Copenhagen, Denmark – Museums on a rainy day

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My first full day in Copenhagen was scheduled to be rainy. Still jet-lagged, I got out to a fairly late start after my huge hotel breakfast. I intended to start with a walk through Tivoli Gardens, which I had not actually been to on my previous trip to Copenhagen. Just as I arrived at the amusement park & gardens, it started to drizzle, so I decided to change my plan and start with some museums instead. Thanks to the park’s opening times & having other plans, I never actually did make it to Tivoli, making me 0 for 2 on visiting it on trips to Copenhagen. Maybe next time?

My first museum stop was at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which is in central Copenhagen just south of Tivoli. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was collected by the son of the founder of the Carlsberg beer empire, proving once again that beer can lead to good things.

ny carlsberg glyptotek 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The museum features works from all over Europe, including art from Rodin, Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and many more.

Additionally, there are more ancient works from Egypt & Greece.

ny carlsberg glyptotek egyptian 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

If you like sculptures & statues, you will love the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

win a free trip 1 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

ny carlsberg glyptotek statues 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

There were also some modern exhibits, including a walled off room, filled with confetti and fans, so the contents were constantly shifting. The work was called “We All Fall Down” by Lara Favaretto.

lara favaretto we all fall down 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The building itself is also interesting, with a large courtyard and plenty of natural light. Entry to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is free on Tuesdays, which happened to be the day that I was there.

ny carlsberg glyptotek copenhagen 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

My highlights of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek included:

The Rodin scuptures including The Burghers of Calais

burghers of calais rodin 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

Théodore Rousseau’s Thunderstorm over Mont Blanc, which was presented in a room by itself, complete with thunderstorm audio

theodore rousseau thunderstorm over mont blanc 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The special exhibit of all of Degas’ bronze scuptures (though there is some controversy regarding those)

degas bronze sculptures 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

degas little dancer fourteen years 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

And the rooms of European impressionist & post-impressionist paintings

ny carlsberg glyptotek art 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

ny carlsberg glyptotek impressionist 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

ny carlsberg glyptotek paintings 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

I love Van Gogh’s work when viewed in person. If you’ve only ever seen his paintings in a book, be sure to pay extra attention to them, as when you’re actually looking close, you’ll notice their three-dimensional qualities that make them leap off the canvas. This painting is called “Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Paul Hospital.”

van gogh mountainous landscape behind saint paul hospital 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

After about an hour and a half in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, I moved on to the National Museum of Denmark, which is located just a couple of blocks away. Entry is free every day, which is a great quality in a museum. They also encourage photography, specifically mentioning that visitors should share photos on social media. Why should I disappoint them?

national museum of denmark 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The National Museum of Denmark has several galleries covering all of Danish history. I found the most interesting parts to be the prehistory portion, as well as the modern age.

Denmark’s history is extensive and well-preserved. There were a phenomenal amount of archaeological finds from throughout the region. It was one of the nicest sections of ancient history that I’ve found. It was also informative, as I learned a lot about the region, including that it wasn’t all that long ago that it was possible to walk from present-day Denmark to the UK. The museum had exhibits going back thousands of years, including a large amount of Viking artifacts.

A few of the ancient highlights:

Viking age runes

national museum of denmark viking runes 700x933 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The Gundestrup Cauldron

gundestrup cauldron 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The Hjortspring boat (picture it being rowed by Danish people wearing jorts in the springtime, much more fun that way)

hjortspring boat 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The woman of Himlingoje

himlingoje woman 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

Moving closer to modern times, there was a special exhibition titled “The White Buses”, which was all about Germany’s occupation of Denmark during World War II.

nazi occupation denmark white bus 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

I’d missed the section of the museum titled “Peoples of the World” at first, and I wasn’t overly impressed when I eventually found it. I’d rather see even more ancient artifacts than some random exhibits about random countries that have nothing to do with Denmark. The section on Greenland was disappointingly small, as it is a Danish territory, and it would have been interesting to learn more about the island.

national museum of denmark greenland 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

There were also Danish interiors from the 17th & 18th century, as well as perspektivkasser, which were described as peep shows. Sadly, despite the exciting name, the actual perspektivekasser was a huge disappointment, as the peep shows only contained images of churches.

The final exhibition I visited covered the social history of Denmark. I love exhibits about social history, as they are a great way to learn just how a place has evolved to its modern state. The one at the National Museum of Denmark was solid.

national museum of denmark social 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

danish social history posters 700x525 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Museums on a rainy day

The National Museum of Denmark is a great way to get to know the country. Once I was done with the museums, it was time to get some dinner & begin exploring Copenhagen’s bars, but that will be for another post.

Read more posts from my trip to Northern Europe:

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