Frue Plads

Square of Our Lady


As a demonstration of power, Frue Plads, Square of Our Lady" separating the streets of Nørregade and Fiolstræde in the heart of Copenhagen, is like a centre for spiritual and scholarly wisdom. The appearance of the square was changed forever by the British…

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Danish gateway to the south

Time / Periode 1794
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”I am presently building a temple, to be sited on a veritable Mt. Parnassus whence one may survey a portion of the splendours of this world.” These were the words penned by the architect C.F. Hansen in 1794 from Altona in Germany, where he was building a manor house for a wealthy British merchant. And with the manor’s 28 free-standing Doric columns it was indeed nothing short of a temple residence. Taking the sacred architecture of antiquity as inspiration for a profane residence was highly innovative, and Hansen’s house by the Elbe was among the first of its kind in Europe. At that time, Altona was Denmark’s gateway to the south and the second-largest city under the Danish Crown. In the 1700s, this lively seaport was frequented by a great many wealthy merchants cashing in on the privileges granted to the city by the King. Toll-free trade, special civic rights, freedom of religion and a large number of other advantages had created a burgeoning metropolis, which had in turn attracted a flourishing and internationally oriented cultural elite. In this culturally and financially privileged milieu, C.F. Hansen (1756-1845) was planted by the King as a young regional architect for the Duchy of Holstein. And it was here that the up-and-coming merchants needed to build fitting homes for comfortable residence in town and country. The combination appealed to Hansen, and during his time in Altona, the young architect designed a large number of his most original and impressive buildings, not least along the prestigious “Palmaille” promenade and the “Elbchaussée” along the Elbe.

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Academia at an angle

The architect selected to design the University of Copenhagen's main building, was C.F.…

Danish gateway to the south

”I am presently building a temple, to be sited on a veritable Mt. Parnassus whence one may survey …

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