around the head of the 68-mile-long Oslofjord, Oslo is probably the most
spacious city in the world. Its 175-square-mile metropolitan area
consists of over 75 percent forests and five percent water. Its fine
deep harbor, Pipervika, stretches into the heart of the city and from it
leave ferries to Denmark and Germany.
København, known to the rest of the world as
Copenhagen, wonderful Copenhagen, became the capital of Denmark in
1415, but several of its fine old buildings date from the reign of
King Christian IV, from the late 16th to the mid-17th century.
As well as being a great industrial and seafaring port, Copenhagen
is one of Europe's most graceful cities with its copper spires and
domes punctuating the skyline above the narrow streets and canals of
the old town or poking up out of the greenery of its many parks.
Only the foundations remain of the first castle, built by Bishop
Absalon in 1167, in the cellars of Christiansborg Palace, seat of
the Folketinget, the Danish Parliament, rebuilt for the third time
on the same site in 1907–28.
Although Copenhagen became Denmark’s capital in the early 15th
century, much of its expansion and several of its finest buildings
date from the reign of King Christian IV in the 17th century. The
city has had its share of sieges and fires, and the majority of the
oldest surviving buildings are from after the last great fire of
1795. Bombardment by the English in 1807, during Denmark's alliance
with Napoleon, also caused much destruction.
Most of the city’s main sights lie within walking distance of the
railway station off the
Vesterbrogade Copenhagen’s famous family pleasure ground, Tivoli,
with its thrilling
rides, beautiful gardens, restaurants, and sophisticated shows. Its
opening on May 1 marks the official beginning of summer for the
city’s residents. Not far from Tivoli is another famous fun spot,
Benneweis Circus which opens around April 1.
The Town Hall Square is one of the principal hubs of Copenhagen.
Dominated by the turn-of-the-century Town Hall with Jens Olsen's
famous World Clock and the Lure Player Monument, which is supposed
to play every time a virgin passes, it’s from here that the Str¢get,
Copenhagen's pedestrian-only shopping street, begins. Its entire
length presents an animated scene in summer, often with street
musicians and other performers.
At the other end of the Str¢get stands the Royal Theatre. About
half-way along Str¢get is the Church of the Holy Ghost, built in
1730, bordering Grabrodretorv, a lively meeting place for young
The picturesque canal area of Gammel Strand lies south of Str¢get.
Across the canal is the Thorvaldsen Museum, dedicated to the great
sculptor, and the massive complex of Christiansborg Palace, with the
adjacent Theatre History Museum in the Royal Court Theatre, built in
1766, and the Royal Stables, housing royal vehicles since 1778.
Across the canal to the west is the 18th-century Prince's Palace,
housing the National Museum. East of Christiansborg. The Renaissance
Börsen or Stock Exchange, with the distinctive dragons' tails spire,
stands on Christiansborg Castle Square. Across the canal is the
Renaissance Holmen's Church.
North of Str¢get stands the neo-classical cathedral, built in 1829,
the main building of the university, the synagogue, consecrated
1833, and the Round Tower, built
in 1642 by King Christian IV. He also built Rosenborg Castle, once
the royal country residence. Today, it houses the crown jewels.
To the west are the Botanical Gardens and a few blocks east
Amalienborg Palace, the royal residence, with its daily Changing of
the Guard at Noon. The city’s most famous landmark, the bronze
statue of the Little Mermaid, pensively observes the ships that come
The city's night life is the liveliest and most varied in
Scandinavia, and its winter programs range from shows to the famous
Royal Ballet, as well as art and antique auctions.
Every year about 95 000 people die in
Sweden and, according to the law, everyone must be buried. There must be
room for everyone in the cemeteries, therefore the future needs of space
have to be predicted. Because of this funerals must be part of the
the early Middle Ages, driven by famine at home and the promise of
wealth to be had in other lands, the Vikings set out from Scandinavia to
conquer parts of England, Ireland, France, Russia, and even Turkey.
Bolstered by their successes, the Vikings pushed westward, eventually
crossing the North Atlantic and founding settlements in Iceland,
Greenland, and Newfoundland in Canada. Read
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