Amalienborg Dansk
The Royal Palace in Copenhagen

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The square and four palaces of Amalienborg are at the heart of Frederiksstaden (Frederik's City), a district of Copenhagen founded by King Frederik V (1746-66). The building plots were given to four prominent noblemen in the 1750s on the understanding that they should build identical palaces from drawings by Nicolai Eigtved, leading court architect. The palaces were built round a large open space in an octagonal shape formed by the four palaces having side-pavilions coming forward at an angle. Between the palaces are four streets entering the square. (Map of Amalienborg). Frederik V wanted to emulate the grand building achievements of the French monarchs and the palace square is inspired by the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The style both in overall planning and in the details is late Baroque/Rococo.

The royal family moved into Amalienborg efter their palace Christiansborg burnt down in 1794, and it has been their residence in Copenhagen ever since.

First picture: View across the square from its entrance at Frederiksgade.
Next two:      View across the square towards Frederiksgade and Frederiks Kirke (Frederik's Church, popularly known as Marmorkirken - the Marble Church). Frederik's Church was also a part of the original plan but was not completed until 1875-94.

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The four palaces in a clockwise direction from the entrance at Frederiksgade. Their traditional names, official names and most recent royal residents are as follows:

Levetzaus palace       -  Christian VIIIs palace      -  Crown Prince Frederik
Brockdorffs palace    -  Frederik VIIIs palace      -  Frederik IX, previous monarch
Schacks palace          -  Christian IXs palace        -  Margrethe II, the reigning monarch
Moltkes palace          -  Christian VIIs palace       -  Christian VII

The palaces are 2 storeys high with rendered walls and black hipped roofs. Horizontal grooves on the ground floor in imitation of squared-off stones. Slight two-bay projections at either end and a more prominent central projection of three bays with a balcony and six Ionic columns. Balustrade with statues, urns and an ornate centrepiece. Pilasters between all bays.

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The equestrian statue of Frederik V in the centre of the square is the work of the French sculptor Saly. It took him 15 years (1753-1768) and it was finally unveiled in 1771, five years after the king's death. He was extremely painstaking in creating a horse true to nature - studying them closely, sketching, drawing, and making models in different sizes. It resulted in what is considered one of the finest equestrian statues in the world.

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C.F. Harsdorff's colonnade was built to connect Schacks palace with Moltkes palace when the royal family moved into Amalienborg after fire destroyed Christiansborg in 1794. Pure Greek in style. The Ionic columns and pilasters are constructed of painted wood rather than stone.


More about Amalienborg - Danish government website

Danish Monarchy 

Also by Eigtved on Astoft: Christians Kirke, Palatial mansions

Front page of Astoft's Danish section

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All photographic images in pages within the domains & are Copyright the Website owner 2001 or later unless otherwise stated. Email contact above. Full size 3megapixel originals are available for approved purposes.