The earliest written mention of the town was in the 12th century when Saxo Grammaticus in Gesta Danorum referred to it as Portus Mercatorum, meaning 'Merchants' Harbour' or, in the Danish of the time, Købmannahavn. Traditionally, Copenhagen's founding has been dated to Bishop Absalon's construction of a modest fortress on the little island of Slotsholmen in 1167 where Christiansborg Palace stands today. The construction of the fortress was in response to attacks by Wendish pirates who plagued the coastline during the 12th century. Defensive ramparts and moats were completed and by 1177 St. Clemens Church had been built. Attacks by the Wends continued, and after the original fortress was eventually destroyed by the marauders, islanders replaced it with Copenhagen Castle.
In 1186, a letter from Pope Urban III states that the castle of Hafn (Copenhagen) and its surrounding lands, including the town of Hafn, were given to Absalon, Bishop of Roskilde 1158–1191 and Archbishop of Lund 1177–1201, by King Valdemar I. On Absalon's death, the property was to come into the ownership of the Bishopric of Roskilde. Around 1200, the Church of Our Lady was constructed on higher ground to the northeast of the town, which began to develop around it.
As the town became more prominent, it was repeatedly attacked by the Hanseatic League, and in 1368 successfully invaded during the Second Danish-Hanseatic War. As the fishing industry thrived in Copenhagen, particularly in the trade of herring, the city began expanding to the north of Slotsholmen. In 1254, it received a charter as a city under Bishop Jakob Erlandsen who garnered support from the local fishing merchants against the king by granting them special privileges. In the mid 1330s, the first land assessment of the city was published.
Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School and the IT University of Copenhagen. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the football clubs F.C. Copenhagen and Brøndby IF. The annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.
The University of Copenhagen is Denmark's oldest university founded in 1479. It attracts some 1,500 international and exchange students every year. The Academic Ranking of World Universities placed it 30th in the world in 2016.
With the establishment of the Kalmar Union (1397–1523) between Denmark, Norway and Sweden, by about 1416 Copenhagen had emerged as the capital of Denmark when Eric of Pomerania moved his seat to Copenhagen Castle. The University of Copenhagen was inaugurated on 1 June 1479 by King Christian I, following approval from Pope Sixtus IV. This makes it the oldest university in Denmark and one of the oldest in Europe. Originally controlled by the Catholic Church, the university's role in society was forced to change during the Reformation in Denmark in the late 1530s.
In disputes prior to the Reformation of 1536, the city which had been faithful to Christian II, who was Catholic, was successfully besieged in 1523 by the forces of Frederik I, who supported Lutheranism. Copenhagen's defences were reinforced with a series of towers along the city wall. After an extended siege from July 1535 to July 1536, during which the city supported Christian II's alliance with Malmö and Lübeck, it was finally forced to capitulate to Christian III. During the second half of the century, the city prospered from increased trade across the Baltic supported by Dutch shipping. Christoffer Valkendorff, a high-ranking statesman, defended the city's interests and contributed to its development. The Netherlands had also become primarily Protestant, as were northern German states.
Dyrehavsbakken, a fair-ground and pleasure-park established in 1583, is located in Klampenborg just north of Copenhagen in a forested area known as Dyrehaven. Created as an amusement park complete with rides, games and restaurants by Christian IV, it is the oldest surviving amusement park in the world. Pierrot (Danish: Pjerrot), a nitwit dressed in white with a scarlet grin wearing a boat-like hat while entertaining children, remains one of the park's key attractions. In Danish, Dyrehavsbakken is often abbreviated as Bakken. There is no entrance fee to pay and Klampenborg Station on the C-line, is situated nearby.
Copenhagen is a green city with many parks, both large and small. King's Garden (Kongens Have), the garden of Rosenborg Castle, is the oldest and most frequented of them all. It was Christian IV who first developed its landscaping in 1606. Every year it sees more than 2.5 million visitors and in the summer months it is packed with sunbathers, picnickers and ballplayers. It serves as a sculpture garden with both a permanent display and temporary exhibits during the summer months. Also located in the city centre are the Botanical Gardens noted for their large complex of 19th-century greenhouses donated by Carlsberg founder J. C. Jacobsen. Fælledparken at 58 ha (140 acres) is the largest park in Copenhagen.
