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Fantastic industries in Copenhagen

Take a trip to some of Copenhagens finteresting industries. Listen to the motor in Dieselhouse, eat lunch at the Meat packing Districty or go to a concert in the old water house, Pumpehuset.

Route facts

Distance: 52.3 km Duration: 1 hours 49 min. (Car)

Directions

Stories along the route

Carlsberg

Ny Tap
Facts

From Our Beer to Our City

By

Beer was brewed at Carlsberg in Valby from 1847 until 2008. Then beer production for the Danish market was focused in Fredericia. But the Group Headquarters and a visitors' centre with a small brewhouse still remain in Valby. Now that the beer production has left, the ambition is to reuse the buildings as a new part of the city, Our City". Carlsberg has several buildings: The oldest brewery, Old Carlsberg, which was rebuilt after a fire in 1867, New Carlsberg with its elephant tower and the Brewhouse from 1901, the Power Centre from the 1920s and a number of other new buildings including New Tap from 1955. "

Public place

Short weekends when the whistle blew at New Tap

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1956 - 1956

Electrician Hans H. Pedersen was one of Carlsberg's many employees. He explains what it was like working on Carlsberg's New Tap in the mid-1950s: Two railway lines went into the hall with room for ten or so goods wagons on each platform. They were to be emptied of empty goods and filled with beer going to Jutland. This work was carried out with an electric forklift truck. They needed recharging every day and sometimes needed repairing. That was done at a workshop on the same floor. (…) As only the railway was used initially, we worked in two shifts. To begin with, Saturday was a normal working day, so the weekend was short when you left off on Saturday evening at about midnight and had to start again at 5.30 am on Monday morning". "

Something brewing in Denmark

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1847 -

In the 1840s, the people of Copenhagen were presented with a new type of beer, the first best-seller for the Carlsberg Brewery. The brewer J.C. Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg, embarked on his beer career by experimenting with his mother's wash boiler as a brewing vat. Far from every experiment was successful, so J.C. Jacobsen took off to Munich and environs to visit the breweries and sample the beer. One of the breweries, Zum Spaden, was run by one Gabriel Sedlmeyr, who gave Jacobsen the special bottom-fermenting yeast he needed for brewing his new beer. However, transporting the yeast all the way back to Denmark was a troublesome affair. Jacobsen had a tin can made specially to fit in his hat case, and every time the stage coach or train made a stop, he rushed to the nearest water pump to cool the yeast. But the precious organism survived the journey unharmed, and in the winter of 1845-1846, J.C. Jacobsen brewed some 300 barrels of Bavarian-style lager, which sold out in no time.

Søndermarken, the cisterns

Lysskakt
Facts

Copenhageners flood to glass museum

By

Look at the grassy lawns of Søndermarken in Frederiksberg and you'll have trouble spotting a glass museum. That's because it's hidden away underground, in three huge water cisterns originally built for Copenhagen water supplies in 1856-59 as part of the modern water supply system. A water tower was too ambitious but Frederiksberg hill was an ideal height for giving the water enough pressure to reach the city. Only during the night, though, when water consumption was low. A steam-driven pump station was therefore built on the corner of Gammel Kongevej and Saint Jørgen Lake in 1898-91. The cisterns were covered and used as clean water reservoirs until 1933.

Public place

Copenhagen, well a very dirty town" (Hornemann 1847) "

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1853 -

That is how Copenhagen was described in the mid-1800s – quite literally. The city had no drains, just open gutters where filth piled up or flowed directly out into the harbour or canals. For centuries, human waste had been buried in pits in the ground. From there it seeped down, polluting the surface water that flowed underground through hollowed out tree trunks to the inhabitants of the city. Hygiene in the city had fallen to a harmful level and the danger of epidemics loomed. In June 1853, a law for the first designed plant was passed. Not soon enough. The first cholera cases were recorded soon afterwards. The epidemic had already broken out. That summer alone, almost 5,000 Copenhageners died. This was a strong incentive to complete the new drain and water supply network, which was extended and renovated significantly during the last half of the 19th century.

The Brown Meat City

Den Brune Kødby gade
Facts

Slaughter in Vesterbro

By

In 1870, the City of Copenhagen bought a property down by the railway. Here, beside the first gasworks in the city, the building work began on a cattle market to replace the city's many filthy slaughter stalls. The Brown Meat City was designed by Hans J. Holm and opened in 1879. From 1888, it was the only place in Copenhagen where animals were permitted to be slaughtered. From 1901, the meat was sold in The Ox Hall", which is now a listed culture centre. But even though the Brown Meat City was originally a large step forward in terms of hygiene, it was already outdated by 1934. So the White Meat City was built instead. "

