- The view
‘The view’ is the viewing platform and the highest level you can visit at the tower. It provides you with a magnificent, panoramic view of Copenhagen. The viewing platform is situated at a height of 44 metres and has a maximum capacity of 50 people at a time.
Visiting the viewing platform is free of charge but it may be necessary to wait to come up (and down) in the lift. Read more about access, opening hours and other practical information at taarnet.dk/info.
You can just visit the viewing platform or combine a visit with a meal in the restaurant. Please note that the restaurant is very popular so it is a good idea to book a table in advance. Read more about the restaurant at taarnet.dk/restaurant.
If you take photos from the viewing platform, use the hashtag #taarnet, when you post them on social media such as Instagram and Facebook.
- The History
The tower was constructed as part of the third, and present-day, Christiansborg Palace, which was built during the period 1907-1928. Like the rest of the palace, it was designed by architect Thorvald Jørgensen but the plans for the tower were changed several times due, among other things, to a budget overrun. This meant that some of the decorative elements had to be cut back so there was only one crown on top of the tower when the palace was completed in 1928.
It was only in 1934 that two more crowns were added. The initiative for this was taken by the then Minister for the Interior, Bertel Dahlgaard, who felt that, with only one crown, the tower looked too much like the one on top of the railway station at Korsør. With the addition of the two crowns, mounted on what is known as a gable spire, the tower became higher than the tower on top of Copenhagen City Hall. At a height of 106 metres, the tower on Christiansborg Palace is still the highest tower in Copenhagen – 40 centimetres higher than the city hall tower.
The three crowns are also a symbol of the Kalmar Union, the historical alliance between Denmark, Norway and Sweden that lasted from 1397 to 1523. In addition to the crowns, the gable spire on the tower is decorated with a cross, indicating that Denmark is a Christian country, and a weather vane. The spire also contains eight figures created by sculptor Axel Locher. They are 3.1 metres tall, made of copper and include a fisherman and a farmer as representatives of the country’s most important occupations.
Renovation of the roof
The tower is made of reinforced concrete with a granite-clad facade and a tiled roof. After a national collection in 1937, the tiles were replaced with copper cladding. An inspection of the cladding and the underlying reinforced concrete at the beginning of the new millennium revealed that they were in such poor condition that a radical renovation was necessary. The renovation took place between 2006-2009.
After the renovation, the roof is copper-brown in colour, but the wind and the weather over the next 20 years will cause it to become coated with verdigris and return it to its characteristic green colour. The new copper cladding is expected to remain intact for about 100 years.
- The Palace
With its tower as a distinctive landmark, Christiansborg Palace can be seen from a great distance – it rises above the houses in central Copenhagen and occupies a prominent location in the city. Where Christiansborg Palace lies, there have been many different buildings down through the years. First, a bishop’s castle, then a castle with a prison keep and three different versions of Christiansborg Palace. The third, and present-day, Christiansborg Palace was built during the period 1907-1928.
Today, the Danish Parliament has most of the palace rooms at its disposal, including the tower. The Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court are also housed at Christiansborg. Over and above this, parts of the palace are at the disposal of the royal house. Queen Margrethe uses the Royal Reception Rooms at Christiansborg for official arrangements, such as state dinners, the New Year’s levée and audiences. Each part of the palace has its own entrance and it is not normally possible to move between the various parts indoors.
The Danish Parliament
You can also visit other parts of Christiansborg Palace when you visit the Tower. You can go on a conducted tour of the Danish Parliament. Conducted tours take place on Sundays, public holidays and school holidays. A guide will show you around and you can see the Lobby, the Landsting Hall, the Constitutional Acts and the Chamber. Tours are free of charge and can be booked in advance at ft.dk. You can also collect tickets on the day at the Visitors’ Entrance.
Read more about The Danish Parliament at thedanishparliament.dk.
Other sights to see in the palace
In addition to visiting the tower and the Danish Parliament, Christiansborg Palace is a treasure-house of tapestries, chandeliers, underground ruins, golden coaches and snow-white horses. Read more about the other attractions at the palace at christiansborg.dk:
- Practical Info
Christiansborg Palace and its tower are located on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen. The entrance to the tower is at the King’s Gate, a large gate in the centre of the palace (immediately beneath the tower). See this picture. The King’s Gate can be reached from the Palace Square and from the Inner Courtyard (via the Marble Bridge and the Riding Ground). There is a lift from the entrance to the top of the tower. The stairs cannot be used.
It is easy to get to the tower by public transport. You can plan your journey at www.rejseplanen.dk. Enter ‘Christiansborg’ as your destination. The following buses stop near Christiansborg: 1A, 2A, 26, 40, 66 and 350S. The closest metro stations are Kongens Nytorv and Christianshavn, both at a distance of about one kilometre. The closest railway stations are Copenhagen H and Nørreport.
