Wealthy merchant Erich Erichsen built his palatial merchant's house near Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen in 1797-99. Erichsen's Palace was designed by Denmark's leading architect, Caspar Frederik Harsdorff. But when he died unexpectedly, his son-in-law, Master Builder Gottfried Schaper, stepped in and completed the project. The client was one of Denmark's largest shipping tycoons and earned a fortune over the years from overseas trade. Erichsen wasn't shy of spending staggering amounts either. For example, he hired star architect Jean-Jacques Ramée to furnish the palace reception room in the style of Pompeii. The beautiful interior still exists behind the property's columned facade facing the square. For over 100 years, the palace has been owned by Danske Bank.
With its facade like a temple, Erichsen's Palace stands out from other private buildings dating back to the classicistic period. It was deemed good taste to reserve temple motifs for decorating churches or royal properties. There are two possible explanations as to why architect Harsdorff took this liberty. Perhaps the owner, Erichsen, was such a braggart that he ignored the dictates of good taste. Or the palace was also at the end of a narrow part of Kongens Nytorv – especially back then when the old comedy house was at the heart of Holmens Canal. For a classicistic architect, it was natural to end a house in such as location with a temple-style front. The comedy house facing the square had a similar facade that architect Harsdorff himself had given it.