The historic centre of the city, Indre By or the Inner City, features many of Copenhagen's most popular monuments and attractions. The area known as Frederiksstaden, developed by Frederik V in the second half of the 18th century in the Rococo style, has the four mansions of Amalienborg, the royal residence, and the wide-domed Marble Church at its centre. Directly across the water from Amalienborg, the 21st-century Copenhagen Opera House stands on the island of Holmen. To the south of Frederiksstaden, the Nyhavn canal is lined with colourful houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, many now with lively restaurants and bars. The canal runs from the harbour front to the spacious square of Kongens Nytorv which was laid out by Christian V in 1670. Important buildings include Charlottenborg Palace, famous for its art exhibitions, the Thott Palace (now the French embassy), the Royal Danish Theatre and the Hotel D'Angleterre, dated to 1755. Other landmarks in Indre By include the parliament building of Christiansborg, the City Hall and Rundetårn, originally an observatory. There are also several museums in the area including Thorvaldsen Museum dedicated to the 18th-century sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Closed to traffic since 1964, Strøget, one of the world's oldest and longest pedestrian streets, runs the 3.2 km (2.0 mi) from Rådhuspladsen to Kongens Nytorv. With its speciality shops, cafés, restaurants, and buskers, it is always full of life and includes the old squares of Gammel Torv and Amagertorv, each with a fountain. Rosenborg Castle on Øster Voldgade was built by Christian IV in 1606 as a summer residence in the Renaissance style. It houses the Danish crown jewels and crown regalia, the coronation throne and tapestries illustrating Christian V's victories in the Scanian War.
During the reign of Christian IV between 1588 and 1648, Copenhagen had dramatic growth as a city. On his initiative at the beginning of the 17th century, two important buildings were completed on Slotsholmen: the Tøjhus Arsenal and Børsen, the stock exchange. To foster international trade, the East India Company was founded in 1616. To the east of the city, inspired by Dutch planning, the king developed the district of Christianshavn with canals and ramparts. It was initially intended to be a fortified trading centre but ultimately became part of Copenhagen. Christian IV also sponsored an array of ambitious building projects including Rosenborg Slot and the Rundetårn. In 1658–1659, the city withstood a siege by the Swedes under Charles X and successfully repelled a major assault.
Several financial institutions and banks have headquarters in Copenhagen, including Alm. Brand, Danske Bank, Nykredit and Nordea Bank Danmark. The Copenhagen Stock Exchange (CSE) was founded in 1620 and is now owned by Nasdaq, Inc. Copenhagen is also home to a number of international companies including A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Novo Nordisk, Carlsberg and Novozymes. City authorities have encouraged the development of business clusters in several innovative sectors, which include information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, clean technology and smart city solutions.
The Royal Library, belonging to the University of Copenhagen, is the largest library in the Nordic countries with an almost complete collection of all printed Danish books since 1482. Founded in 1648, the Royal Library is located at four sites in the city, the main one being on the Slotsholmen waterfront. Copenhagen's public library network has over 20 outlets, the largest being the Central Library (Københavns Hovedbibliotek) on Krystalgade in the inner city.
By 1661, Copenhagen had asserted its position as capital of Denmark and Norway. All the major institutions were located there, as was the fleet and most of the army. The defences were further enhanced with the completion of the Citadel in 1664 and the extension of Christianshavns Vold with its bastions in 1692, leading to the creation of a new base for the fleet at Nyholm.
Foreign migration to Copenhagen, rising over the last three decades, has contributed to increasing religious diversity; the Grand Mosque of Copenhagen, the first in Denmark, opened in 2014. Islam is the second largest religion in Copenhagen, accounting for approximately 10% of the population. While there are no official statistics, a significant portion of the estimated 175,000–200,000 Muslims in the country live in the Copenhagen urban area, with the highest concentration in Nørrebro and the Vestegnen. There are also some 7,000 Jews in Denmark, most of them in the Copenhagen area where there are several synagogues. There is a long history of Jews in the city, and the first synagogue in Copenhagen was built in 1684. Today, the history of the Jews of Denmark can be explored at the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen Fire Department forms the largest municipal fire brigade in Denmark with some 500 fire and ambulance personnel, 150 administration and service workers, and 35 workers in prevention. The brigade began as the Copenhagen Royal Fire Brigade on 9 July 1687 under King Christian V. After the passing of the Copenhagen Fire Act on 18 May 1868, on 1 August 1870 the Copenhagen Fire Brigade became a municipal institution in its own right. The fire department has its headquarters in the Copenhagen Central Fire Station which was designed by Ludvig Fenger in the Historicist style and inaugurated in 1892.
