The big CPH-guide for the #TDF (for nerds)

I’ve designed a city-walk that’ll teach you a bit about CPH’s history.
It’s told through the route that the riders will take on the stage 1 TT. I recommend you keep this map open as a reference.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

1/40-ish Stage 1 (TT) TDF
Old and disgusting

What’s important to know is that CPH is old. Very old. The city used to be personal property of the kings of Denmark for centuries and was a fortress-city as well as capital.
Essentially all of Copenhagen was a big fort with the military having a huge influence and being a considerable part of the population.

As a side-effect prostitution was widespread in the city back in the 1600-1700’s…
The walls were the city-limit and until mid-1800’s the growing population had to live on very limited space.

It was a stinking and very unhealthy city with filth in the street. I’ll spare you the details.

This is important to know, as the TDF will start along the old walls which were torn down in the years after the abolition of absolutism and the beginning of the Danish democracy which begun with our constitution in 1849 called ‘Grundloven’ and which saw Copenhagen expand rapidly
Not 1 but 2 Ørsteds opened up the city

The Time Trial starts down Nørre Farimagsgade (See map), which was built just outside the old walls. We can see that today as the rider’s will have Ørstedsparken on their right side as they go down the ramp.
Some will tell you that Ørstedsparken is named after physicist H.C Ørsted.

That is actually incorrect. It’s named after him AND his brother A.S Ørsted who was a major political figure in the late 1800’s
This park was built on the site of the old walls which explains the park’s hilly terrain.

Ørstedsparken was planned to be a breath of fresh air into the city: literally. This takes some theoretical background. Ørstedsparken
The prevailing medical idea at the time was that diseases spread through dirty air (Called Miasma Theory).

So if you opened up Copenhagen with parks etc. you’d get a healthier city in contrast to the walled-in crammed city of before.
This park-belt (Ørstedsparken, Østre Anlæg etc.) was thought of as the lungs of the city.

Today we know diseases spread through bacteria but that wasn't until later in the 1800's.

More on how Miasma Theory affected Copenhagen’s design later.

The working class

The riders then take a left and leave the “old city” and go across Copenhagen’s old water-reservoir ‘The Lakes’ on Dronning Louises Bro - The most bike-trafficked place in Copenhagen btw - into one of the 3 “Brokvarterer” Nørrebro. Dronning Louises Bro
These areas were the heart of Denmark’s beginning industrialization in the years after Grundloven and democracy.

Back in the 1800’s Copenhagen needed more space, as its population had been trapped behind the city’s walls (100.000’s of people lived on very little space).
Now that the king didn’t own the city anymore it spread fast and Brokvartererne was now the sight of the construction of thousands of new buildings for the intended purpose of housing the new working class of Copenhagen which were working in the city’s industry (Carlsberg e.g.)
The invention of the bike was actually important in this, as people could now travel further from their home to work. Increased mobility of the working forces.

So, despite being really close to the center of Copenhagen, Brokvartererne is actually “only” 150 years old.
We leave the once working-class area of Nørrebro (now it’s hip and expensive as everywhere else).
We take a right down Fælledvej, Blegdamsvej and then a right to get across Fredensbro and the lake before we get back into the old city we take a left along Øster Søgade.

As we get to the end of the lake we go left and into the second ‘Brokvarter’ called Østerbro.

We go down Østerbrogade, until we reach the old Cable-car station ‘Trianglen’ - recognizable by the old waiting-room in the center Trianglen
From here we go down Øster Alle with ‘Fælledparken’ on the left hand and national football stadium ‘Parken’ on the right.

It’s used by current national champions FC København and of course the national team. It was here Christian Eriksen had his horrible heart attack last year.
Btw if the helicopter film this large impressive building:

This belongs to the freemasons of Denmark.
Says a lot about it, that when the Nazi’s occupied Denmark they saw this building and said: “Yep. That’s our new headquarter.”
They used it from September 1943 and until 1945.
A fort for the people, against the people

Skipping ahead a bit, we take a right down Jagtvej, a right down Østerbrogade, and we go all the way down until we take a left down Folke Bernadottes Allé by the fortress ‘Kastellet’.
Construction started under Christian IV, but it was really Frederik III who started using it.

During his reign (1648-1670) CPH was besieged by the Swedish and all of DK was occupied by them as the Swedish king marched his army across the icy waters between Jutland and Seeland!
This was one of the most daring military maneuvers in history, as the Swedish king caught Denmark off guard with the crossing, and easily besieged CPH and assaulted the city.

CPH survived only with Dutch help in this Second Northern War.
After this war Frederik III managed to become Denmark’s first absolute monarch in an incredible story we won’t get into today.

