Saturday 22 June 2013

The Rundetaarn


The Rundetaarn, the Round Tower.

The Rundetaarn on Kobmagergade was built between 1637 and 1642. It was the first part of the Trinity Complex, which united three of the most important facilities available to 17th century scholars: an astronomical observatory, a students' church and a university library.

The tower functioned both as observatory lookout and as the Trinitatis church tower.

The most magnificent feature of the Rundetaarn is the wide, cobbled ramp that spirals its way to the top.

Legend has it that Peter the Great sped to the top on horseback in 1715, pursued by the tsarina in a six-horse carriage.

The combination of the cobbled floor and that magnificent vaulted ceiling is too much

The views of the city through the windows are magnificent

Midway up the ramp is the Library Hall which housed the University's book collections until 1861. Left unused for many years it is now a gallery featuring exhibitions - it also hosts classical music concerts.

In the coffee bar of the Library Hall the lights and chairs are good examples of Danish design

Above the library, the bell loft houses the church bells. After the Great Fire of 1728 the Bell Loft was rebuilt from Pomeranian pine. The impressive original timbers are still intact.

The bells do not take up much space in the 900 m2 loft, which has been rented out for all kinds of purposes over the years. At one stage, the people of Copenhagen discovered that it was an ideal spot in which to dry laundry. Later, it was used to store tanned hides, dried herbs, painted theatre sets and feathers for the fine clothes and hats of society ladies.

The views get better the higher you climb

and now we reach the narrow, winding staircase that will lead us to the top

and the views are stunning.

The viewing platform of the Rundetaarn is surrounded by elaborate wrought-iron lattice from 1643.

There is an observatory at the top of the tower, Europe's oldest working observatory,  that houses an astronomical telescope. The Observatory was originally built for the university, which performed measurements and pursued comet-watching here until 1861. It was closed when we visited so we were not able to have a look inside.

The Rundetaarn is attached to the Trinitatis Kirke.

The Trinitatis Church was rebuilt in restrained Baroque style following the Great Fire of 1728

one more photograph of the interior of the church

which is dominated by a giant organ.

Opposite the Rundetaarn is this building, I didn't manage to find out what it is
but it's worth noting for this amazing vaulted ceiling, as well as the beautiful brick floor.

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