A number of notable sculptures can be seen in the city. In addition to The Little Mermaid on the waterfront, there are two historic equestrian statues in the city centre: Jacques Saly's Frederik V on Horseback (1771) in Amalienborg Square and the statue of Christian V on Kongens Nytorv created by Abraham-César Lamoureux in 1688 who was inspired by the statue of Louis XIII in Paris. Rosenborg Castle Gardens contains several sculptures and monuments including August Saabye's Hans Christian Andersen, Aksel Hansen's Echo, and Vilhelm Bissen's Dowager Queen Caroline Amalie.
Copenhagen lost around 22,000 of its population of 65,000 to the plague in 1711. The city was also struck by two major fires that destroyed much of its infrastructure. The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 was the largest in the history of Copenhagen. It began on the evening of 20 October, and continued to burn until the morning of 23 October, destroying approximately 28% of the city, leaving some 20% of the population homeless. No less than 47% of the medieval section of the city was completely lost. Along with the 1795 fire, it is the main reason that few traces of the old town can be found in the modern city.
A substantial amount of rebuilding followed. In 1733, work began on the royal residence of Christiansborg Palace which was completed in 1745. In 1749, development of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden was initiated. Designed by Nicolai Eigtved in the Rococo style, its centre contained the mansions which now form Amalienborg Palace. Major extensions to the naval base of Holmen were undertaken while the city's cultural importance was enhanced with the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
The new Copenhagen Concert Hall opened in January 2009. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it has four halls with the main auditorium seating 1,800 people. It serves as the home of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and along with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is the most expensive concert hall ever built. Another important venue for classical music is the Tivoli Concert Hall located in the Tivoli Gardens. Designed by Henning Larsen, the Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen) opened in 2005. It is among the most modern opera houses in the world. The Royal Danish Theatre also stages opera in addition to its drama productions. It is also home to the Royal Danish Ballet. Founded in 1748 along with the theatre, it is one of the oldest ballet troupes in Europe, and is noted for its Bournonville style of ballet.
Copenhagen University Hospital forms a conglomerate of several hospitals in Region Hovedstaden and Region Sjælland, together with the faculty of health sciences at the University of Copenhagen; Rigshospitalet and Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen belong to this group of university hospitals. Rigshospitalet began operating in March 1757 as Frederiks Hospital, and became state-owned in 1903. With 1,120 beds, Rigshospitalet has responsibility for 65,000 inpatients and approximately 420,000 outpatients annually. It seeks to be the number one specialist hospital in the country, with an extensive team of researchers into cancer treatment, surgery and radiotherapy. In addition to its 8,000 personnel, the hospital has training and hosting functions. It benefits from the presence of in-service students of medicine and other healthcare sciences, as well as scientists working under a variety of research grants. The hospital became internationally famous as the location of Lars von Trier's television horror mini-series The Kingdom. Bispebjerg Hospital was built in 1913, and serves about 400,000 people in the Greater Copenhagen area, with some 3,000 employees. Other large hospitals in the city include Amager Hospital (1997), Herlev Hospital (1976), Hvidovre Hospital (1970), and Gentofte Hospital (1927).
Most of Denmark's top legal courts and institutions are based in Copenhagen. A modern-style court of justice, Hof- og Stadsretten, was introduced in Denmark, specifically for Copenhagen, by Johann Friedrich Struensee in 1771. Now known as the City Court of Copenhagen (Københavns Byret), it is the largest of the 24 city courts in Denmark with jurisdiction over the municipalities of Copenhagen, Dragør and Tårnby. With its 42 judges, it has a Probate Division, an Enforcement Division and a Registration and Notorial Acts Division while bankruptcy is handled by the Maritime and Commercial Court of Copenhagen. Established in 1862, the Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten) also hears commercial cases including those relating to trade marks, marketing practices and competition for the whole of Denmark. Denmark's Supreme Court (Højesteret), located in Christiansborg Palace on Prins Jørgens Gård in the centre of Copenhagen, is the country's final court of appeal. Handling civil and criminal cases from the subordinate courts, it has two chambers which each hear all types of cases.
In the second half of the 18th century, Copenhagen benefited from Denmark's neutrality during the wars between Europe's main powers, allowing it to play an important role in trade between the states around the Baltic Sea. After Christiansborg was destroyed by fire in 1794 and another fire caused serious damage to the city in 1795, work began on the classical Copenhagen landmark of Højbro Plads while Nytorv and Gammel Torv were converged.
