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Wander through the cobblestoned, narrow streets of Copenhagen and you will find shops, venues and attractions that will tell you a thing or two about Danish culture and society. But, to truly get to grips with the Scandinavian city and learn more about its past, visit one of Copenhagen’s best museums.
Copenhagen is a small but fascinating city. From its history as a Viking settlement to its acclaimed Scandinavian architecture, the Danish capital has long been an important European location, and its selection of captivating museums help tell the story of both Copenhagen and Denmark’s evolution. Culture Trip spoke to curator Julija Balukevica about where to go in Copenhagen to find out about its fascinating history.
Glyptoteket was designed as a Greco-Roman winter garden; a wild oasis of water fountains and tall palms, the museum’s greatness has more to do with how it was created than the art it exhibits. As Balukevica explains, “Carl Jacobsen, Carlsberg’s owner, dedicated his private art collection to the city in 1888,” giving rise to Glyptoteket. The move was also “an example of the Danish tradition of always giving something back to their country,” says Balukevica. Jacobsen was an antiquities art collector, and the museum exhibits sculptures and paintings from throughout the ages, including Danish Golden Age artworks and French Post-Impressionism, and there are even works by big-name artists such as Rodin, Monet and Renoir. The museum offers free entrance on Tuesdays, making it a great spot if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen during the week.
Combine your passion for music with knowledge by going back in time to learn about prominent Danish musical figures at the Danish Music Museum. Suitable for both kids and adults, visitors can practise playing everything from the harp to the xylophone, or quainter instruments, such as the ‘amoeba-shaped violin’, ‘the giraffe piano’, and the ‘sausage bassoon’. Then move from the past to the future at Flexspace, the museum’s new area that showcases instruments of the future, where you’ll be able to record your voice into an instrument called a Caleidoscope or become a DJ for a day on the museum’s own MashMachine.
Art can be found anywhere, and this unusual gallery space is proof of that. Dating back to the 13th century, St Nicolai Church hosts Copenhagen’s most innovative and engaging contemporary art hall. The immaculate architecture plays the role of a blank canvas for the always-changing futuristic exhibitions, showcasing the active role that art plays in Danes’ lives. Situated not far from the colourful Nyhavn neighbourhood, Nikolaj Kunsthal is a lively house with concerts, talks and performances. The venue is popular among locals, making it an ideal place to visit if you’re looking to get insight into Danish culture.
This article is an updated version of a story originally created by Aliki Seferou.