Amalienborg Palace

The Amalienborg Palace is one of the most famous – and perhaps the most important - of all Copenhagen tourist attractions. It’s where the royal family has lived since 1794. It houses the second half of the royal collection (meaning everything that hasn’t made its way to Rosenborg Castle) in the Amalienborg museum. And it is home to the giant sculpture of King Frederik V, sitting on horseback in the center of it all. And here you’ll find another example of exquisite Danish gardens, this time decorated with fountains and statues, on the harbor side of the palace square.

If Amalienborg Palace is not the most popular of Copenhagen tourist attractions, it is at least the most symmetrical. Made up of four identical rococo buildings, laid equidistant from the center of the square, everything in the square is perfectly spaced save the sculpture of Frederik, which was rumored to have cost more to have installed than the construction of all four buildings combined. In one of the buildings you’ll find the carefully chronicled details of the Danish monarchs between 1863 and 1947, and you’ll get the chance to roam around the actual study of King Christian IX. Like Rosenborg Castle, there seems to be more random knick knacks and royal possessions than there is room in the museum. But no one appears particularly worried about this fact.

Amalienborg Palace is busiest each day at noon for the fanfare of the changing of the guard. Soldiers march from Rosenborg Castle into the center of the square amidst a crowd of gawkers and a marching band. The shift changes, and the crowds disperse, seeking out the treasures held inside the four buildings. On the Queen’s birthday it gets even crazier, as thousands of people pour into the square to see Queen Margrethe greet the crowd during the guard change.

If you want something a little less frenetic, you can stroll over to Amalienhaven, a park donated to the city of Copenhagen in 1983 and managed by the state ever since. The two fountains are particularly popular, the perfect photo op with the gushing water and majestic palace in the background. At night, there is a mysterious air about the square, its streetlamps inside the square allowing tourists to see the castle and parks after twilight. Though at first the park was openly mocked by many denizens of the city, time seems to have softened the initial opinions held by the Copenhageners who despised Amalienhaven so - or at least, that’s what the consistent crowds exploring the park on a daily basis would lead one to believe.

It"s easy to find, being located so close to the other major Copenhagen tourist attractions, and is just a short walk from the city"s popular harbor. Or you can take a subway from Central station if you find yourself on the far southern edge of the city. Either way, it"s imperative to see the crowning jewel of Danish castles on your personal tour of Copenhagen.

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