There are very few parking spaces close to the tower and Christiansborg. They can be found at Slotsholmsgade and along Frederiksholm Canal, among other places. Parking in the area is subject to payment. Read more about parking in Copenhagen Municipality at kk.dk.
The View – Monday: Closed. Tuesday-Sunday: 11 AM-9 PM
The restaurant – Monday: Closed. Tuesday-Sunday: 11.30 AM-4PM and 5.30PM-11 PM. The kitchen closes at 10 PM. The restaurant might be closed due to private events.
There is no charge for visiting the tower.
Access and waiting time
There will be signs at the entrance to the King’s Gate indicating two queues: one to the restaurant and one to the tower and the viewing platform. The queue to the restaurant is for those who have booked a table in advance and those who hope there will be vacant tables. If the queue is long, staff will as far as possible prioritise those visitors who have booked a table for a certain time. Visitors are recommended to arrive well in advance of the time they have booked a table for.
You often have to queue to visit the View. The best times to see the View are from 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
There is a scanner at the entrance for the sake of security. As a rule, a security check – similar to the way people are scanned at airports – takes only a few minutes.
The restaurant in the tower is run by Bojesen A/S and, as it is very popular, visitors are encouraged to book a table in advance. Read more about the restaurant, see the menu and book a table at taarnet.dk/restaurant.
Smoking is not permitted in the restaurant or on the viewing platform. Restaurant guests who wish to smoke must take the lift down to the entrance, but they may have to wait to enter the tower again.
Photographs can be taken for private use, but commercial photography and recordings that require the use of special equipment are only permitted by agreement with the Danish Parliament. Read more about press access.
Dogs and other pets
Animals may not be taken into the tower. Guide dogs and service dogs accompanying their owners, however, can be taken into the restaurant and to the viewing platform.
There is a simple cloakroom on the restaurant floor for the restaurant’s guests. It is not manned and items left there are the visitor’s responsibility.
There are toilets at the entrance and the restaurant.
Only cases and handbags measuring no more than 55 cm in height, 40 cm in width and 23 cm in depth may be taken into the tower. It is not possible to deposit suitcases, bags and other types of luggage at the entrance.
Food and drink
Food and beverages may not be taken into the tower.
Credit cards and cash
The restaurant accepts Dankort, VISA, Master Card, JCB and Union Pay cards. Payment in cash can be made in Danish kroner (DKK).
There are defibrillators at the entrance and in the restaurant. Staff can operate them.
Wheeled walkers can be taken into the tower.
Parking bikes at the King’s Gate (at the entrance to the tower) is not permitted, but there are some cycle racks around Christiansborg, at the Rigsdag Courtyard, among other Places.
Tower staff cannot accept responsibility for lost property. Items left in the tower will be taken to the Service Centre in the Danish Parliament where they can be collected by their rightful owners.
It is necessary to queue up to visit the viewing platform, both for groups and individuals. Advance booking is not possible for groups or individuals. It is possible to book a group table in the restaurant by calling Bojesen on telephone no. +45 3337 3100. To book all or part of the restaurant for a party or an event, read more here.
It is not possible at present to book a conducted tour, neither as a group nor as an individual.
Prams and pushchairs
Prams and pushchairs (including umbrella strollers) cannot be taken into the tower, but can be stored at the entrance level.
Children in the restaurant
Children are welcome in the restaurant when accompanied by adults. High chairs for infants are not available.
There are changing facilities in the toilets at the entrance and the restaurant.
The viewing platform and the restaurant can be visited in a wheelchair.
Toilets for the disabled
There are toilets for the disabled at the entrance and the restaurant.
Parking for the disabled
Disabled people can park in Christiansborg Palace Square between Christiansborg Chapel and the Palace and at Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads near the entrance to Thorvaldsen’s Museum.
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PIGEONS IN THE TOWER
Pigeons in the Tower is a site-specific installation in the Tower at Christiansborg Castle, created by the artist Eva Koch in 2015.
The tower room of Christiansborg Palace has always been used as a box room. Things piled up in here over the years and time stood still. When the Tower was built in 1918 it was open to the heavens, which made it popular with the city’s pigeons until it was finally roofed over.
Eva Koch envisaged the room as it was originally – a storage room – and has brought the pigeons back. So here they are, all the various breeds that have lived in the tower over the years. Pigeons are the link that bind different eras together. There have always been pigeons in the city, generation of children have awoken to their soft cooing, have seen the flocks gather over the square and take to the air with a clatter.
The pigeons is the oldest knowns tame bird and has been used as a message carrier for centuries. Its Danish name ‘due’ originates from the ancient Norse ‘dúfa’.
Pigeons live in the wild, but they are also found in myths, our collective memories, poems and images.