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Copenhagen Opera House – Architecture and History

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Copenhagen Opera House – Architecture and History

Copenhagen Opera House – Architecture and History. The Copenhagen Opera House is among some of the most modern Opera Houses in the world. It’s beautiful to look at and very well equipped, but what about the history of it? In this blog post, we explain the whole story behind this majestic building. Enjoy!


The whole project was a donation by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation to the Danish state. The politicians of Denmark questioned the donation since the whole project would be tax deductible. In 2000, the project got a green light and construction began in the year 2001.

With the construction of the opera house completed in October 2004, the inauguration took place in January 2005. The Copenhagen Opera House is one of the worlds most modern, and well-equipped, opera houses in the world. It’s also among the most expensive opera houses with construction costs exceeding US$500 million.

The location of the opera house is directly opposite the main castle in Copenhagen, Amalienborg, across the water. This means that people outside the opera house are able to look across the water, through the garden and castle of Amalienborg all the way to Frederik’s Church, the Marble Church, and vice versa.

Architecture and Layout

The architect of the Copenhagen Opera House, Henning Larsen, worked together with Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, which proved to be problematic. Mærsk had requests that would not practically work. The building seems to be on an island, due to the canals surrounding it. Oak trees planted in the early 19th century, originally purposed to recover the Danish fleet after the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, were used for the bridges that lead to the opera house, thus honoring the marine history of its location.

The first design of the building had large glass panels all over the front with the goal of displaying the shell of the auditorium even from the outside. The design was changed to a metal grid with smaller glass panels by Mærsk who thought that the large glass panels wouldn’t age well.

The foyer floor is covered with Sicilian Perlatino marble and the central foyer is further decorated with three large chandeliers designed by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The logotype for the opera house, designed by Per Arnoldi, is visible on the marble floor, just inside the entrance, and four other logo’s where created in bronze by Per Kirkeby and placed on the walls in the auditorium. Per Arnoldi also designed the front curtain for the mainstage with a three-dimensional look made from multiple color threads.

Treated maple decorates the rear wall of the foyer and balcony faces with the intention of looking like wood from an old violin. About 105 000 pure carat (100%) gold leaves are covering the ceiling in the auditorium.


  • Rooms: 1000+
  • Area: 41 000 m²
  • Floors: 14, 5 of which are located underground.
  • Stages: Mainstage + 5 stages directly connected.
  • Seats: 1703 to 1492, dependant on the size of the orchestra.
  • Architects & Engineers: Henning Larsen (A), Ramboll & Buro Happold (E)  with A.P Møller as the executive.
  • Acoustics: Arup Acoustics
  • Lighting: Speirs and Major Associates
  • Orchestral pit: One of the largest in the world. 110 rooms with excellent soundproofing for the musicians.
  • Cost: US$500 000 000+
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Where to hang out in Copenhagen this Spring?

kopenhagen im frühling

Photo by Nicolai Perjesi

May is literally around the corner and we are thrilled! We can’t wait to have picknicks in parks, go on bike tours and just sit down and relax in the sun with a good cup of coffee. Here’s where we will hang out in Copenhagen this Spring.

The University Garden – Landbohøjskolens Have
Whenever you’re feeling sick and tired of the many people in the inner-city, we head to The University Gardens. Located by Grønnegårdsvej in the area of Frederiksberg hides an old, romantic garden that holds a collection of cultivated, beautiful plants. It’s was built in 1858 with a rose garden, flower beds, a pond, a creek and much more. The central part of The University Garden is known as the romantic garden.

By the colorful houses of Gråbrødretorv
Despite its vicinity to Strøget, it always seems to be peaceful and quiet at Gråbrødretorv. During Spring, Summer and early Autumn, you can sit in the outdoor seating area of one of the many restaurants located here. The cobblestoned square is located by colorful houses and a big plane tree in the middle.

Ice-cream break at Sankt Hans Torv
The perfect place to look at people and rest your legs? Sankt Hans Torv! It’s the biggest public square in the city district Nørrebro. By the square, you’ll find the largest and oldest church in the area, but it’s the people watching that’s best here. As the square is the meeting point of not two streets but six: Blegdamsvej, Nørre Allé, Guldbergsgade, Elmegade, Fælledvej and Sankt Hans Gade.

