Round and Round the Rundetårn For a View Over Copenhagen

Rundetarn copenhagen up to the top

The Rundetaarn in Copenhagen is a remarkable building to visit when in the City. Not only can you explore its uniqueness and architecture for itself but at the top you get a great view over the whole of the capital of Denmark and beyond. Looking out over the rooftops.

The History

The Rundetårn is part of the 17th century Trinitatis Complex, a single building containing a church, a library and the astronomical observatory tower. The tower is believed to be the oldest functioning observatory of Europe. It was built as a project by Christian IV of Denmark. Astronomy was a big craze throughout the country during the 17th Century so many towers were built.

I immediately loved the Rundetårn when I saw it, maybe because there’s some Dutch influences connected to this tower? 🙂 The yellow and red bricks that were used to build the tower were manufactured in The Netherlands. And when the architect Hans van Steenwinckel died in 1936, Leonhard Blasius from The Netherlands became the new Royal Building Master and finished the built of the tower. On the outside of the tower you can see a gilded rebus inscription from King Christian IV.

Copenhagen Rundetårn

The Spiral Ramp

Time to make our way up! When you enter the tower you might be surprised to not finding a staircase but a wide spiral ramp instead. This way, back in the 17th century, a horse and carriage could take books to and from the library below but also transport instruments to the observatory. When you climb the ramp you will be surrounded by white-washed walls, lovely windows and little niches. It’s truly an unique design, forming the only connection between the church, the library and the observatory.

Throughout the years the tower and the ramp have been used for many purposes. It’s been used for shelter during bombardments, cars have been driven up the ramp and every spring the Round Tower organises a unicycle race up the Spiral Walk.

inside ramp Rundetårn of copenhagen
windows of the Rundetårn
light and shadows

Half way up the tower you’ll find the library, once holding the entire University book collection. Today the library is used as a gallery and concert venue.

art gallery inside the Rundetårn

Views Over Copenhagen

And then we finally reach the observation deck. A few small steps and we’re outside. At 34.8 m above street level the sun is greeting us, time to sit down and take it all in. It was too bad we couldn’t visit the observatory itself as it opens from October. But anyway it has been worth it. Look at the views! Can’t complain about that I think.

city view from the top
big view from the Rundetårn
copenhagen from the top

What a fun and sight filled day had. From below in the harbour of Nyhavn to up here on the tower looking over in every direction. Exploring the capital from the accommodation in the centre was a breeze. I need to come back and see and learn more.

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3 Comments

  1. Ah, a nice trip down memory lane. I remember climbing this tower on my backpacking trip around Europe about 11 years ago! A big trip for a girl from Oz!

  2. Some great views over Copenhagen! Such a beautiful city and this is just one of the many stunning 17th century buildings waiting to be explored, and great to see it’s still being used to various things today.

  3. Ahh I love that tower!
    As a teenager (living just a little north of Copenhagen) I had one of my first dates with a girl in the tower 🙂

    According to the guides in the tower, the reason for the very wide Spiral Walk was so King Christian could ride his carriage with 4 horses up to the top. That must have been fun to watch…

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