Copenhagen (Danish Kjobenhavn Merchants' Harbor; Lat. Hafnia), the capital of Denmark, situated partly on the island of See-land in the Baltic, and partly on the island of Amager; lat. 55° 41' N., lon. 12° 34' E.; pop. in 1871, 181,291, all Lutheran, with the exception of 3,000 Jews, 1,100 Catholics, and about 1,000 of other sects. Besides several suburbs, it consists of three principal divisions, viz.: the old city or West End, the new city or Frederiksborg, on the island of Seeland, and Christianshavn, on the island of Amager. The city is protected by the fortress of Frederikshavn. The channel between the main island and Amager constitutes the harbor, which is very capacious. The city contains numerous public squares, churches, and hospitals, several theatres, an arsenal, exchange, and four royal palaces. The centre of the city is formed by the Kongens Nytorv, a large and handsome square, from which issue the principal thoroughfares, the finest street being the Bredgade (broad street), which leads directly to the esplanade of the citadel. The castle or palace of Rosenborg, partly surrounded by a public garden, was commenced in 1604, but has long ceased to be a royal residence, and is devoted to the chronological collection of the Danish kings, one or more rooms being devoted to the reign of each, commencing with Christian IV. (1588-1648). The old palace of Christiansborg was at the time of its destruction by fire in 1794 one of the handsomest palaces in Europe. The new palace, opened in 1828, when partly finished, has never been used as a permanent residence, being reserved mainly for festivities and for the use of the Things or houses of parliament.
It is situated on a little island bounded by the harbor and by canals, crossed by several bridges, and is the most conspicuous structure in the city. It contains a splendid banqueting hall, the facade being ornamented by four colossal bronze statues by Thorwaldsen, representing Hercules, Minerva, Nemesis, and Aes-culapius. The intention was that the four should symbolize strength, wisdom, justice, and truth; but when the order reached the sculptor at Rome, instead of Sandhed, truth, he read it Sundhed, health, and so Aescula-pius came to be one of the four. There are other famous works by Thorwaldsen, and the palace is also temporarily used for the royal picture gallery. The former palace of Frede-riksborg, with a fine park, is used as a military academy. Amalienborg, the principal royal residence, near the Kongens Nytorv, consists of four palaces, erected by different nobles and purchased by the king after the destruction of Christiansborg. One of these is occupied by the king, one by the queen dowager, one by the crown prince, and the last by the foreign office. The former royal palace of Charlot-tenborg, on the principal square, is occupied by the academy of fine arts.
The principal church is that of Our Lady ( Vor Frue Kirke), in which are several celebrated works of Thorwaldsen, including the original marble statues of the twelve apostles. The original church, built before the 12th century, was destroyed by the great fire of 1728; the second one was destroyed in the bombardment by the English in 1807; the present structure was finished in 1829. Trinity church has a remarkable round tower, originally intended as an observatory, and occupied for that purpose for about 200 years. Our Saviour's church has a beautifully sculptured alabaster font, and a spire with an external staircase terminating under a ball which will contain 12 persons. The so-called marble church was begun in 1746, but the cost of construction so far exceeded the means that the undertaking was abandoned, and it is now a mere ruin. Thor-waldsen's museum was erected by the city (1838-48) to contain the collection of his works and other objects which he had bequeathed to the public, and also to serve as his mausoleum.
The museum of northern antiquities, founded in 1807, and for 50 years (1815-'65) under the charge of one director, Mr. C. Thomsen, was the first in which a systematic effort was made to show the three stages of civilization characterized respectively by the use of stone, bronze, and iron for implements. It is in this respect by far the best in Europe; it is also without a rival in its collection of gold ornaments. The university, founded in 1478, has about 1,200 students, and has become noted for the ability of several of its professors. Connected with it are an observatory, botanical garden, surgical academy, polytechnic institute, and museum of natural history; the library contains 200,000 volumes and 4,000 rare MSS. The royal library ranks among the largest in Europe, having more than 500,000 volumes and 20,000 MSS. The Classen scientific library, deriving its name from two brothers who founded it, has about 30,000 volumes. The ethnographic museum is among the largest and best arranged of its kind. Its object is to illustrate the civilization of non-Scandinavian peoples anterior to the classic period, and its development as compared with that of existing savage tribes. There are many other educational, scientific, literary, and musical institutions.
Among the benevolent institutions, besides the hospitals, are the Varton, a large red brick building, and four structures containing tenement apartments for workmen of different trades, with infant nurseries, and a large and well arranged institution for the blind. Among the places of amusement are the royal or national theatre on the Kongens Nytorv, which enjoys a considerable subvention from the government; the Tivoli, a kind of public garden, frequented by all classes, where the concerts are very good; and the Alhambra, a similar but smaller establishment. There are several pleasant promenades, the best of which is the Langlinie overlooking the entrance of the harbor. The walk around the ramparts is fine, but those of the citadel are only accessible to the holders of annual tickets. Among the public buildings recently erected are the national bank (1866-9), the freemasons' lodge (1869-70), and the palace of the industrial exhibition (1870-'72). - The city is connected by railway with the ports of Elsinore, 20 m. N., and with Korsor, 60 m. S. W. There is regular steamboat communication with foreign ports, and in 1870 nearly 8,000 emigrants sailed from the port for the United States. Street railways and omnibuses traverse the principal thoroughfares.
Copenhagen is the centre of the entire commerce of Denmark. Its trade suffered much during the Schleswig-Holstein war, but has since revived. At the beginning of 1872 there were owned here 382 merchant vessels, of which 48 were steamers, with an aggregate tonnage of 49,771. The principal imports are timber, pitch, and tar from Sweden and Norway; flax, hemp, masts, sail cloth, and cordage from Russia; sugar, chiefly from the West Indies and South America; coffee and tobacco from America; wines and brandy from France; coal, iron, machinery, hardware, tea, and cotton twists from England. The principal exports are corn, rape seed, butter, cheese, beef, pork, horses, cattle, wool, hides, skins, and bones. The principal manufacture is that of porcelain; but the watches and chronometers of Jules Jurgensen are famous, being among the best in the world. The ship building is of considerable importance. - Copenhagen was founded probably in the 11th century. It was originally a fishing village, but as early as the close of the 12th century it became a busy trading town, and owed its first prosperity to the famous bishop Absalon. In 1204 it obtained a city charter, and in 1443 was made the seat of government. During the wars of the Hanse towns it was frequently besieged and suffered heavily.
It was several times partly destroyed by fire, and over 22,000 persons died in 1711 from the plague. In 1801 (April 2) the great naval action in which Nelson defeated the Danes was fought near Copenhagen. In 1807 the city was bombarded by the British under Lord Cathcart for three days (Sept. 2-5), when 350 buildings were destroyed entirely, 2,000 more rendered uninhabitable, and 2,000 persons killed. In 1853 the cholera carried off nearly 5,000 persons.
The Thorwaldsen Museum.