Mirroring the clouds

European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main

When passing through the East of Frankfurt you might certainly see a giant skyscraper. It doesn’t look like a part of a skyline – it is standing out and surrounded by rather small buildings and residential zones. The giant glass windows look like a giant mirroring and it is really an amazing piece of architecture. That doesn’t only seem to be my opinion; for some years, every time when I was passing through the Ostend with friends one of them said: ‘Do you see this building? That is the new European Central Bank!‘. Proudly. Like it doesn’t happen so often with a skyscraper in Frankfurt.

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No photo!

Fristad Christiania, København

The Fristad Christiania is a special place in København. You shouldn’t walk in, enjoy the lights in the evening hours and try to take a photo. I made this error and was directly approached by someone who wanted to make sure that the picture is deleted – and therefore wanted to check my smartphone. Why is that? Christiania is still a place where illegal drugs are sold and consumed and clearly, nobody wants to be pictured while doing illegal things.

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Star-shaped fortification

Kastellet, København

When you look on a map of København, Denmark, you might be surprised by seeing a star-shaped structure in the north of the city – not far away from the little mermaid. It is a fortification protecting the harbour of the city and it was finished in 1667: the Kastellet. The military area is very well preserved and includes a system of moats. Today you can visit it freely through the gates and on wooden bridges.

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Den Blå Planet

Den Blå Planet, København

I think you can’t get to the shore without having a look at maritime life. Is it only me? Therefore I had to visit the national aquarium of Denmark in Kastrup – a suburb of København. It is called The Blue Planet (Den Blå Planet) and is a pretty new aquarium opened in 2013 with very modern architecture. The aquarium itself dates back to 1939 and was located in the north of the capital city until 2012 – by then the 20,000 inhabitants of 450 species moved to the new location.

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Round residence

Amalienborg, København

If you’re interested in Danish monarchy Amalienborg castle is (next to Rosenborg and Christiansborg) one of the stops you should make in København. It is a combination of four rococo style palaces surrounding an octagonal square and it is the city residence of the Danish queen. In its centre, you’ll find a statue of King Frederick V. – the founder of Amalienborg and when the royal family is present the changing of the guards’ ceremony takes place here at high noon.

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State visit

Christiansborg, København

Christiansborg castle was once the seat of the Danish royal family in København. First fortifications at this place date back to the year 1167, it became the seat of Christian VI. after it was built in rococo style in 1736. Only 58 years later in 1794 a fire destroyed the building and the royals shifted their home to Amalienborg castle. Today it is the only representational building in the world that combines all three supreme powers: legislative, judicative and executive.

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Round and round

Rundetårn, København

Good views on a city normally require you to take many stars up on a tower or hill – the round tower or Rundetårn in København is a very welcome alternative. You can walk up onto the 35 meters high tower nearly without stairs on a giant spiral. It is an astronomical tower connected to the old university library and the spiral was used to transport books up on horse carriages.

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Nyhavn

Nyhaven, København

If you’re looking for a restaurant or a nice bar to hang out – take a look at the new harbour of København. The Nyhavn was finished in 1673 and already by that time a lot of taverns for the sailors lined up there. Today the tattoo studios and the dark sides with prostitution, burglary and bar fights are gone. If you get there you can see a lot of colourful small houses along the water, enjoy some old ships placed there and take a look at the beautiful illumination in the evening.

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Den Lille Havfrue

Den lille Havfrue, København

The absolute and unquestioned icon of København, Denmark, is a little mermaid located in the harbour of the city. In Danish, it is called Den Lille Havfrue. People often imagine it as much larger but it is a rather small bronze statue (125 cm, 175 kg) sitting on a stone – which becomes more beautiful when it is illuminated at night. It can be found at the Langelinie, north of the city centre.

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