An Architecture Trail In The UNESCO City Of Copenhagen

Copenhagen has been declared the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture until 2026. Here's a guide to exploring the vibrant city known for inventive and sustainable spaces
The 8 Tallet building in Orestad, Copenhagen
The 8 Tallet building in Orestad, CopenhagenLunnaya/Shutterstock

Did you know that the city of Copenhagen is designated as a World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO? This was done on the recommendation of the General Assembly of the International Union of Architects (UIA) for its strong tradition in architecture and innovative urban development and its high objectives in climate, sustainable solutions, and liveability.

Copenhagen is home to some significant players on the global architectural scene, particularly in sustainable architecture. Here's a list of places to visit.

Check Out The Colourful Houses Of Christianshavn

Christianshavn is one of Copenhagen's most charming areas, thanks to its colourful buildings, idyllic canals, and other features. The area comprises small islands and is best explored by bike, on foot along the quays, or even from the ocean.

One of Denmark's most notable churches is the Church of Our Saviour. The serpentine spire was completed in 1752, and today, climbing all 400 stairs to the summit is a famous tourist attraction.

A canal lined with historical buildings in Christianshavn
A canal lined with historical buildings in Christianshavn 365 Focus Photography / Shutterstock

Check Out The Sustainable SDG Pavilions

The Sustainable Development Goal Pavilions in Copenhagen are experimental works for the World Capital of Architecture and the UIA World Congress of Architects. The structures are scattered around Copenhagen, including the city's famous port area. Each pavilion is the result of a collaboration between architects, engineers, material producers, science institutions, associations, and foundations, all of whom are working to ask the right questions about future building, with each pavilion relating to one or more of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Royal Vibes At Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace, which once housed kings and queens, currently houses the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. You can walk in the footsteps of royalty by visiting the state rooms.

The Royal Family still uses several of the gilded rooms and salons for various functions and festivities. The Tower Room and The Oval Throne Room are two of the Royal Reception Rooms where the Queen receives foreign ambassadors to Denmark. The opulent Throne Room leads to the balcony where Danish monarchs are crowned, with twin thrones to admire.

Christiansborg Palace and Tower with the statue of Frederik VII
Christiansborg Palace and Tower with the statue of Frederik VII Dr. Victor Wong / Shutterstock

Explore Minimalism At Danmarks Nationalbank

Arne Jacobsen, the internationally renowned Danish architect, designed the Danmarks Nationalbank building with a minimalist architectural statement. It is situated in the heart of Copenhagen, surrounded by spectacular 19th-century structures. Porsgrunn, a characteristic Norwegian marble, is interlaced with glass and set on the building's facade in flat, vertical panels. Several buildings surrounding Danmarks Nationalbank have uniform vertical surfaces.

A panoramic view of the city center with the National Bank and historic stock exchange
A panoramic view of the city center with the National Bank and historic stock exchangeArtMediaFactory / Shutterstock

A Mix Of Nature And Contemporary Architecture At Ørestad

This three-square-kilometre neighbourhood has world-class architecture, breathtaking nature, cutting-edge examples of sustainable living, and an ever-expanding food scene. Built on a former marshland, this urban district continues to expand and impress residents and visitors.

Structure merge with nature in Ørestad
Structure merge with nature in ØrestadBERK OZDEMIR / Shutterstock

Pick Up A Handy Guide

The latest edition of the Danish Architecture Center's Guide to New Architecture is available in Copenhagen. It has chosen 100 of the most notable recent architectural projects, including parks, squares, bridges, and skyscrapers. The guide is in English and is excellent for a self-driven sightseeing tour of the city. Check it out here.

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