Nyhavn and the Marble Church
The last whole day in Copenhagen started with breakfast at the hotel, after which we decided to check out some stores. The only thing we bought was a cookbook, Copenhagen Food: Stories, Tradition and Recipes by Trine Hahnemann. My niece, who lives in Brussels happened to be in Copenhagen at the same time visiting a friend, so we decided to meet up for lunch at ChÀo Viet Kitchen. I chose Bun Nam Bo, rice noodles with shrimp, mixed salad, herbs, fried onions, peanuts and blended fish sauce, hubby ate Chao Ca Ri, a unique Curry coconut milk creation with chicken, mixed salad, herbs, fried onions and peanuts, and my niece had Bun Chay, rice noodles with tofu crispy portobello mushrooms, herbs, fresh mixed salad, peanuts, roasted onions and homemade vegan fish sauce. All the food was delicious and made with fresh ingredients.
After lunch we decided to walk to Nyhavn, which is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district that originally was a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. The area was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and alehouses. It is lined by brightly colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses that now have been renovated and house bars, cafes and restaurants. This is the area that is prominently featured in all types of travel photos from Copenhagen. After enjoying a drink in one of the many restaurants we decided to take a stroll to the Marble Church.
The Marble Church, officially called Frederik’s Church was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and was intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg. The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were abandoned by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years. In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark’s Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins of the uncompleted church and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen on the condition that Tietgen would build a church in a style similar to the original plans and donate it to the state when complete. Tietgen got Ferdinand Meldahl to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial restrictions, the original plans for the church to be built almost entirely from marble were discarded, and instead Meldahl opted for construction to be done with limestone. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894. Frederick’s Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m. The dome rests on 12 columns. After visiting the church, we visited the yard of Amalienborg castle.
Then it was time to head back towards our hotel and my niece was catching up with her friend who had been at work. After returning to the hotel we relaxed and got ready for dinner, which was to be our first ever one Michelin star experience. Read all about this experience in my next and final Copenhagen post.