On 2 April 1801, a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker attacked and defeated the neutral Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored near Copenhagen. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously disobeyed Parker's order to withdraw, destroying many of the Dano-Norwegian ships before a truce was agreed. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest-fought battle, surpassing even the heavy fighting at Trafalgar. It was during this battle that Lord Nelson was said to have "put the telescope to the blind eye" in order not to see Admiral Parker's signal to cease fire.
The Second Battle of Copenhagen (or the Bombardment of Copenhagen) (16 August – 5 September 1807) was from a British point of view a preemptive attack on Copenhagen, targeting the civilian population to yet again seize the Dano-Norwegian fleet. But from a Danish point of view, the battle was a terror bombardment on their capital. Particularly notable was the use of incendiary Congreve rockets (containing phosphorus, which cannot be extinguished with water) that randomly hit the city. Few houses with straw roofs remained after the bombardment. The largest church, Vor frue kirke, was destroyed by the sea artillery. Several historians consider this battle the first terror attack against a major European city in modern times.
Despite the disasters of the early 19th century, Copenhagen experienced a period of intense cultural creativity known as the Danish Golden Age. Painting prospered under C.W. Eckersberg and his students while C.F. Hansen and Gottlieb Bindesbøll brought a Neoclassical look to the city's architecture. In the early 1850s, the ramparts of the city were opened to allow new housing to be built around The Lakes (Danish: Søerne) that bordered the old defences to the west. By the 1880s, the districts of Nørrebro and Vesterbro developed to accommodate those who came from the provinces to participate in the city's industrialization. This dramatic increase of space was long overdue, as not only were the old ramparts out of date as a defence system but bad sanitation in the old city had to be overcome. From 1886, the west rampart (Vestvolden) was flattened, allowing major extensions to the harbour leading to the establishment of the Freeport of Copenhagen 1892–94. Electricity came in 1892 with electric trams in 1897. The spread of housing to areas outside the old ramparts brought about a huge increase in the population. In 1840, Copenhagen was inhabited by approximately 120,000 people. By 1901, it had some 400,000 inhabitants.
The Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park and pleasure garden located in central Copenhagen between the City Hall Square and the Central Station. It opened in 1843, making it the second-oldest amusement park in the world. Among its rides are the oldest still operating rollercoaster Rutschebanen from 1915 and the oldest ferris wheel still in use, opened in 1943. Tivoli Gardens also serves as a venue for various performing arts and as an active part of the cultural scene in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has several handball teams—a sport which is particularly popular in Denmark. Of clubs playing in the "highest" leagues, there are Ajax, Ydun, and HIK (Hellerup). The København Håndbold women's club has recently been established. Copenhagen also has ice hockey teams, of which three play in the top league, Rødovre Mighty Bulls, Herlev Eagles and Hvidovre Ligahockey all inner suburban clubs. Copenhagen Ice Skating Club founded in 1869 is the oldest ice hockey team in Denmark but is no longer in the top league.
Frederiksberg, a separate municipality within the urban area of Copenhagen, lies to the west of Nørrebro and Indre By and north of Vesterbro. Its landmarks include Copenhagen Zoo founded in 1869 with over 250 species from all over the world and Frederiksberg Palace built as a summer residence by Frederick IV who was inspired by Italian architecture. Now a military academy, it overlooks the extensive landscaped Frederiksberg Gardens with its follies, waterfalls, lakes and decorative buildings. The wide tree-lined avenue of Frederiksberg Allé connecting Vesterbrogade with the Frederiksberg Gardens has long been associated with theatres and entertainment. While a number of the earlier theatres are now closed, the Betty Nansen Theatre and Aveny-T are still active.
Apart from the selection of upmarket restaurants, Copenhagen offers a great variety of Danish, ethnic and experimental restaurants. It is possible to find modest eateries serving open sandwiches, known as smørrebrød – a traditional, Danish lunch dish; however, most restaurants serve international dishes. Danish pastry can be sampled from any of numerous bakeries found in all parts of the city. The Copenhagen Bakers' Association (Danish: Københavns Bagerlaug) dates back to the 1290s and Denmark's oldest confectioner's shop still operating, Conditori La Glace, was founded in 1870 in Skoubogade by Nicolaus Henningsen, a trained master baker from Flensburg.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Copenhagen had become a thriving industrial and administrative city. With its new city hall and railway station, its centre was drawn towards the west. New housing developments grew up in Brønshøj and Valby while Frederiksberg became an enclave within the city of Copenhagen. The northern part of Amager and Valby were also incorporated into the City of Copenhagen in 1901–02.
