zealand; Elsinore is a two hours' journey from the capital. Here, where foreign vessels for so many years paid the Sound dues to Denmark, is the famous Kronborg Castle, to which Caroline Matilda, the sister of George III. of England, and queen of Christian VII., was hurried half-dressed from the Palace in the dead of night. Close by is the marine royal residence of Marienlyst, and on a terrace behind it is a “grave of Hamlet," kindly supplied by the local guides on account of the English demand for one. A “ brook of Ophelia” has been discovered for the same reason. Passing over the Castle of Frederiksborg, and the crown lands of Jægerspriis, we must mention Roskilde, the residence of Danish kings from the tenth to the fifteenth century, and the first city of Denmark till Copenhagen supplanted it. The Cathedral and Vor Frue Kirke alone represent the fourteen churches and six convents that once existed here. The Cathedral rose, in the twelfth century, on the site of an earlier edifice, built by Harold Blaatand in 975. Fires have repeatedly damaged it, and consequent alterations have introduced a mixture of various styles. Most of the sovereigns of Denmark are buried here, and the various chapels and other parts of the church are a deeply interesting I istorical study. Under some portraits of early kings are the words “et Rex Angliæ," a title no doubt retained long after England had forgotten her Danish masters, just as the title of King of France was applied to English monarchs till comparatively recent times. Roskilde is now a little town of five thousand inhabitants, and many rural lanes in the neighbourhood bear the names of once populous streets, and “where once the chivalry of Denmark trod, the rush grows long and rank, and Roskilde and its glories are part and parcel of the past."