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.