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Three festivals to attend in Copenhagen in April 2018


Photo by Urban House

Copenhagen is a vibrant city throughout the whole year if you ask us, and April is sure no exception. Here are three tips on festivals you can attend in Copenhagen in April 2018.

48HOURS FESTIVAL in Nørrebro
From the 27-29th of April, the culture festival 48HOURS Festival hits off in the bohemian area of Nørrebro. There will be concerts, workshops, street parties and art exhibitions. The program will be published here.

Cherry-blossoms at Copenhagen Sakura Festival
The blooming of the flowers in Langelinie Park is a big happening in the city. 200 cherry blossom trees in the park blooming are the definition of Spring’s arrival if you ask us! To celebrate the Sakura trees, the Copenhagen Sakura Festivals takes place every year. In 2018, the dates are 28 – 29th of April. Expect Japanese traditions, culture, and atmosphere. Read more about the festival on Copenhagen Sakura Festival’s website.

Friday Rock at Tivoli
Starting the 13th of April, Friday’s will contain a bit more rock n’ roll, at least in the amusement park Tivoli. It’s then that Friday Rock starts for the season. The schedule for the whole season of Fredagsrock (meaning Friday Rock) can be found here. The concerts are included in the price of the entrance fee to Tivoli.

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What to see and do in Copenhagen?

top tipps in kopenhagen

Copenhagen is a big city and it has lots of features, areas, and points of interests. Which you should see, or what you should focus on, depends entirely on what kind of interest you have. However, to narrow it down to the things (we think) you really need to see, we made you a check-list of what the city is most known for. 

Nyhavn, the colorful line of buildings overlooking the canal. This area has been popular since day one, and you’ll totally understand why once you arrive. The cafés and restaurants lined up on the cobblestoned streets, the people strolling, seamen working on their boats…
– The public squares and streets! Kungens Nytorv, Sankt Annæ Plads, and Rådhuspladsen are all car-free squares situated in the middle of the city.
Kongens Have (the King’s Garden). The park linked to Rosenborg Castle is a fantastic place to stroll or have a picknick in during Summer.
Tivoli Gardens, because regardless the season and weather this amusement park is truly a magic wonderland.

If you want a full travel guide for Copenhagen and what to see and do in every district, go to our travel guide for Copenhagen.

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Where to stay in Copenhagen?

besten lagen in Kopenhagen

Copenhagen is a big capital and there are hundreds and hundreds of hotels to choose between. Do you get tired just think about it? Narrow it down to areas to stay in, instead. We’ll help! Here’s where to stay in Copenhagen.

The Inner-City
If you only have one or two days in the city, it might be nice to be close to it ”all”, the essentials? Then its recommendable to stay in Indre By.
Budget: CABINN City
Middle: SKT. PETRI
Luxury: Hotel D’Angleterre

Do you want to be close to a range of bars and restaurants, and a hipper crowd? Vesterbro is your pick.
Budget: https://www.annexcopenhagen.dk/en/home/
Middle: Copenhagen Crown
Luxury: First Hotel Mayfair

Nørrebro is the coolest neighborhood in the city. This is the multicultural area of Copenhagen and where you’ll find new restaurants poppin’ up from day to day. Since there aren’t too many hotels in Norrebro, stay in nearby Norreport.
Budget: Sleep in Heaven
Middle: Ibsens Hotel
Luxury: Manon Les Suites

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How to get to Christiania in Copenhagen?


Photo by Scanpix

The free-town of Christiania in Copenhagen is a self-proclaimed city in the middle of the city. If you’re into bohemian areas, crafts and nature, it really is a must during your visit to

Christiania is located in the city district of Christianshavn. Christianshavn is easily accessible by foot (just cross Inderhavnsbroen from Nyhavn). From there, you are about 15 minutes by foot away from Christiania. Walk along Prinsessgade with the water to the left until you come to Refshalevej. Stay on that street until you start seeing the signs.

If you want to travel to Christiania with public transport, you can (among other options) take bus 9A towards Refshaleøen and get off at Bodenhoffs Plads. From there it’s approx 10 minutes to walk. You can catch bus 9A from near the Central Station.

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