Any time I’m in a European city, you can bet I’ll be Googling all the castles in the area, and Copenhagen sure delivered on that front! The third day of our trip marked our first (of many) castle excursions in and around Copenhagen, along with a visit to the third-oldest amusement park in the world!
In case you missed it, check out Day 2 of our Copenhagen adventures.
Our first stop of the day was to Rosenborg Castle, a quaint little hermitage located in the center of Copenhagen. Rosenborg was built as a summer house for Christian IV in 1606-1607 and now houses Denmark’s crown jewels and coronation thrones.
This is a gorgeous castle, with a beautiful interior of room after room to explore, and a sprawling garden surrounding it. It even has a honest-to-goodness moat, with Koi fish and everything. Fun!
My favourite thing about Rosenborg was all the little secrets it was holding in its walls — sometimes literally! Many of these revolved around the Winter Room, not surprising considering this was Christian IV’s main audience room, where he received guests. Inside this room were several goodies worth noting.
Installed into the walls of the Winter Room were several speaking tubes, which connect to the wine cellar, the room directly above, and the gable room located at the opposite end of the castle. These tubes allowed someone to speak into one end and be heard on the other. We tried them out and they really worked! Somehow, it’s much eerier hearing a disembodied voice coming from a hole in a wall than a modern-day telephone.
The Winter Room also hosted audio channels, which were hidden holes in the floor leading down to the basement. This way, musicians could play down below and be heard (but not seen!) by guests being received by the king in the Winter Room. These audio channels were evidently hidden so well that they weren’t rediscovered until Rosenborg’s 2005 restoration.
Finally, there’s a peephole peeping in on the Winter Room. Christian IV likely would have used this to take a gander at who his next guest might be so he could prepare for the meeting (not too sure why he couldn’t just have someone tell him who was up next, but hey, I ain’t no king, so what do I know?). The peephole was supposedly also a way for the king to secretly signal to a servant who would then tell the musicians hiding in the basement to start playing.
But the Winter Room is just the start of many, many interesting rooms and pieces to be found at Rosenborg. One item that got a chuckle out of me was what they call the Trouser Watering Chair. Care to take a guess at what it does? Well, if you guessed poor unfortunate sod is made to look like they wet themselves, then you guessed right. The unsuspecting victim would take a seat, suddenly find themselves being strapped in by hidden restraints in the armrests, and then a spurt of water would shoot up from the seat. Sheesh. I don’t know what it is about royals and liking to make people look like they’ve peed their pants, but I came across a very similar contraption in Salzburg, only that one was an entire banquet table.
As I mentioned, Rosenborg houses Denmark’s crown jewels, a sight not to be missed by those impressed by shiny things. The crown jewels were cool and all, but I think I liked the Knight’s Hall best, where you can find the coronation thrones surrounded by three life-size silver lions. Rawr.
Visiting Rosenborg was an absolute treat, and if you’re interested in learning more about the castle’s history and what it houses, then I recommend perusing its website for more in-depth details.
After exploring Rosenborg and soaking up the sun strolling through the surrounding King’s Garden, we hopped onto a canal tour of the city, where we got to sit back, relax, and take in the sights.
We ended our day by visiting Tivoli Gardens, the third-oldest operating amusement park in the world, having opened in 1843. We weren’t really there to go on any of the rides, but more to explore the park itself, which is a sprawling area filled with gardens and neat looking buildings. Concerts and performances of various kinds are often held at Tivoli (we caught the tail end of a ballet performance while wandering around), and many exotic birds call the gardens their home, including an albino peacock (at least when we were there).
Tivoli Gardens inspired Walt Disney when he was conceptualizing Disneyland, and walking through Tivoli, I could definitely tell. Disneyland’s “Main Street” area is very Tivoli-esque, as well as having themed restaurants all over the place.
With exhaustion creeping in, it was time to call it quits on Day 3 in Copenhagen. We turned in for the night happy and thirsting for more.
Stay tuned for next Friday as the adventure continues with Day 4!
Or check out the rest of my travel blogs!