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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 (bydele) comprising the municipality 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 covers an area of 4.65 km², has a population of 26,223, and a population density of 5,638 per km².

Neighboring city districts are as follows:
  • to the east and south east is Christianshavn
    Christianshavn
    Christianshavn is an artificial island neighbourhood located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV as part of his extension of the fortifications of Copenhagen. Originally it was laid out as an independent privileged merchant's town with inspiration from...

    , separated from the Inner City by the Inner Harbour (Inderhavnen) and Copenhagen Harbour (Københavns Havn)
  • to the north is Indre Østerbro
    Indre Østerbro
    Indre Østerbro , is one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark. It lies on the eastern edge of the municipality...

  • to the west is Indre Nørrebro
    Indre Nørrebro
    Indre Nørrebro , is one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark...

     and Frederiksberg municipality
    Frederiksberg
    Frederiksberg Kommune is a municipality on the island of Zealand in Denmark. It surrounded by the city of Copenhagen. The municipality, co-extensive with its seat, covers an area of and has a total population of 98,782 making it the smallest municipality in Denmark area-wise, the fifth most...

    , which is not a part of Copenhagen municipality but rather an enclave surrounded by the municipality, with both being separated from the Indre By along the "lakes" (Skt. Jørgens Lake, Peblinge Lake, and Sortedams Lake)
  • to the southwest is Vesterbro
  • to the south is Vestamager
    Vestamager
    Vestamager most often refers to Kalvebod Fælled, but is also the name of one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark. It lies on the south border of the municipality on the island of Amager...

    , separated from the Inner City by the South Harbour (Sydhavnen)

The Indre By district


This district is the historic, geographic and political heart of present-day Copenhagen, and reflects the history of Denmark. Its boundaries pretty much reflect the entire city’s extent during the reign of King Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 (1588-1648).

At the time it was a fortified city
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 and its borders were made of defensive wall
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

s with moat
Moat
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, other building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes, dams and sluices...

s. To ensure water for the moats there was a series of dams.

Entry and exit to the city was through the town's four gates: Vesterport ("Western Gate") near the current Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen City Hall is the headquarters of the Municipal Council as well as the Lord mayor of the City of Copenhagen, Denmark. The building is situated on The City Hall Square in central Copenhagen....

 (Rådhus), Nørreport ("Northern Gate") near the current Nørreport station
Nørreport station
Nørreport Station is a mainline railway, S-train and Copenhagen Metro station located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the busiest train station in the country, serving 300,000 people daily, including passengers not stepping off. There are 165.000 leaving or entering trains including the metro...

, Østerport ("Eastern Gate") by Kastellet
Kastellet, Copenhagen
Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners...

, and Amagerport ("Amager Gate", i.e. functionally the Southern Gate) between Christianshavn and the island of Amager
Amager
Amager is a Danish island in the Øresund. The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is partly situated on Amager, which is connected to the much larger island of Zealand by five bridges.-History:...

. The gates were dismantled in 1856. The locations are now commemorated with milestone
Milestone
A milestone is one of a series of numbered markers placed along a road or boundary at intervals of one mile or occasionally, parts of a mile. They are typically located at the side of the road or in a median. They are alternatively known as mile markers, mileposts or mile posts...

s erected on the spot.

Additionally artificial lakes were constructed as part of Christian IV's large building project.These still exist to this day, and are simply referred to as the "lakes" (Skt. Jørgens Lake, Peblinge Lake, and Sortedams Lake). The area beyond the lakes, now heavily populated city districts, was then used primarily for grazing
Grazing
Grazing generally describes a type of feeding, in which a herbivore feeds on plants , and also on other multicellular autotrophs...

. It was prohibited to build beyond these original city limits so that the fortification’s cannons could have clear shot and so that the enemy could not find any hiding areas. The line that marked this "no build" zone was called the Demarcation Line (Demarkationslinien) The line was moved further out as the shooting range of canons improved, and was not abolished until after the cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic of 1853.

The fortification system was sold to Copenhagen municipality in 1869 and largely dismantled the year after. Evidence of the walls can be found in the street names outlining the central part of the city. From Kastellet
Kastellet
Kastellet may refer to:* Kastellet, Copenhagen* Kastellet, Stockholm...

 at the northeast point of the district runs Øster Voldgade ("Eastern Wall Street") to the southwest. The street changes names near Nørreport Train Station and continues as Nørre Voldgade ("Northern Wall Street"). Vester Voldgade ("Western Wall Street") starts at Ørsteds Park and runs southeast until it reaches the water of Copenhagen Harbour (Københavns Havn). The fortification system continues on the other side of the water in the Christianshavn city district.

