Højbro Plads

Højbro Plads

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Højbro Plads is a rectangular public square
Public Square
Public Square is the central plaza in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It takes up four city blocks; Superior Avenue and Ontario Street cross through it. Cleveland's three tallest buildings, Key Tower, 200 Public Square and the Terminal Tower, face the square...

 located between the adjoining Amagertorv
Amagertorv
Amagertorv , today part of the Strøget pedestrian zone, is often described as the most central square in central Copenhagen, Denmark...

 and Slotsholmen Canal in the City Centre
Indre By
Indre By , also known as Copenhagen Center or K or Downtown Copenhagen or City, is one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark...

 of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. It takes its name from the Højbro Bridge which connects it to the Slotsholmen
Slotsholmen
Slotsholmen is an island in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark, and part of Copenhagen Inner City. Bishop Absalon constructed the city's first castle on the island in 1166-67 at the site where Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament lies today...

 island on the other side of the canal while Gammel Strand
Gammel Strand
Gammel Strand is a street and public square in central Copenhagen, Denmark. On the south side it borders on the Slotsholmens Canal while the north side is lined by a row of brightly coloured houses from the 18th and 19th century...

 extends along the near side of the canal.

The most striking feature of the square is an equestrian statue of Absalon
Absalon
Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...

, the warrior-bishop who has traditionally been credited as the founder of Copenhagen. It was inaugurated in 1901 to commemorate the septennial
Anniversary
An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event...

 of his death.

History



A relatively new square, Højbro Plads was laid out following the Great Fire of 1795
Copenhagen Fire of 1795
The Copenhagen Fire of 1795 started Friday the June 5, around 3 p.m. at the Navy’s old base at Gammelholm in the fleets warehouse for coal and barrels...

 to create a fire break and in the same time contribute aesthetic qualities to the area. Therefore it was decided not the rebuilt the block which had previously occupied the grounds, while most of the buildings lining the square date back to the years immediately after the fire.

Up through the 19th century the vegetable and flower market on Amagertorv spread to the new Højbro Plads.

Architecture


Most of the buildings lining the square are examplars of the Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 which characterized the building boom following the fire and dominate much of the city centre seen today. Recurrent features are accented windows with triangular fronton
Fronton
Fronton is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It lies 28 km north of Toulouse and within its metropolitan area.-Population:-Wine:...

s supported by consoles, recessed joints, and frieze
Frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

s, usually above the second floor, decorated with patterns such as a Greek key
Greek key
Greek key may refer to:*An artistic meander pattern*Beta sheet#Greek key motif: A motif in proteins based on the meander pattern...

 or a Vitruvian scroll
Vitruvian scroll
The Vitruvian scroll is a pattern used in architectural molding. It is also known as the Vitruvian wave, wave scroll, or running dog pattern. The pattern resembles waves in water or a series of parchment scrolls viewed on end...

. The friezes were sold as standard goods and could be bought by the metre from the stucco workshops.

Trained architects were at this time only used for public prestige buildings and townhouses for the elite, while normal residential buildings were designed by the master craftsmen who built them. To promote good taste and diminish the gap between architecture and Vernacular buildings
Vernacular architecture
Vernacular architecture is a term used to categorize methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which it...

, Johann Friedrich Struensee
Johann Friedrich Struensee
Count Johann Friedrich Struensee was a German doctor. He became royal physician to the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark and a minister in the Danish government. He rose in power to a position of “de facto” regent of the country, where he tried to carry out widespread reforms...

 had launched an initiative in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts to encourage such builders to take supplementary classes in drawing so as to develop the notion of "good taste". The building boom resulting from the Great Fire of 1795
Copenhagen Fire of 1795
The Copenhagen Fire of 1795 started Friday the June 5, around 3 p.m. at the Navy’s old base at Gammelholm in the fleets warehouse for coal and barrels...

 greatly profited from this initiative. Caspar Frederik Harsdorff
Caspar Frederik Harsdorff
Caspar Frederik Harsdorff, also known as C.F. Harsdorff, , Danish neoclassical architect is considered to be Denmark’s leading architect in the late 18th century, and is referred to as “The Father of Danish Classicism”.- Early life and training :He was born Caspar Frederik Harsdørffer in...

 had also been commissioned to build a house on Kongens Nytorv
Kongens Nytorv
Kongens Nytorv is a public square in Copenhagen, Denmark, centrally located at the end of the pedestrian street Strøget. The finest and largest square of the city, it was laid out by Christian V in 1670 in connection with a major extension of the fortified city, and has an equestrian statue of...

, today known as Harsdorff’s House, which was to act as a model and source of inspiration for builders in their work. Some of the houses on Højbro Plads, like many in the surrounding streets, bear clear traces of influence from this house.

Both No. 19 and No. 21 were built by Andreas Hallander
Andreas Hallander
Andreas Hallander was a Danish master carpenter and architect who made a significant contribution to the city of Copenhagen. Together with the buildings of Johan Martin Quist, his classically styled apartment houses form part of the legacy of 19th century Danish Golden Age architects who...

, one of the most active builders of the period. The corner house at No. 21 was given a more monumental facade than those of the other houses on the square to make it better match Christiansborg Chapel on the other side of the canal. The pilaster motifs are in such numbers that they dominate the entire building and are not limited to a single section of the façade, as was seen in Harsdorff’s House.

Absalon Statue



The equestrian statue of Absalon
Absalon
Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...

 was Designed by Christian Gottlieb Vilhelm Bissen, it depicts Absalon as a military commander, mounted on a rearing hurse, wearing a mail
Mail (armour)
Mail is a type of armour consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh.-History:Mail was a highly successful type of armour and was used by nearly every metalworking culture....

 and with an ax, holding an ax, and looking towards Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace, , on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the Folketing , the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court...

 on Slotsholmen where he built his castle in 1167.The statue stands on a high plinth which was designed by Martin Nyrop
Martin Nyrop
Martin Nyrop was a Danish architect who designed the Copenhagen City Hall, the Vallekilde Højskole, and the majority of the buildings for the Nordic Industrial, Agricultural and Art Exhibition.-Selected buildings:...

.