The Copenhagen Tales

Remember last year, when I had this plan to visit one museum per month? I think I managed three or four, so not a very good quota!

I still have many Copenhagen museums left to visit - the Hirschsprung Collection, National Gallery, and the Royal Stables, to name a few. And then there’s oddballs like the Medicinal Museion that are not exactly at the top of my list, but sound intriguing anyways, and the Workers’ Museum has been recommended to me many times as well.

I’m also eager to go back to Glyptoteket and Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), both of which I feel I haven’t even begun to fully explore.

One Copenhagen museum that’s been high on my list for a while is Thorvaldsens Museum, located right next to the parliament building Christiansborg, which holds marble and plaster sculptures of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, as well as selected paintings and antiques from Thorvaldsen’s private collection.

The museum’s architecture, patterned tiled floors, and colorful walls are absolutely amazing - as is the art on display, of course. One of the building’s characteristics is the large hall, in which two giant statues of army leaders on horseback are displayed opposite of each other.

Another distinct architectural feature are the long hallways on either side of the building, which are lined by a long row of small rooms, which allow to showcase one statue at a time, and makes for amazing visuals through the doorways.

Among the statues, you’ll find a mix of commissioned portraits and busts for noblemen and -women of Thorvaldsen’s time, as well as a myriad of depictions of figures from Greek and Roman mythology.

The goddess Venus

Vulcan, god of fire and blacksmith of the gods

Ganymede and Jupiter’s eagle

Shepherd boy with his dog

Ganymede, pouring wine for the gods

The museum has a free audio guide, which I highly recommend you make use of. It’s available in both Danish and English and provides analysis and background to most of the statues on display on the museum’s ground floor.

On the first floor, you’ll find a collection of paintings as well as some antique items - vases, coins, signet rings - that belonged to Thorvaldsen himself.

My favorite part was definitely the ground floor. I spent about two hours slowly wandering from one room to the next, listening to the audio guide and taking in the sculptures.

Bertel Thorvaldsen, who lived in Rome most of his working life, returned to Denmark a few years before his death, and is buried in the museum’s courtyard.

Bertel Thorvaldsen himself

Have you visited Thorvaldsens Museum? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Thorvaldsens Museum  |   Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads 2, 1213 Copenhagen   |


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