Public place

Dead animals in Vesterbro

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1870 -

Since the 17th century, there have been butcher stalls at Halmtorvet in Vesterbro in Copenhagen. Actually, until the end of the 1870s, small butcher's stalls were scattered throughout the city. As the city became industrialised, the crowded housing and cholera epidemics increased the focus on public health and hygiene. This was one reason why the city had the Brown Meat City built in 1879 to round up the slaughterhouse industry. An efficient process transformed the cattle in the slaughterhouse into steaks in the meat counter under public-sector control. From 1888, Copenhagen enforced forced slaughter", which meant that all private slaughtering was forbidden and had to be carried out at the public cattle market. "

The White Meat City

Den hvide kødby
Facts

Functionalist meat hall

By

Bordering on Halmtorvet, Skelbækgade and Ingerslevsgade in Vesterbro in Copenhagen, you'll find the White Meat City. It is currently being transformed from an industrial food district to a creative free zone. Copenhagen's then city architect, Poul Holsøe, designed the meat city in 1931-34. It is considered a masterpiece of functionalist architecture that is built up symmetrically around the huge meat and pork halls with sawtooth roofs and one big superstructure letting in the light. The two- to four-storey reinforced concrete buildings have smooth white facades and large closely-spaced windows with metal frames painted blue.

Public place

Copenhagen's own Meat Packing District

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1931 - 1934

For more than one hundred years, the White Meat City was a restricted access industrial area. But in 2007 it was opened. Ever since, the old packing district has been undergoing a major transformation. Today, it is a creative hotspot", inspired partly by the famous Meat Packing District in New York. At the Jolene Bar in the White Meat City, I meet a student who appreciates its charm: "There's a lot going on. We came over from Sweden tonight because we'd heard a lot of good things about the Meat City. It's the first time I've been here, but I once lived in Berlin and the atmosphere here is a bit like it. The same idea of partying in a pretty rough industrial area. It's cool!" "

Novozymes

Novozymes
Facts

Arne Jacobsen's white factory

By

Novo has been the world's leading biotech company in enzymes and micro-organisms since it was established in 1925. That was when a technique was devised for extracting insulin from the pancreas of animals and using it to produce medicine. It all began on Fuglebakkevej, where Nørrebro and Frederiksberg meet. This was where Novo founded its insulin production, first in the basement of a family home and then in a deserted half-timbered dairy. Soon, bigger and better offices and production facilities were needed. So Arne Jacobsen was hired as a resident architect from 1934. He ended up being in charge of all the details, inside and out, for everything including the factory's outbuildings and interior design.

Not a public place

Ants in the canteen

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1925 - 1934

The Ant" was originally a three-legged chair designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. This stackable chair is made of moulded plywood and has steel legs. Today, it is considered a classic design, but when Arne Jacobsen first approached furniture producers, they squashed his hopes. His fortunes changed in 1934, when he was hired as resident architect for Novo and Novo's founders took a personal interest in the Ant. In 1952, 200 of the chairs were ordered for the canteen on Fuglebakkevej in Frederiksberg. The first Ants are still in the canteen to this day. And now the Ant is seen as the bee's knees in furniture design - Arne Jacobsen's most famous bestseller. "

Vesterport Station, Copenhagen

Vesterport Station
Facts

Modern train travel

By

Vesterport Station is the result of a 1930 Act on electrification of the trains in Copenhagen, the S-train system, which also required new stations being built, including Vesterport. The new station buildings were built by K.T. Seest, chief architect at DSB, the Danish state railways. The stations remained true to the spirit of functionalism - simple, practical, no unnecessary decoration and each with its own characteristic colour. In addition to Vesterport Station, several of Seest's other stations are still standing. Nørrebro, Ordrup and Nordhavn Station, for example.

Public place

Escalators for modern travellers

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1934 -

Vesterport Station was built in 1934 and reflected the newest trends. The stations were built around an iron structure with plastered walls and steel windows. Facing the street was a spacious entrance between two low curved facades with large transverse bands of windows that displayed the many kiosk goods on sale to entice shoppers inside. This was a new and modern sales technique in the 1930. Ticket offices were given a practical position just inside on the way to the platforms with waiting rooms and a bar slightly further in. The stations, which are at street level, are connected to a low-level platform near the tracks and a covered stairwell. There was both a conventional staircase and the first escalator installed in a Danish station. This escalator rolled alternately up and down. Everything was set in motion for an easy and comfortable journey.

Copenhagen Waterworks

Spurveskjul
Facts

Waterworks to clean up public health

By

Copenhagen Waterworks on Studiestræde 54 was built in 1859 when the city really began to embrace industrialisation. It gathered everything in one place - the boiler and coal house as well as staff housing. The buildings were designed by N.S. Nebelong. The central machine hall once housed the noisy pumps and three 50-ton steam engines but now only the old crane near the ceiling testifies to the days of the waterworks. So if you ever find yourself enjoying a concert in The Pump House", look up at the ceiling! "

Not a public place

The seeping killer

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1805 - 1806

In the 1850s, Copenhagen was densely built-up, crowded and filthy. The wells were full of bad water. There was no sewerage system - just communal toilets out in the backyard. And bacteria seeped into the hollowed-out tree trucks that channelled the water through the city. The city's residents were dropping like flies due to the bad water supplies and Copenhageners had been complaining about the lousy conditions for years. In 1853, when the cholera epidemic wiped out 5,000 citizens, complaints flooded in. Something must be done. The first step was to give the city permission to expand by removing the old embankments and gateways to the city. The next step towards improving health and sanitation was to build Copenhagen's first waterworks here at the old embankments.

Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

Rud. Rasmussens snedkerier
Facts

Furniture factory in Nørrebro

By

In 1869, Rudolph Rasmussen opened a furniture factory. But sadly the workshop burnt down while completing an order for the Hotel d'Angleterre. Rudolph Rasmussen collected the insurance money and spent all DKK 10,000 of it on the down payment for a property at Nørrebrogade 45. Rud. Rasmussens Cabinetmakers was a typical backyard industry founded at the end of the 1800s in inner Copenhagen. The building still functions as a factory today, producing furniture in a vertical process: The timber dries in the basement, the machinery is on the ground floor and first floor, the manual cabinetmakers are on the second and third floors and the upholstery department is on the fourth floor. It is one of the few remaining [old] factories in the area still running at full speed.

Partly a public place

From Art Nouveau to Danish Design

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1869 - 1875

From its modest beginnings, the furniture factory specialised in exclusive design. Rudolph Rasmussen knew his customers' tastes very well. Some of the earliest furniture produced at the factory can be seen at the National Museum's Victorian style Klunkehjem" by Frederiksholms Canal. This is the final resting place of some of the finer pieces that Rud. Rasmussen had designed by Art Nouveau architects such as Bindesbøll and Dahlerup in around 1890. The cooperation with the leading architects of the time continued into the 20th century when the factory invited classical modernists such as Kaare Klint and Mogens Koch to design furniture. Later, Børge Mogensen and Hans J. Wegner were also added to the payroll. Modern furniture is still a cornerstone of the company's production today. For example, Klint's famous safari chair is still delighting Rud. Rasmussen's customers today. "

Grøn's store, Holmens Kanal

Grøns Varepakhus-1
Facts

A whole new way of shopping

By

In 1863, the firm of M.E. Grøn opened a dry goods depot. In spite of its unassuming name, it was anything but a dingy warehouse. This was Denmark's first department store. The showy exterior was Renaissance-style, with an elegant interior daylit by large windows and skylights. The inspiration for the store came from England. This was a new way of selling mass-produced drapery goods and a precursor of the latter-day emporium. Technically, Grøn's store was very advanced, with its hydraulic lift, central heating and its system of speaking tubes in its iron pillars.

Not a public place

A modern department store

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1863 -

For the grand opening, a leading Danish illustrated weekly featured a gushing description of the store. The ground floor is mostly occupied by a service area, which like the other areas, is abundantly well-lit not only through the windows on all sides, but also via a pair of lightwells intersecting all floors, and topped off with thick, matt sheet glass. A wide and handsome staircase leads to the 1st floor whose expansive interior is wholly devoted to drapery goods, arranged along the sides on shelving and closely arrayed benches so as to afford a panorama of all goods from any vantage point. From the 2nd floor, where all merchandise is arranged in the same expedient manner, a staircase ascends to the 3rd floor". "

Holmen Naval Base

Holmen, Frederiksholm-Nyholm
Facts

The old Navy HQ

By

From 1690 to 1990, Holmen was the main base of the Danish Navy. Holmen consists of five man-made islands: Nyholm, Margretheholm, Frederiksholm, Dokøen and Arsenaløen. At Holmen, the Navy had its most important installations – shipyards, magazines and arsenals, cranes and guardhouse. The dockyards at Holmen served as the main port for the Danish naval fleet. At the dockyards, ships were built for the Navy right until 1972 when it became a repair yard until Holmen was finally decommissioned. In 1990, Holmen was sold. The Naval fleet now docks at the ports of Korsør and Frederikshavn. The island of Nyholm is still owned by the Armed Forces, and the Royal Danish Naval Academy is located here.

Public place

The hour of reckoning

Story written by

Time / Periode: 1700 -

If only walls could talk! As we stand there in historic surroundings, what tales they could tell us of the past! The walls in Holmen's old apparel store, built in 1889 can actually tell stories. Here, for generations, conscripts have etched their names and other particulars in the bricks, as they waited to be issued with their uniforms. Some of them wrote the name of their ship: Ægir, Dannebrog, and so forth. But now and again the walls record dramatic events in Holmen's and Denmark's history. For example, one brick reads: N.J. Frastein, prisoner of war 1943 – THE HOUR OF RECKONING IS NIGH. On the next brick it says: IT IS HERE MAY 1945. These inscriptions show that the history of Holmen is not only one of ships and cannons, but also the personal histories of thousands of Danish naval conscripts.

1001 fortællinger om Danmark

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