Christiansborg Palace on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the the Danish parliament (Folketing), the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and The Royal Stables. The palace is thus the house of Denmark 's three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government.
Christiansborg Palace is owned by the Danish state, and is run by the Palaces and Properties Agency. The present building is the last in a series of successive castles and palaces constructed on the same site since the erection of the first castle in 1167. Since the early fifteenth century, the various buildings have served as the base of the central administration; until 1794 as the principal residence of the Danish kings and after 1849 as the seat of parliament.
The palace today bears witness to three eras of Danish architecture, as the result of two serious fires. The first fire occurred in 1794 and the second in 1884. The main part of the current palace, finished in 1928, is in the historicist Neo-baroque style. The chapel dates to 1826 and is in a neoclassical style. The showgrounds were built 1738-46, in a baroque style.
The first castle on the site was Absalon's Castle. According to the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, Bishop Absalon of Roskilde built a castle in 1167 on a small island outside Copenhagen Harbour. The castle was made up by a curtain wall, encircling an enclosed courtyard with several buildings, such as the bishop's palace, a chapel and several minor buildings.
During the years after the demolition of Bishop Absalon's castle by the Hansa League in 1369, the ruins on the island were covered with earthworks, on which a new stronghold, Copenhagen Castle, was built. The castle had a curtain wall and was surrounded by a moat and with a large, solid tower as an entrance gate. The castle was still the property of the Bishop of Roskilde until King Eric VII usurped the rights to the castle in 1417. From then on the castle in Copenhagen was occupied by the king. In the middle of the 15th century, the castle became the principal residence of the Danish kings and the centre of government.
The castle was rebuilt several times. In the 1720s, Frederick IV entirely rebuilt the castle, but it became so heavy that the walls began to give way and to crack. It became therefore evident to Christian VI, Frederik IV's successor, immediately after his accession to the throne in 1730, that an entirely new castle had to be built. The demolition of the overextended and antiquated Copenhagen Castle was commenced in 1731 to make room for the first Christiansborg. The ruins of Absalon's castle and Copenhagen Castle were excavated at the start of the 20th century and can be seen today in the subterranean excavations under the present palace.
King Christian VI commissioned architect Elias David Häusser to build the first Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot), and in 1733 work started on a magnificent baroque palace. The palace included show grounds and chapel. Most of the palace complex was completed in 1745. The palace and church were ruined by a fire in 1794, but the showgrounds were saved.
While the royal family lived in temporary accommodations at Amalienborg Palace, the master builder of Altona, architect Christian Frederik Hansen, was called to Copenhagen to resurrect the palace. Hansen started building the second Christiansborg in 1803 in a French Empire style. By the time the palace was finished in 1828, King Frederick VI had decided he did not want to live there after all, and he only used the palace for entertainment. The second Christiansborg burned down in 1884. Saved were the showgrounds and Hansen's chapel.
Thorvald Jørgensen won an architecture competition to decide who would design the third (and current) Christiansborg, which was built from 1907-1928. The palace was to contain premises for the royal family, the legislature and the judiciary, and was built in Neo-baroque style in reinforced concrete with granite-covered facades.
The palace is roughly divided in the middle, with the Parliament located in the southern wing and the Royal Reception Rooms, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister's Office in the northern wing. Several parts of the palace are open to the public after published schedule with guided tours available.
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|Price||normal : 110.00 youth : 55.00 (age 7-14) student : 90.00 (age 14-26)|
|Geographical coordinates||55.6758330, 12.5788890|
|Address||1218 Copenhagen, Prins Jørgens Gård 1|
|More information||official website|