Copenhagen has a large film and television industry. Nordisk Film, established in Valby, Copenhagen in 1906 is the oldest continuously operating film production company in the world. In 1992 it merged with the Egmont media group and currently runs the 17-screen Palads Cinema in Copenhagen. Filmbyen (movie city), located in a former military camp in the suburb of Hvidovre, houses several movie companies and studios. Zentropa is a film company, co-owned by Danish director Lars von Trier. He is behind several international movie productions as well and founded the Dogme Movement. CPH:PIX is Copenhagen's international feature film festival, established in 2009 as a fusion of the 20-year-old NatFilm Festival and the four-year-old CIFF. The CPH:PIX festival takes place in mid-April. CPH:DOX is Copenhagen's international documentary film festival, every year in November. In addition to a documentary film programme of over 100 films, CPH:DOX includes a wide event programme with dozens of events, concerts, exhibitions and parties all over town.
Just north of the city centre, Østerbro is an upper middle-class district with a number of fine mansions, some now serving as embassies. The district stretches from Nørrebro to the waterfront where The Little Mermaid statue can be seen from the promenade known as Langelinie. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, it was created by Edvard Eriksen and unveiled in 1913. Not far from the Little Mermaid, the old Citadel (Kastellet) can be seen. Built by Christian IV, it is one of northern Europe's best preserved fortifications. There is also a windmill in the area. The large Gefion Fountain (Gefionspringvandet) designed by Anders Bundgaard and completed in 1908 stands close to the southeast corner of Kastellet. Its figures illustrate a Nordic legend.
Vesterbro, to the southwest of Indre By, begins with the Tivoli Gardens, the city's top tourist attraction with its fairground atmosphere, its Pantomime Theatre, its Concert Hall and its many rides and restaurants. The Carlsberg neighbourhood has some interesting vestiges of the old brewery of the same name including the Elephant Gate and the Ny Carlsberg Brewhouse. The Tycho Brahe Planetarium is located on the edge of Skt. Jørgens Sø, one of the Copenhagen lakes. Halmtorvet, the old hay market behind the Central Station, is an increasingly popular area with its cafés and restaurants. The former cattle market Øksnehallen has been converted into a modern exhibition centre for art and photography. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, built by Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen for the airline Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) between 1956 and 1960 was once the tallest hotel in Denmark with a height of 69.60 m (228.3 ft) and the city's only skyscraper until 1969. Completed in 1908, Det Ny Teater (the New Theatre) located in a passage between Vesterbrogade and Gammel Kongevej has become a popular venue for musicals since its reopening in 1994, attracting the largest audiences in the country.
The Danish National Police and Copenhagen Police headquarters is situated in the Neoclassical-inspired Politigården building built in 1918–1924 under architects Hack Kampmann and Holger Alfred Jacobsen. The building also contains administration, management, emergency department and radio service offices. In their efforts to deal with drugs, the police have noted considerable success in the two special drug consumption rooms opened by the city where addicts can use sterile needles and receive help from nurses if necessary. Use of these rooms does not lead to prosecution; the city treats drug use as a public health issue, not a criminal one.
The greater Copenhagen area has a very well established transportation infrastructure making it a hub in Northern Europe. Copenhagen Airport, opened in 1925, is Scandinavia's largest airport, located in Kastrup on the island of Amager. It is connected to the city centre by metro and main line railway services. October 2013 was a record month with 2.2 million passengers, and November 2013 figures reveal that the number of passengers is increasing by some 3% annually, about 50% more than the European average.
Not far from Copenhagen Airport on the Kastrup coast, The Blue Planet completed in March 2013 now houses the national aquarium. With its 53 aquariums, it is the largest facility of its kind in Scandinavia. Grundtvig's Church, located in the northern suburb of Bispebjerg, was designed by P.V. Jensen Klint and completed in 1940. A rare example of Expressionist church architecture, its striking west façade is reminiscent of a church organ.
In Denmark during World War II, Copenhagen was occupied by German troops along with the rest of the country from 9 April 1940 until 4 May 1945. German leader Adolf Hitler hoped that Denmark would be "a model protectorate" and initially the Nazi authorities sought to arrive at an understanding with the Danish government. The 1943 Danish parliamentary election was also allowed to take place, with only the Communist Party excluded. But in August 1943, after the government's collaboration with the occupation forces collapsed, several ships were sunk in Copenhagen Harbor by the Royal Danish Navy to prevent their use by the Germans. Around that time the Nazis started to arrest Jews, although most managed to escape to Sweden.
