The Cristiansborg castle is not the first castle at the location – it is actually the forth castle located on the small island called Slotsholmen which translate into castle island. Slotsholmen has had a castle since Absalon became bishop of Copenhagen and according to legend founded the city in 1167 – actually there had been a settlement at the location more than a century before Absalon founded the city.
Absalon built his castle to help protect the large settlement of fishermen and traders which has sprung up around the many small islands between the larger islands of Amager and Zealand. The castle originally was fairly small since the settlement was small. But over the centuries the city grew in importance and the castle went through countless modifications and became the home of the royal family who ruled the country from the castle.
The many modifications made the castle very outdated and the royal family was not happy with the state of the castle – so they decided to tore it down and build a new modern castle called Christiansborg.
The first Christiansborg stood at this location between 1732 and 1794 – but then it burnt down. There was still the need for a new castle so they built the second Christiansborg in 1803 and it stood until it burnt down in 1884. The times had changed but they did rebuilt the castle one more time – it was no longer primarily a royal residence instead it had become the home of the Danish parliament.
The castle was rebuilt was finished in 1907 and fortunately there has been no more fires in the parliament so it is still standing.
When the castle has been rebuilt they didn’t move all the rubbles – instead they just built the new version of the castle on top of the old rubbles. And today you can actually go below the castle and have a look at the ruins under the castle.
It is pretty fun to go down and have a look at the ruins under the castle and usually there isn’t too much of a crowd so you can go and explore quietly on your own.