There’s something about Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital city and home of Hans Christian Andersen has an air of magic about it.
Born in 1805, Hans Christian Andersen dreamt up the fairytales that many of us grew up reading before bed. The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina and Princess and the Pea are just some of the stories gifted to us by the Danish writer.
Copenhagen has a fairytale-like quality, with hints of Han Christian Andersen’s memory found all around the city. Even without looking for it, you will stumble across beautiful hints of a fairytale world of Hans Christian Andersen as you explore.
The Little Mermaid Statue
The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is one of the country’s most iconic landmarks, and a nod to one of Hans Christian Anderson’s much-loved fairytales.
Created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, the statue was inspired by the ballet of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid. Eriksen’s wife was the model for the mermaids’s body, while the head was inspired by the ballerina who played the mermaid.
As you wander Copenhagen’s streets, beautiful, grand buildings continue to surprise. It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s something special.
Hans Christian Anderson’s Homes
While Andersen’s childhood home is located in Odense, on the island of Funen about an hour from Copenhagen, the writer lived in three separate homes in Copenhagen’s Nyhavn harbour.
Hans Christian Anderson lived in no. 67 for twenty years. He lived in no. 18 – pictured – for two years and no. 20 for four years, which is where he wrote The Princess and the Pea and The Tinderbox.
The writer also lived at Vingårdstræde 6, in an attic room when he was a student. His old room is now a museum in the building owned by the Magasin du Nord department store. You can access the museum from the third floor.
Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen’s City Hall is not where you might expect to find the stuff of fairytales, but there is something special inside its heavy wooden doors.
Have you ever seen Sleeping Beauty? Do you know when the princess is dancing with her prince inside a grand hall? Well, Copenhagen’s City Hall could be mistaken for that very hall, even though Hans Christian Andersen didn’t write that story!
There was something very grand about City Hall and its corridors and details. It seemed like every turn we took, there was something else to catch your eye.
Hans Christian Andersen statues
There are a few Hans Christian Andersen statues dotted around Denmark. The most well-known is the statue aptly situated on H.C Andersen Boulevard. The man himself is featured gazing towards Tivoli Gardens amusement park, perhaps dreaming up his next fairytale.
Picture-perfect fairytale scenes everywhere
On the walk to see the Little Mermaid, you pass under a beautiful bridge and walk along a little lake surrounding a hilly mound land, which is home to the Kastellet military barracks and fortress.
The view of the bridge, the frozen water and the old church of St Albans looked strangely familiar, just like something from a fairytale book.
Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second oldest operating amusement park, and opened in 1843. Located in the heart of the city, Tivoli is a wonderland of imagination and fun, with retro rides and inventive themed areas. Within the park is The Flying Trunk ride, inspired byHans Christian Andersen’s work.
Hans Christian Andersen was a fan of the amusement park, which inspired The Nightingale story.
Warning: Tivoli closes from January to April.
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