Our plans for the day were easy, all we wanted to do was some sightseeing in Copenhagen before we would get back onto our bikes the next day. Unfortunately the weather was again not on our side, so that we borrowed some umbrellas from the hotel for our tour through town.
The first stop was at a bookstore, where I not only got another tiny edition of one of my favorite author’s works but also a cycling map of all of Denmark. This would hopefully help us to plan our route and find our way for the next couple of days on our bikes.
Afterwards we decided to visit Det Rundetårn — the Round Tower — Europe’s oldest working observatory, built by King Christian IV between 1637 and 1642, which includes a viewing platform that grants a beautiful view over the old town of Copenhagen — in good weather conditions.
Det Rundetårn is a cylindrical brick building of 34.8 meters height with a spiral path inside. Tsar Peter I the Great actually rode on this path during a visit in 1716, while his wife Katharina followed him in a carriage. The path was constructed wide enough for horse cars to be used on, as the astronomer’s instruments would have been too heavy to be carried up a staircase, and in 1902 the first car drove upon this path to the top of the building.
When King Christian IV started building this tower, then to be known as Regium Stellæburgum Hafniense (Københavns Kongelige Stjerneborg — Copenhagen’s Royal Starcastle), Denmark was — thanks to its astronomer Tycho Brahe — known for its astronomical achievements. Even though Tyco Brahe never used the new observatory, as he had left Denmark after a fallout with the King, his former student Christian Severin Longomontanus ( *1562, †1647 ) delivered the plans for the appliances of the observatory.
Evening explorations in Copenhagen
Unfortunately the weather was not really inviting us to explore more of the town this afternoon, so we decided to rather take a rest at our hotel to be fit for tomorrows bike ride.
First in the evening we went out again, to find a new place to have dinner at and later, since it had finally stopped raining, to visit Vor Frelsers Kirke — Our Saviors Church — not for religious purpose but for its style.
Unfortunately the church was already closed for visitors, so that we could neither go inside or climb the church’s tower, but at least we were able to have a look and see if the opening hours would fit to our schedule for the next day, which unfortunately they did not.
The church’s main building was built by Lambert van Haven in red brickstone in a Dutch baroque style and inaugregated in 1696. The tower was not added to the church until 1752, after a design by Lauritz de Thurah. The upper part of the church’s tower is made of a wooden construction in black oak tree with golden details and an outside staircase, and reaches a height of about 90 meters, which only was possible to reach by using wood, as the ground, on which the church is build, is of sand.
We spent a little while admiring the building before it was time for us to call it a day and make it back to our hotel for the last night in Copenhagen.