Friday, August 30, 2013

Old Meets New in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark is a mixture of historic and modern. The city was founded in the 10th century as a Viking fishing village. It didn't become the capital of Denmark until the beginning of the 15th century.  By the 17th Century it was a busy fishing village when the picturesque Nyhavn canal houses and restaurants were built.

Not to be outdone by their historic counterparts, contemporary architects have added disarming structures to the cityscape--like the Opera House, 

Orestad College.   

and The Crystal, headquarters of a Danish bank.

Danish sculptors, past and present have added to the juxtaposition of old and new. The Little Mermaid, based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, was created by Edward Eriksen and gifted to Copenhagen in 1913. Just this month, she celebrated her 100th birthday. 

In contrast, a row of sculpted, but deconstructed, body parts line up on granite blocks in the city center. 

I believe the sculptor is Per Kirkeby.
My husband and I were struck by the philosophical decline from realism to nihilism in the city's art. It makes sense that you find a life-like representation and the dismembered body parts in Copenhagen; after all this is the city where Anderson and Kierkegaard are buried.  

(If you are interested in an explanation of how thought, art, music, and theology devolved, I would suggest you read Francis Shaeffer's The God who is There. Briefly, Shaeffer contends when culture gave up revealed truth, it escaped into a non-rational world.)

 However, I digress. Back to our tour of Denmark's wonderful capital city. Let me suggest the easiest way to get an overview of the city is by land and sea. 

The Hop-on-Hop-off boat tours take you under Copenhagen's historic bridges 

 while the Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours go by famous landmarks: The Trivoli Gardens, Copenhagen's amusement park. 

City Hall, 

The Amalienborg Palace,

and past The Church of Our Saviour's famous curling spire.

Back on the boat, you meander through canals and
and out in the harbor where new again crosses paths 
with the old.

Whether you are a history buff or a lover of all things modern, there is something for everyone in Denmark's pretty city.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, indeed! There is something in Copenhagen for everyone. Lovely photographs!! You've captured Copenhagen beautifully and so thoughtfully ~ Loi