Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Copenhagen (Dan. Kiobenhavn, Lat. Hafnia or Haunia), the capital of Denmark, stands on the islands of Seeland and Amager or Amak at the S.W. extremity of the Sound. Copenhagen proper occupies a low-lying tract in Seeland, separated from the sea by the lagoons of St. Jorgens So, Peblings So, and Sortedams So. It was surrounded by a strongly fortified wall, now almost wholly demolished, and is divided by the Gothers Gade into the old town to the E., a mass of crooked and densely-populated streets, and the new town to the W., regularly laid out with wide thoroughfares and fine modern buildings. A commodious harbour is provided by the Channel between Seeland and Amager, and is protected by the impregnable fortress of Frederikshavn. The fine palace of Christiansborg, rebuilt in 1828 and decorated with sculptures by Thorvaldsen, looks over the fort, but the residence of the royal family is at Amalienburg in the new town. Two bridges span the Channel and lead to the quarter of Christianshavn on Amager. In the Frederiks-square, besides the dwelling-place of the sovereign, stand four other palaces, and to the north lies the Rosenburg palace designed by Inigo Jones and surrounded by handsome gardens. There are several spacious markets, a noble university, and many public schools, a town hall, exchange, academy of arts, royal library, hospitals, theatres, and other public buildings. Most of the open spaces are adorned with statues. The cathedral (Frue Kirke), of Graeco-Roman style, stands in the place of the old structure destroyed by the bombardment of 1807, and contains some fine sculptures. St. Peter's church, a Gothic building, dates from 1585, and the round tower of Trinity church, ascended by a spiral pathway and designed by Tycho Brahe for an observatory, is a remarkable specimen of architecture. Many other places of worship exist, including a Greek and an Anglican church, the latter founded by the Princess of Wales. The Thorvaldsen Museum is a splendid monument to the great national artist. The harbour, though its entrance is so narrow as to admit of only one ship at a time, can accommodate 1,000 sail. The chief exports are corn, rape, butter, cheese, meat, cattle, wool, hides, and grain-spirits; and the imports include all kinds of foreign products and manufactures. There is steam communication with every quarter of the world, and railways connect it with other parts of the island, but to gain access to the mainland it is necessary to cross the Great Belt from Korsor to Nyborg. Copenhagen was a mere fishing village until 1165, when Axel or Absolon, Bishop of Roskilde, built his palace there. It remained the property of the episcopal see until 1443, when it was acquired by the Danish Crown.