Garden with a secret

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In the center of Copenhagen right across from the parliament you find a small garden. It is a nice little garden surrounded by several old buildings. Usually when it is good weather the garden attracts a lot of people enjoying the sun during a break from work or people on maternity leave bringing the baby strollers.

Royal Library inside on the harbor side of the garden

The garden is pretty and it is surrounded by historic buildings on all side. Down towards the harbor you find the old main building of the Danish Royal Library which has since expanded across the street down at the edge of the harbor. The Royal Library is the oldest library in Denmark and has the biggest collection of Danish books in the world including some ancient writings which only exist in one copy.

The garden hasn’t always been a garden – back in the old day it had a different function – I doubt many people can guess it. But at the wall at the end of the garden furthest away from the Royal Library you can see the remains of the history of the garden. In the wall there are several big rings which were used by naval ships to anchor up in what used to be the main harbor of the Danish navy.

A big navy needed supply and the old buildings on both sides of the harbor were there to serve the ships in the harbor. When you stand with your back towards the wall of the garden on your right you have Tøjhuset which today is the museum of the Danish armed forces – but in the old days it was supplying the navy with the weapons and ammunition it needed to go to battle. On the left side you will have Proviantgaarden which means the provision building – this is where the ships in the harbor got their food and drinks supply to go on long voyages. Today Proviantgaarden is used as headquarter of the Danish national archive and other parts of the building is used to house some of the members and staff of the Danish parliament.

Ring in the back wall

Most people going to the harbor today don’t know the history of the garden – so if you go make sure to have a look for the big old rings at the back wall of the garden and you will see something most of the locals don’t know is right in front of them.


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