The democratic royal castle
The present Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen is the third of its kind at Slotsholmen. And it didn't have an easy conception. In fact, 34 years passed from when the second Christiansborg burned down in 1884 until Parliament opened at the new castle in 1918. It…
Why did the rebuilding project take so long?
It was a politically turbulent time, with tempers flaring concerning how the Constitution should be interpreted and the country should be ruled. The form of government ended in stalemate with a constitutional struggle between the Conservatives and the Liberals. Delayed decisions and provisionary laws were the order of the day during the political power struggle that made the passing of laws impossible. Disagreement was expressed in the discussion on Parliament's physical setting and the debate on a royal residence at the castle caused more than one winter of discontent. Giving the King an equal residence alongside Parliament would be a very symbolic move, but a majority vote in favour of building a democratic royal castle was not achieved until after the system of government changed in 1901. This paradox is still visible in the numerous patriotic and democratic symbols featured in the neo-baroque royal castle. These include granite from the country's municipalities, the founders of the Constitution and the city arms above the windows.
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