Round Tower (Rundetarn), Copenhagen

Round Tower (Rundetarn), Copenhagen (must see)

Located in central Copenhagen, the famous 17th-century Rundetårn – or Round Tower – was part of King Christian IV's architectural projects, having been built as an observatory for the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. Tourists from all over the world come to enjoy the expansive view of Copenhagen from the top after climbing through its 7.5-turn helical corridor.

Astronomy grew to be very important in 17th century Europe and this led to the mushrooming of many observatories. The Rundetårn observatory, originally referred to as STELLÆBURGI REGII HAUNIENSIS, consisted of an academic library, the Trinitatis Church, and a university chapel where scholars spent their time. The tower's well-known spiral ramp was mentioned by architect Lauritz de Thurah as being "of such a strength and breadth that it is even possible to ride and drive up and down the tower on horseback or by carriage – an act that has been done, as is well known, by several of our kings, as well as the Russian Tsar PETER ALEXEWITZ in the year 1716, when His Majesty often rode up and down".

Walking along the ramp, your first stop is a museum/library hall with different installations from contemporary artists, followed by the bells room, and – last but not least – the astronomical observatory with its 360-degree overview.

***HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN'S COPENHAGEN***
Having once housed the University's entire book collection, the Library Hall was regularly visited by Denmark's famous writer, who sought inspiration for his work. If you love Andersen's fairy tales, you will definitely feel their spirit inside Rundetårn. The tower itself was mentioned in "The Tinderbox", wherein the main character – a poor soldier returning home from war – meets a witch, who asks him to climb into a hollow tree to retrieve a magic tinderbox. The witch gives the soldier permission to take anything he finds inside the chambers, but he must return the tinderbox. In the tree, he finds three chambers filled with precious coins guarded by three monstrous dogs, "one with eyes the size of teacups", who guards a vault filled with pennies, one with "eyes the size of water wheels", who guards a vault filled with silver, and one with eyes "the size of Round Tower", who guards a vault filled with gold.

Why You Should Visit:
Not just a tower offering great city views of the city, but a structure full of interest, with its slow increasing grade walkway, some good information as you go, and a gallery half way up. One of the alcoves, about ¾ of the way up, has a thick glass platform that visitors can stand on and look down the building's hollow core!

Tip:
The little café above the church next door has a really cool vibe – perfect for a simple coffee with no crowds. There's also a clean toilet halfway through the tower, as well as a good quality souvenir shop right before accessing the outside balcony.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Copenhagen. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Round Tower (Rundetarn) on Map

Sight Name: Round Tower (Rundetarn)
Sight Location: Copenhagen, Denmark (See walking tours in Copenhagen)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Copenhagen, Denmark

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