“36 Hours in Copenhagen”

July 21st, 2010

     

So this feels a bit like a cop-out, but I couldn't skip connecting our readers to the wonderful travel article and slide show provided by the New York Times on July 1st. The Danes consistently rank amongst the happiest people in the world, and I can see why with 9 out of 10 adults owning a bicycle. Like many these days, I've rediscovered the childish joy of two wheels. No matter where your travels take you this year, check with your hotel, because they may just offer a complimentary bicycle or suggest where to find one. The NYTimes produced another fine article on this topic last year.

To add a little substance to this article, I've looked into one of the landmarks highlighted in 36 Hours in Copenhagen. Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Savior's Church) is a baroque church built in Christiania during the 1680's symbolizing King Christian V's absolute rule after Denmark lost the lower part of what is now Sweden. On a side note, this long destructive war is memorialized in an enormous stained glass window for Swan Turnblad's Mansion in Minneapolis. When you go there for the My Paradise exhibit, take a few minutes to study the message of the window. Throughout Vor Frelser Kirke, one can find Christian V's emblem, the order of the elephant, aligning the first hereditary monarch with this impressive architecture. For a Lutheran church, it is uncharacteristically similar to the Baroque Roman Catholic cathedrals. In fact, the alter is said to be an exact replica of Borromini's design at San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome. This Nether-Palladian church is large by Danish standards, but it is the later spiraled tower that is literally the pinnacle of the structure. The tower was added about 50 years after the church was completed and served both as a visual interest and for defense purposes. The exterior staircase spirals upward to the right so that a soldier could rest the barrel of his gun on the railing while using his left hand to balance himself on the rising steps.

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