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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.