A ring of parks (fæstningsringen, English "fortification ring") has been erected outside where the walls once stood, and remnants of the bastion
Bastion
A bastion, or a bulwark, is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall , facilitating active defence against assaulting troops...

s, ravelin
Ravelin
A ravelin is a triangular fortification or detached outwork, located in front of the innerworks of a fortress...

s and moats can be seen in Østre Anlæg park, the Botanical Gardens, Ørsted Park and Tivoli Gardens.

History


Copenhagen was founded around year 1000 by Sweyn I Forkbeard
Sweyn I of Denmark
Sweyn I Forkbeard was king of Denmark and England, as well as parts of Norway. His name appears as Swegen in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and he is also known in English as Svein, Swein, Sven the Dane, and Tuck.He was a Viking leader and the father of Cnut the Great...

 and his son Canute the Great
Canute the Great
Cnut the Great , also known as Canute, was a king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden. Though after the death of his heirs within a decade of his own and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history, historian Norman F...

.

It was only a fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 until the middle of the 12th century when Havn ("Harbour"), as the town was then called, assumed increasing importance in the Danish kingdom. Around 1160 King Waldemar the Great
Valdemar I of Denmark
Valdemar I of Denmark , also known as Valdemar the Great, was King of Denmark from 1157 until 1182.-Biography:...

 gave control of Copenhagen to 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...

, Bishop of Roskilde. Whereas other cities in the Danish realm were under the governance of the king, Havn or Købmannehavn (Merchants' Harbour) as it comes to be known, was given to the Bishop of Roskilde. Bishop Absalon built his fortified "Castle at Havn" in 1167 on a little island outside the harbour itself, the remains of which can still be seen under present day 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...

. The castle stood 200 years.

The Catholic Church erected cathedrals in Roskilde
Roskilde
Roskilde is the main city in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark on the island of Zealand. It is an ancient city, dating from the Viking Age and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network....

 (Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral , in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe...

) and in Lund
Lund
-Main sights:During the 12th and 13th centuries, when the town was the seat of the archbishop, many churches and monasteries were built. At its peak, Lund had 27 churches, but most of them were demolished as result of the Reformation in 1536. Several medieval buildings remain, including Lund...

 (Lund Cathedral
Lund Cathedral
The Lund Cathedral is the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Scania, Sweden. It is the seat of the bishop of Lund of the Church of Sweden.- History :...

), in what is now Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, which laid the basis for further development in those regional centres, and as Havn was midway between the two cities, it was centrally located for traffic and trading.

In the years that follow, the town grew tenfold in size. The excellent harbour encouraged Copenhagen's growth until it became an important centre of commerce (hence its name). Churches and abbeys were founded. Købmannehavn's economy blossomed due to the income from an enormous herring fishery trade, which provided large parts of Catholic Europe with salted herring for Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

.

In 1254, it received its charter as a city under Bishop Jakob Erlandsen.

Copenhagen was located at the most important approach to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and the rich North German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 trading towns of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

, providing Copenhagen with power and wealth, but also threatening its very existence. It was repeatedly attacked by Wend
Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

 pirates and the Hanseatic League.

Time and again the town was besieged and laid waste by the Hanseatic League. In 1369 they tore down the castle, but a new castle—Copenhagen Castle was built in its place. At the same time the Danish king was also attempting to take Copenhagen back from the bishop. The crown succeeded in 1416, when King Erik of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania KG was King Eric III of Norway Norwegian Eirik, King Eric VII of Denmark , and as Eric King of Sweden...

 took control of the town. Thenceforth Copenhagen belonged to the Danish Crown.

Despite centuries of power struggles and warring the town grew increasingly rich. Copenhageners did a brisk trade with friend and foe alike. Foreign merchants came to the town. Craft guilds were established and the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

 was founded.

By the time of Christian IV's coronation in 1596, Copenhagen had become rich and powerful. The new king decided to make the town the economic, military, religious, and cultural centre for the whole of the Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 region. The king established the first trading companies with sole rights to trade with lands overseas. In order to restrict imports, factories were set up so that the country could manufacture as many goods as possible on its own.