But suffice to say that ‘Kastellet’s canons would be aimed both outwards towards enemies as well as towards Copenhagen and its citizens itself…
April 9th

We go past The Little Mermaid, and down Langelinie where the first German troops landed in Copenhagen in the early hours of April 9th 1940. Simultaneously German soldiers crossed the border in Jutland and within hours Denmark would surrender to the German Wehrmacht.
We go down Amaliegade and cross Amalienborg Slotsplads. In the streets surrounding this spot the King’s Guard would get into open combat with the German invading forces on April 9th. Denmark would be occupied until May 1945. Amalienborg today (left) and on 9th April 1940
Being shot at by invading German’s they would defend the King with their lives until they were told to surrender by King Christian X.

This was one of the few examples of resistance in Denmark on that day as the Danish government saw it as futile.
Amalienborg Slot is today one of two homes of Queen Margrethe 2.

She mainly stays in Fredensborg Slot north of Copenhagen though. Crown-Prince Frederik does live here with his family.
Picturesque tourist-trap

We now continue down Bredgade towards Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn.

The ladder was built by Swedish prisoners of war in the 1670’s after one of many wars between Denmark and Sweden. Several houses from the 1600’s are still here.

27/40-ish Nyhavn
Although back then it was more famous for its brothels than today where it’s one of the biggest tourist-traps in CPH. You’ve probably seen pictures of it.

As you can tell it’s inspired by the Dutch harbor-design you see in fx Amsterdam with the narrow facades facing the harbor.
With Nyhavn on the rider’s left you have Kongens Nytorv (King’s New square) on the right.

The square goes back to the 1600’s. Today some of CPH’s famous most buldings are here:
The mall Magasin Du Nord (Center pic), The Royal Theatre (Left) and one of Denmark’s most luxurious hotels: Hotel D’Angleterre are here.

We continue down Holmens Kanal, Niels Juels Gade, the riders go underneath Knippelsbro and down Christians Brygge
The epicenter of power

We’re now on Slotsholmen. The two major buildings here are on the rider’s right side. The one is home of the Danish parliament ‘Christiansborg’ and the other is ‘Børsen’.

The former has a long history as the center of power in CPH.

We can trace fortifications in this spot all the way back to Copenhagen’s founder Bishop Absalon who build a castle in this spot back in 1100’s.

Parts of that castle can be found underneath ‘Christiansborg’ today. Christiansborg
Since then several castles has been build in the same spot.

All to be used by the ruling monarch but as mentioned today it is now used by the Danish parliament.
A very symbolic move as the power has moved from the royal family to the parliament all in the same spot in the city
The current castle is from 1920’s after a huge fire had destroyed the former, In general Copenhagen has been destroyed n by huge fires throughout its history.

Most of them accidents. One of them created by a British Naval bombardment in 1807 during the Napoleonic War.
‘Børsen’ (The Stock Exchange) built by Christian IV probably the most entrepreneurial of the Danish kings.

CPH is dotted with significant buildings from his reign (Rundetårn Rosenborg Slot etc.) the most remarkable about the almost 400 year old building is its incredible spire
Boulevard before the car

We leave now continuing along the harbour which would’ve been crammed with ships back in the day as Copenhagen was a big trade hub.

We do a right-left combination and are now on HC Andersens’s Boulevard. The home stretch.
Named after our greatest poet the funny thing about this boulevard is the fact, that it was built before the invention of cars.

Inspired by the Parisian city-design it wasn’t meant for traffic as much as it had a Miasmatic purpose (remember that?).

The wide street was thought to bring clean air into the city, and people would say that the park’s was CPH’s lungs. The boulevards was its veins.
The riders won’t have time to enjoy it, as they race down towards the finish at Rådhuspladsen. On the left you the museum 'Glyptoteket' founded by the Carlsberg foundation (left)

This is followed by Tivoli Garden built back in 1850’s as a place for leisure and pleasure.
Rådhuspladsen is located today approximately where the southern wall of the city would’ve been back in the day.

The beautiful town-hall is from early 1900’s. Inspired by the one in Sienna where another bike-race: Strade Bianche has its finish. Seems kind of fitting.
And that's the finish!

I hope you enjoyed this walkthrough.

If you have any questions feel free to comment, DM or mail me (in bio). I would love to get into more detail with some of these places and subjects.

RT's and shares are appreciated.

Vive le Tour!🇩🇰🇫🇷
Thanks for the overwhelming amount of kind words everybody!🙌

Minor correction: Tivoli Garden was founded on 15th of August 1843 and not 1850's as I said above.

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