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www.nadfas.org.ukCity of themermaidTRAVEL/TOURScity of the mermaidCultural and artistic delights of Copenhagen romanovresurgenceDiscover St Petersburg'srenewed splendourthisissueCopenhagen offers a wealth of cultural attractions - be they operatic, artisticor sculptural. Robin McKelvieexplores some of the cultural highlights ofScandinavia's largest cityCopenhagen is one of thosecities, like London and NewYork, whose icons are intimatelyknown around the world. ThinkCopenhagen and that mermaid and thefamous Tivoli Gardens immediatelyspring to mind, but this is also a deeplycultural oasis that is very much theartistic and creative hub of modernDenmark; a city where the innovativecultural scene is rooted in real tradition.Scandinavia's largest and mostenergetic city may be at the cuttingedge of art and design, but the currentbuzz is built on its rich and eclectic past.Nowhere is this more apparent than inCopenhagen's grand castles andpalaces. Amalienborg Palace is thewinter residence of the Danish RoyalFamily, a palace complex that spreadsits impressive tentacles across a quartetof classicist buildings. It may still beused by the Royals, but two of thebuildings are open to visitors. Manycome to take in the wonderfullychoreographed daily changing of theguard ceremony, but it is the epicarchitecture that is the real stand-out. Similarly, Christiansborg Palace stillhas many royal connections and parts ofit are still used by the family, but it is alsothe seat of the Danish Parliament.Located on an islet separated from themodern city by a series of canals, thisimpressive palace is home to an array ofremarkable tapestries that were conjuredup by seminal Dane Bjørn Nørgaard tomark Queen Margrethe II's 50th birthday

Cruise onboardthe 650-passenger MVDiscoveryto explore charmingCopenhagen on two spectacular cruises sailing round-trip from Harwich.'Timeless Baltic' departs on 2 July 2011for 12 days with fares from only £1,247per person. Alternatively, the 18-day'Grand Baltic Discovery' ventures furtherinto the northernmost tip of the Baltic tothe Gulf of Bothnia, departing Harwichon 13 July 2011, with fares from only£1,781 per person. For further info or tobook, call 0844 822 0835 and quoteVODNAD09, see ad on the back pageor visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.comwww.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2011 57TRAVEL/TOURSin 1990. They depict the story of thenation, as imagined by Nørgaard, andhang in the Grand Hall, after beingwoven by the legendary Manufacturedes Gobelins in Paris.Rosenborg Castle, meanwhile, datesback to 1607, commissioned byChristian IV and conjured up in DutchRenaissance style. Today it is home tothe Museum of Danish Royal History,which covers the story of the royal familyfrom the late 16th century right throughto the 19th century, with the highlightsthe Crown Jewels and the DanishCrown Regalia. Much of the castle looksas it would have when Christian IVreclined within its grand walls and tookstrolls in its manicured gardens.Also easily reachable from the city isKronborg Palace in Helsingoer, worldfamous in its other moniker of 'Elsinore',the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet.There is nothing rotten about its glorioustreasures, which include 40 tapestriescommissioned by over 10 Danish kings,while space is also given over to moreexperimental modern art. Its location -overlooking the sound that separatesDenmark from Sweden -is every bit asdramatic as the interior. From thismassively strategic position it guards theentry to the entire Baltic Sea.Copenhagen's ecclesiastic buildingsare in their own less grandiose way asfascinating as the city's epic royalcreations. Our Saviour's Church (VorFrelsers Kirke) is a prime example. Thisbaroque church is unmistakable with itscorkscrew spire and external windingstaircase that leads to sweeping viewsacross the capital's skyline. It also hasone of the largest carillons in Europe,which plays out its melodies every hour. The Danish National Gallery showcasesover 700 years of Western art andcultural history, all under one impressiveroof. Perhaps its most famous paintingis Henri Matisse's portrait of MadameMatisse, while a new extension boastswalls adorned by the works of PaulGernes. It's also the perfect place totake in the cultural pulse of a city whoseown historic grandeur fits so seamlesslywith the ultra modern.When it comes to the performancearts, Copenhagen is no slouch either. Itsays a lot about the city's rich heritagethat the 'New Theatre' dates back to1908 and still plays out to packedaudiences of up to 1,000 people. TheRoyal Danish Theatre's 'Old Stage' iseven older, dating back to the 19thcentury, and today is still home to opera,ballet, theatre and musical concerts. The most striking space of all, though,has to be the Copenhagen Opera House,just across from the Amalienborg Palace.This state-of-the-art US$500m creation,the brainchild of architect HenningLarsen, has been a huge success sinceopening in 2005. It boasts six stagesand can host up to 1,700 operadevotees, and there are alsoregularguided tours.Projects like the Copenhagen OperaHouse have helped the Danish capitalcement its position as the cultural andartistic hub of Scandinavia, and havealso led to it being taken increasinglyseriously across Europe and beyond. Itis a city that tests the artistic senses andsensibilities and yet, after all that cultureyou can still make a visit to see thatmermaid and the Tivoli Gardens for adose of relaxation. Left:Copenhagen'scolourful housesand boats add tothe city's charmBottom left: Strollin the grounds atRosenborg Castle Below right: The world-famousTivoli Gardens