Christian IV expanded Copenhagen by adding two new districts: Nyboder ("New Booths") for the large numbers of navy personnel and the merchants' new district and Christianshavn ("Christian's Harbour"), which is modelled after Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. A modern fortification with earthworks and bastions was built to surround the whole of the extended town. Gradually, however, it paralleled the town limits, and for the next 200 years or so traffic entering and leaving Copenhagen had to pass through Copenhagen's four narrow town gates.

Apart from the new earthworks Christian IV commissioned German and Dutch architects and craftsmen to construct magnificent edifices designed to enhance his prestige. To this very day those buildings make their mark on the cityscape of Copenhagen.

By the time of Christian IV's death in 1648, Copenhagen had become Denmark's principal fortification and naval port, and the town formed a framework for the administration of the Danish kingdom and as a centre of trade in Northern Europe.

In the 1840s there was pressure placed on the military to dismantle the ring of fortifications in the inner city, and the military sold the land to Copenhagen municipality, which took ownership in October 1869. Dismantling began and discussions raged as to what to do with the land. Part of the land was used for parks and green areas.

Dismantling the fortifications and moving the capital area’s defenses further out from the city also allowed the city to expand, opening up the development of many of the other city districts in today’s Copenhagen.

Attractions

  • Amalienborg Palace
    Amalienborg Palace
    Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

  • Børsen
    Børsen
    Børsen is a building on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is built by Christian IV in 1619–1640 and is the oldest stock exchange in Denmark...

    , The Stock Exchange
  • 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...

     located on 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...

  • Copenhagen Botanical Garden
  • Copenhagen City Hall
    Copenhagen City Hall
    Copenhagen City Hall is the headquarters of the Municipal Council as well as the Lord mayor of the City of Copenhagen, Denmark. The building is situated on The City Hall Square in central Copenhagen....

     (Rådhuset)
  • Frederiksstaden
    Frederiksstaden
    Frederiksstaden is a district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Constructed during the reign of Frederick V in the second half of the 18th century and it is considered to be one of the most important rococo complexes in Europe....

  • Copenhagen Central Station
    København H
    Copenhagen Central Station is the largest train station in Denmark, located in Copenhagen, with entrances to Bernstorffsgade , Banegårdspladsen, Reventlowsgade and access to platforms from Tietgensgade...

     (Hovedbanegård)
  • Gefion Fountain
    Gefion fountain
    The Gefion Fountain is a large fountain on the harbour front in Copenhagen, Denmark. It features a large-scale group of animal figures being driven by the legendary Norse goddess, Gefjun...

  • The Hirschsprung Collection
    Heinrich Hirschsprung
    Heinrich Hirschsprung was a Danish tobacco manufacturer, arts patron and art collector, founder of the Hirschsprung Collection in Copenhagen, a museum dedicated to Danish art from the 19th and early 20th century....

     (Den Hirschsprungske samling)
  • Kastellet
    Kastellet, Copenhagen
    Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners...

  • Kongens Have ("The King's Park")
  • National Art Museum
    Statens Museum for Kunst
    Statens Museum for Kunst is the Danish national gallery located in Copenhagen....

     (Statens Museum for Kunst)
  • National Museum of Denmark
    National Museum of Denmark
    The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum's main domicile is located a short distance from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen. It contains exhibits from around the world,...

  • Nyhavn
    Nyhavn
    Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants...

  • Rosenborg Castle
    Rosenborg Castle
    Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects...

  • Royal Danish Theatre
    Royal Danish Theatre
    The Royal Danish Theatre is both the national Danish performing arts institution and a name used to refer to its old purpose-built venue from 1874 located on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. The theatre was founded in 1748, first serving as the theatre of the king, and then as the theatre of the...

  • Rundetårn
    Rundetårn
    The Rundetårn is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory...

    , the Round Tower
  • Strøget
    Strøget
    Strøget is a carfree zone in Copenhagen, Denmark. This popular tourist attraction in the centre of town is the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe....

  • The Little Mermaid
    The Little Mermaid (statue)
    The statue of The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour of the capital of Denmark. Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction....

  • University of Copenhagen
    University of Copenhagen
    The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

  • Østre Anlæg ("The Eastern Fortification") park
  • Gråbrødretorv
    Gråbrødretorv
    Gråbrødretorv is a public square in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark, just off the pedestrian street Strøget.-History:Gråbrødretorv takes its name from a Franciscan friary, which was located at the site from 1238 to 1530 when it was demolished...

  • 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...


External links