Copenhagen: last day


I’d seen and done all the things on my ‘A’ list, so we decided to visit the Cisternerne, an unusual attraction that also required a long walk – thus justifying one last smørrebrød at Torvehallerne.

Immigration is an issue here as elsewhere in Europe. This set of billboards seemed to me an honest attempt to bring the problem into the open for discussion.


We walked past Pumpehuset, built in the 19th century to supply Copenhagen with water from the lakes Damhussøen and Sankte Jurgens Sø and now a concert venue.

We walked through areas of housing, past urban schools with what look like innovative, interesting play areas. I didn’t stand on the helicopter landing pad, but I did bounce gently on the nearby trampoline. The playground surface is soft, resilient made from recycled tires.

We walked through the Carlsberg brewery. Copenhagen sits on an area of moraines and other glacial deposits with many sand lenses trapping clean water. The brewery was built here to use the water, although it soon exhausted that supply.


Past the elephants and into the park to find the wide flat lawn and fountain over the Cisternerne. The yellow building is the Frederiksberg Palace. The cisterns were built to supply clean water to the city after a cholera outbreak in 1853. Originally the water was open to the air, a vast ornamental lake in front of the Palace. To prevent contamination the  cisterns were covered in 1891 and the lake was replaced with the lawns and fountain. They remained in use until 1933, and full of water until 1981. When Copenhagen was European Cultural Capital in 1996 the cisterns became an exhibition space. A single large glass panel is a reminder of the glass museum that was located here:

The current exhibition, by Eva Koch, fills the three vast chambers (4.2m high) with echoes of the First World War. Very effective. 

But the cisterns are notable for the stalactites and stalagmites forming rapidly as ground water penetrates cracks in the concrete, dissolving and redepositing the lime.

Back up the stairs into humid heat and we walked to Torvehallerne. I had admired the stair rails the last time we walked this way – there’s much more pre-20th century metalwork here than in London, where it was recycled into materials for WWII.

Torvehallerne! Smørrebrød! Øle! (ale). I met Brianna in the queue, on her way back to the US after a year in Europe; we talked about home vs Home and the fact that after 36 years away Home is now where A. and I are, not the place where we feel it should be.

A leisurely meander back to Papierøoen to sit in the sun and sip beer; a serendipitous shower allowed us to claim deckchairs.Until it was time to find pizza and wine to console us: we leave tomorrow morning.

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About sarahw

A zoologist who draws, a spinner who weaves, a person who thinks.
This entry was posted in Europe, travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Copenhagen: last day

  1. enallagma9 says:

    The last day of vacation is always very hard.

    Like

  2. I liked the bit about home is where you are.

    Like

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