Copenhagen has hundreds of interesting places, particularly in the city center, where the most iconic places are. People consider this area the historic and cultural heart, where past meets the present in a seamless, inmersive way. It’s where you can find places like Nyhavn, the City Hall, the Church of the Holy Ghost and many others. Perhaps one of the most emblematic is the Round Tower (“Rundetårn”), from where you can see the city’s skyline.
A bit of history
First, the Round Tower is a 42-meter (137.7 ft.) tower with more than three centuries of history. Built between 1635 and 1642 as an astronomical observatory, it was one of King Christian IV’s many architechtural projects. The Round Tower is part of what was called the “Trinitatis Complex”. It was conformed by the observatory, a library and a church for the intellectuals of that time.
In comparison to other iconic buildings from Copenhagen, the Rundetårn has a more restrained design, but it’s still very unique. Mostly because of its helical corridor, a 281 m (921.9 ft.) spiral ramp with 7.5 turns. This provides the only access to upper levels, critical for transporting fragile equipment, books and other artifacts in that time. Nowadays, to get in you have to purchase a ticket: 25 kroner per adults and 5 per children. It’s worth noting that there’s no discount for students nor elders and children must be from 5-15 years old.
Differents spots in the Round Tower
On the way to the top, there are interesting places that you can visit whenever you please during the tour. In the fifth level, you can find the Library Hall, which used to be the library of the Copenhagen University. It is now an exhibition room where paintings, photography and other visual art by Danish artists are displayed. By the time we visited, the art exhibition Nordic Noir Art (paintings and photography by Carsten Krogstrup and Steen Larsen).
Next, you can find the Bell Loft, where the church bells used to hang. There you can see the original 300-year-old timbers that used to hold them and other related historical artifacts. Before you get to the observatory deck, go into the niche at the end of the ramp. Look at the hollow core that sustains the ramp, stand in the glass floor and look down to the bottom.
A view to die to for
The tower stopped being used as a proper astronomical observatory in the late 19th century due to outdating. However, it was later opened to the public and to this very day, the tower remains mainly an observation building. It’s also an important historical monument and an exhibition venue that everyone can visit. The views that the Round Tower renders are breathtaking and have helped define the classical look of Copenhagen. It gives a glimpse to all the other historical places from the city centre that define the city skyline.
All you need to do is be brave and go all the way up to the observatory deck. You’ll see the churches of Our Lady, Our Saviour and the Holy Ghost, Rosenborg Palace and the Copenhagen City Hall. Just have in mind that it’s a 10-minute walk with seven and half turns and a short stair climb. It’ll probably take your breath away, but think of it as the buildup to a wonderful conclussion.
Finally, just make sure to check the Round Tower’s website so you can plan your visit for the perfect time. You’ll enjoy the history, learn some of the Danish culture and even exercise a little bit! For all the historical sites lovers, the Rundetårn is a must-visit with a piece of both Danish culture and history. For everyone else, the incredible sights from this guardian of Copenhagen’s skyline are a first-class experience.
So are you planning to go to the Round Tower? Or did you already go? Please, tell us in the comments section what are you most excited to see or what was your favorite spot!