Slotsholmen

Christiansborg Palace is located on the islet of Slotsholmen in the heart of Copenhagen. The Palace and the Danish Parliament form the centre of activities on Slotsholmen, but the islet is also home to several other historic buildings, housing important institutions and interesting museums.

Større

Today, Slotsholmen is surrounded by narrow canals, but in the Middle Ages, the islet was a good distance from land and from the small fishing hamlet ‘Havn’, which grew to become the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, hundreds of year later. 

Christiansborg Palace occupies a major part of Slotsholmen. It houses the Danish Parliament and other powerful institutions such as the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court, and has its own church, Christiansborg Palace Chapel. In addition to the Palace, Slotsholmen offers a number of other interesting sights, including several museums and cultural institutions, such as the Royal Library and the Old Stock Exchange. Despite its location in central Copenhagen, Slotsholmen also has a peaceful, lush garden, the Royal Library Garden, which is a popular place for Copenhageners to come and relax. 
The history of Christiansborg Palace Chapel goes back to the first Christiansborg Palace, which was built during the period 1733 to 1745. When the Palace burned down in 1794, the Chapel was also reduced to ruins. Rebuilding began in 1813, and the new Chapel was consecrated thirteen years later.

Picture: Palace chapel
 
In 1992, the Chapel's roof caught fire after being hit by a rocket during the Copenhagen Carnival. Restoring the building proved to be a major task requiring systematic archaeological and construction work. But when the rebuilt Chapel was consecrated in 1997 it had been worth all the effort, and the exceptional restoration has been awarded a number of architecture prizes.
 
Tradition has it that Members of Parliament attend a service at the Chapel on the first Tuesday in October in connection with the opening of the Danish Parliament. Over the years, Christiansborg Palace Chapel has also provided the setting for several important events in the Royal Family, most recently the baptism of Prince Christian in 2006. 
The Chapel is open to the public. For information about access and opening hours, please visit the Palaces and Properties Agency's website..

Contact

Slots- og Ejendomsstyrelsen
Christiansborg Slotsforvaltning 
Prins Jørgens Gård 1 
1218 København K 
Telefon.: +45 3392 6451

The highest court in Denmark, the Supreme Court, is located beneath the Royal Reception Rooms in the north wing of Christiansborg Palace.
 
Picture: The Supreme Court
 
The Supreme Court has been at its present address at Christiansborg Palace since 1919.
 

Contact

Højesteret Prins Jørgens Gård 13 

1218 København K 
Telefon: +45 3363 2750

The islet of Slotsholmen is home to six ministries.

Picture: Slotsholmen

The Prime Minister's Office is located above the Royal Reception Rooms at Christiansborg Palace. 
 
The Ministry of Finance is in the Chancellery Building, facing the courtyard of Christiansborg Palace and with direct access to the Palace. 
 
The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs are located in Slotsholmsgade opposite the Old Stock Exchange. 
 
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs occupy separate parts of Staldmestergården near Frederiksholms Kanal. 
 

Picture: Museums on Slotsholmen  

The ruins under Christiansborg Palace

The ruins under Christiansborg Palace constitute a museum. They are the remains of Bishop Absalon's Castle and Copenhagen Castle which, hundreds of years ago, occupied the site where Christiansborg Palace stands today. 

The Theatre Museum at the Court Theatre

At the Christiansborg Palace Riding Ground (Ridebanen), above the stables, King Christian VII established a Court Theatre in 1766-67, which today houses a Theatre Museum. The collections at the museum illustrate the history of Danish-language theatre from the 18th century up to the present and include paintings, drawings, engravings, photos, costumes and many other items from the world of the theatre. 

The Royal Stables and Carriages Museum

The Royal Stables and Carriages Museum is located at Christiansborg Palace Riding Ground. The museum contains a collection of royal state coaches and lighter, more modern types of carriage. The collection of vehicles gives an impression of the art of royal and luxurious coach building in Denmark from the middle of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century. Today, the Royal Stables also house 20 horses that are ridden or driven in harness at the Riding Ground every day. 

The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum

The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum is located in King Christian IV's old arsenal, which was built in 1604 to store weapons. Today, it is a cultural and historical specialist museum that illustrates the history of Danish defence. Thousands of weapons, armour and other military objects, dating from the Middle Ages up to the present, are on display in the enormous exhibition rooms. 

Thorvaldsen's Museum 

Thorvaldsen's Museum is located north of Christiansborg Palace. Dating back to 1848, it is the oldest museum building in Denmark. The museum contains almost all of sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's original models of the sculptures he created for a number of European countries. In addition, a large selection of Thorvaldsen's drawings and sketches are on display, as well as his comprehensive personal art collection. 

The Danish Jewish Museum 

The Danish Jewish Museum is located at the Royal Boat House (or ‘Galejhuset’ in Danish) in the Royal Library. The museum’s collection tells the story of Jewish life in Denmark throughout 400 years. The interior of the museum has been created by the celebrated architect, Daniel Libeskind. 

The Danish national library is located on the islet of Slotsholmen southeast of Christiansborg Palace. It is called the Royal Library and has existed for more than 300 years.

Picture: The Royal Library 

The library complex comprises the old library building from 1906 and the distinctive extension building, the Black Diamond, which opened in 1999. The Royal Library houses two museums: the National Museum of Photography and the Museum of Danish Cartoon Art. 

The Royal Library Garden 
Between Christiansborg Palace and the Royal Library lies the Royal Library Garden. With its fountain and flower beds, benches and lofty trees, the garden attracts many visitors all year round. The garden is laid out on the site of King Christian IV's former naval port, the Arsenal Harbour. Reminders of the maritime past of the area can still be seen in the brickwork at the end of the garden, where mooring rings from 17th and 18th century ships are built into the walls. 

Contact

Det Kongelige Bibliotek 
Postbox 2149 
1016 København K 
Telefon: +45 3347 4747 

Børsen

The Old Stock Exchange, on the islet of Slotsholmen, is one of the oldest and most distinctive buildings in Copenhagen. King Christian IV had it built during the period 1618 to 1624 with the aim of establishing Copenhagen as a commercial centre and metropolis. At the time, the building functioned as a commodity exchange and therefore rightfully deserves to be called the oldest exchange in Europe.

The building is characterised by a distinctive landmark, the dragon spire formed by four entwined dragons’ tails. Legend has it that the spire will protect the building against enemies and fires, and the Old Stock Exchange has indeed survived several fires in adjacent buildings, including Christiansborg Palace. 

Today, the Old Stock Exchange is owned by the Danish Chamber of Commerce, a private business organisation for the trade, transport and service industries. It is therefore not possible to visit the building, but conference rooms are available for rent for meetings, conferences and other events.

Contact

Børsen 
1217 København K 
Telefon.: +45 3374 6000

Lapidarium 
Christian IV's Brewery, which is located on the islet of Slotsholmen next to Frederiksholms Kanal, is one of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen. Christian IV had it built as part of the fortifications of Copenhagen, which were modernised around 1608.
 
The coastline of Slotsholmen was a weak point in the defences of the city, and the King therefore decided to build a strong corner bastion. However, eight years later the building was no longer needed as a military fortification and was turned into a brewery instead, where beer was produced for the army. 
 
In 1767, the brewery was reduced to ashes after an extensive fire. The building was rebuilt and used as a storehouse for more than 200 years – most recently for the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum. Since 1998 the building has not been in use, but work is now being done to make it fire-proof so that it can be opened to the public.