One thing you can always count on with a city break is there’s bound to be a museum you can visit. Visiting museums in different countries is a great insight to other cultures and it’s a great way to learn new things. For example, did you know that the term ‘viking’ is a relatively modern term to describe the invasions from various Scandinavian countries? I didn’t. I naively thought that Vikings were a thing!
Any way, on our second day in Copenhagen we planned to visit the National Museum of Denmark, which was completely free. Always a bonus! Upon arrival, it was quite surprised by the building. It was quite understated and didn’t look at all like what I expected. We were welcomed at the door, told we could leave our backpack in a free locker, take our camera and water with us. This surprised me, as I’ve visited a few places recently where taking pictures was a massive no-no (yep, I’m talking about Westminster Abbey where I got told off for taking a picture. Right by the sign that said ‘No pictures’!) Naturally, I went to town taking pictures! Here’s a small sample of the best bits.
The museum is really well laid out. It’s bright, clear and fairly modern. I found the Danish history the most fascinating, mainly because it was all new to me. It was amazing to see the progress made my humankind over huge chunks of time, whether it be through the materials they made clothes with, the items of jewelry they wore, the weapons they hunted with or the development and changes of dwellings. They even have the remnants of a viking boat and the body of a woman who died and buried in peat. The latter was quite fascinating, as quite a lot of her has been preserved so you can see quite a bit about how they used to live, what they used to wear etc. Even the way they buried people was fascinating, as they would often bury them with other people, babies, pets, objects or trinkets. This reminded me of how the Egyptians would bury the mummies, with so many things to get them to the next life. Can you tell I have a bit of a morbid fascination with end of life rites of passage?!
After a bite to eat at 42Raw, we headed to the parliamentary buildings. Pretty much all the buildings to do with the government are in one place, along with Christiansborg Palace. You can tour almost all the buildings, but as we were trying to be conservative with our cash, we had a look around the ruins of the original palaces. Yes, palaces, as there have been five palaces in this one place. Three burnt to the ground and the others were ruined due to war or were demolished. The ruins have been preserved in the basement, as much as possible. I do love a good ruin, so we opted to have a mooch around those. It was fascinating! (I’m such a history nerd!) Seeing the different changes to the buildings, the amazing history of the palace and how they had the worst luck with fire. There was a lot of information to take in, including a handy video with english subtitles. When we were done with the ruins, it was time to take a few pictures of the outside of the buildings, where we had watched Birgitte Nyborg strut to and from the car in Borgen.
It was amazing to be so close to the parliament, considering how distanced we are to the Houses of Parliament in London. There’s loads you can do here too, like visit the gardens and the stables. We didn’t do that, as it was bloomin’ freezing by this time, so we headed off to see if we could find some vegan friendly gloves for me, which we did, thanks to the Danish version of Poundland! Not quite up to my usual ethical standards, but needs must!