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As I’ve mentioned before, Copenhagen is a vibrant, living city. Denmark is located just north of Germany, and Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest city and capital. With approximately 583,000 residents living in the city itself, and over 1,260,000 people living in the cities “urban area”, it is well known world wide for it’s bicycling paths, open green spaces, and long history. Tucked into an area of 86.20 square kilometers (33 square miles), are around 6,800 people per square km. That density, while not too high contributes to the city’s charm and it’s ability to host an amazing public transportation system, series of national museums, and very public street presence.

Street Life at Nyhavn
(Busy streets of Nyhavn)

As we explored Copenhagen’s streets, and discovered it’s unique charm – we stumbled upon the Ny Carlsberg Gyptotek: The Gyptotek is an astoundingly well put together art museum. The collection is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen. The building is beautiful as well, and is often noted for architecture, and how it complements the artworks arranged within it. Not being a architectural expert I’m going to borrow from Wikipedia to help fill in why the building is so special. “The Dahlerup Wing, the oldest part of the museum, is a lavish historicist building. The façade is in red brick with polished granite columns in a Venetian renaissance style. It houses the French and Danish collections. The Kampmann Wing is a more simple, neo-classical building, built as a series of galleries around a central auditorium used for lectures, small concerts, symposiums and poetry readings. The two wings are connected by the Winter Garden with mosaic floors, tall palms, a fountain and topped by a dome made in copper and wrought iron. The Henning Larsen Wing is a minimalistic infill, built in a former inner courtyard and affording access to the roof.” Those components, and especially the inner domed courtyard, housing sculptures and art where you can sit, enjoy the soothing sounds of the inner fountain and contemplate the beautiful works surrounding you put a finishing on the space that is devine.

Hippo in the grass
(Hippo in the Grass beside the main fountain in the center of the Gyptotek)

Gyptotek denotes the museum’s primary focus, which is on Sculpture. Within the collection are a variety of pieces, including antiques from Egyptian, Roman, and Greecian artists as well as modern sculpture from master’s around the world. There’s a particularly fine number of Rodin’s works.

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The Museum is often noted for architecture, and how it complements the artworks layed out within it. Not being a architecture expert I’m going to borrow from Wikipedia to help fill in the why the building is so special. “The Dahlerup Wing, the oldest part of the museum, is a lavish historicist building. The façade is in red brick with polished granite columns in a Venetian renaissance style. It houses the French and Danish collections. The Kampmann Wing is a more simple, neo-classical building, built as a series of galleries around a central auditorium used for lectures, small concerts, symposiums and poetry readings. The two wings are connected by the Winter Garden with mosaic floors, tall palms, a fountain and topped by a dome made in copper and wrought iron. The Henning Larsen Wing is a minimalistic infill, built in a former inner courtyard and affording access to the roof.”

As you delve deeper into the museum, and walk among the otherworldly sculptures, you begin to discover that the Gyptotek has another side hidden within it. On the walls, tucked into the cielings, and scattered throughout the museum are paintings and freeze’s which are also exceptional. As you move on to the next floor of the museum you’ll also discover that there is a fantastic collection of French impressionists and Danish “Golden Age” paintings on display. The layout of the museum has you walking among giants, entranced by their detail, and lifelike demeanor, before encountering mummies, and Egyptian relics, and then delving into the finer art of painting and relishing in a special exhibit focused on the mixture of the two. The recreation of painted sculpture, demonstrating what your first impressions might have looked like in their original form.

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(Leaving the special exhibit you’re faced with an amazing display of busts).

The Museum then takes you on a new journey, and as you progress deeper into it’s exhibits you find yourself immersed in the French Collection, which includes art from Jacques-Louis David, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne. Interspersed are pieces by van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard.

Every step is a step of discovery.