The circus building in Jernbanegade in Copenhagen was designed by the architect Henrik Vilhelm Brinkopff and built in 1886. In its day, it was ultramodern, with stabling for 100 horses and a pool beneath the circus ring for spectacular shows. The building was constructed in foundation brickwork because wood was too hazardous with all the sawdust and gaslights, as revealed by a disastrous circus fire in Vienna. In spite of the precautions, the circus building burnt down in 1914. But it was rebuilt immediately, and until 1990 housed many different circuses, including Schumann and Benneweis. The architect Verner Panton made his mark on the interior décor in 1982, and in 1988 the building was listed. Since 2002, Wallmans Saloner has leased the fine circus building as a dinner and entertainment venue.
The ring in the circus building (Cirkusbygningen) is 13 metres in diameter and the centrifugal force generated by the circus horses circling in the ring enables the artists to perform spectacular acrobatics on horseback. The original circus ring was designed in 1768 by Major Phillip Astley, an experienced military horse trainer. Dressage was always one of the hallmarks of Cirkus Schumann, and the concept of “Schumannship” was coined to denote the family’s superb equestrian skills. One of the best breeds for classical dressage are the Lipizzaner horses, which are bred exclusively in Slovenia and named after the city of Lipicia. Katja Schumann tells the story: “There have always been Lipizzaners in my family. They are talented, long-lived and beautiful. The Schumann horses are like a Corps de Ballet, in that they all receive basic training and then the potential stars - the solo dancers - are picked out. As a final touch, we always had a brown Lipizzaner stallion among the white stars.”