Most of Denmarks's major publishing houses are based in Copenhagen. These include the book publishers Gyldendal and Akademisk Forlag and newspaper publishers Berlingske and Politiken (the latter also publishing books). Many of the most important contributors to Danish literature such as Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) with his fairy tales, the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) and playwright Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754) spent much of their lives in Copenhagen. Novels set in Copenhagen include Baby (1973) by Kirsten Thorup, The Copenhagen Connection (1982) by Barbara Mertz, Number the Stars (1989) by Lois Lowry, Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (1992) and Borderliners (1993) by Peter Høeg, Music and Silence (1999) by Rose Tremain, The Danish Girl (2000) by David Ebershoff, and Sharpe's Prey (2001) by Bernard Cornwell. Michael Frayn's 1998 play Copenhagen about the meeting between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in 1941 is also set in the city. On 15–18 August 1973, an oral literature conference took place in Copenhagen as part of the 9th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
In 1945 Ole Lippman, leader of the Danish section of the Special Operations Executive, invited the British Royal Air Force to assist their operations by attacking Nazi headquarters in Copenhagen. Accordingly, air vice-marshal Sir Basil Embry drew up plans for a spectacular precision attack on the Sicherheitsdienst and Gestapo building, the former offices of the Shell Oil Company. Political prisoners were kept in the attic to prevent an air raid, so the RAF had to bomb the lower levels of the building.
The attack, known as "Operation Carthage", came on 22 March 1945, in three small waves. In the first wave, all six planes (carrying one bomb each) hit their target, but one of the aircraft crashed near Frederiksberg Girls School. Because of this crash, four of the planes in the two following waves assumed the school was the military target and aimed their bombs at the school, leading to the death of 123 civilians (of which 87 were schoolchildren). However, 18 of the 26 political prisoners in the Shell Building managed to escape while the Gestapo archives were completely destroyed.
On 8 May 1945 Copenhagen was officially liberated by British troops commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery who supervised the surrender of 30,000 Germans situated around the capital.
Shortly after the end of the war, an innovative urban development project known as the Finger Plan was introduced in 1947, encouraging the creation of new housing and businesses interspersed with large green areas along five "fingers" stretching out from the city centre along the S-train routes. With the expansion of the welfare state and women entering the work force, schools, nurseries, sports facilities and hospitals were established across the city. As a result of student unrest in the late 1960s, the former Bådsmandsstræde Barracks in Christianshavn was occupied, leading to the establishment of Freetown Christiania in September 1971.
Christianshavn lies to the southeast of Indre By on the other side of the harbour. The area was developed by Christian IV in the early 17th century. Impressed by the city of Amsterdam, he employed Dutch architects to create canals within its ramparts which are still well preserved today. The canals themselves, branching off the central Christianshavn Canal and lined with house boats and pleasure craft are one of the area's attractions. Another interesting feature is Freetown Christiania, a fairly large area which was initially occupied by squatters during student unrest in 1971. Today it still maintains a measure of autonomy. The inhabitants openly sell drugs on "Pusher Street" as well as their arts and crafts. Other buildings of interest in Christianshavn include the Church of Our Saviour with its spiralling steeple and the magnificent Rococo Christian's Church. Once a warehouse, the North Atlantic House now displays culture from Iceland and Greenland and houses the Noma restaurant, known for its Nordic cuisine.
Motor traffic in the city grew significantly and in 1972 the trams were replaced by buses. From the 1960s, on the initiative of the young architect Jan Gehl, pedestrian streets and cycle tracks were created in the city centre. Activity in the port of Copenhagen declined with the closure of the Holmen Naval Base. Copenhagen Airport underwent considerable expansion, becoming a hub for the Nordic countries. In the 1990s, large-scale housing developments were realized in the harbour area and in the west of Amager. The national library's Black Diamond building on the waterfront was completed in 1999.
Copenhagen Marathon, Copenhagen's annual marathon event, was established in 1980. Round Christiansborg Open Water Swim Race is a 2-kilometre (1.2-mile) open water swimming competition taking place each year in late August. This amateur event is combined with a 10-kilometre (6-mile) Danish championship. In 2009 the event included a 10-kilometre (6-mile) FINA World Cup competition in the morning. Copenhagen hosted the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in September 2011, taking advantage of its bicycle-friendly infrastructure. It was the first time that Denmark had hosted the event since 1956, when it was also held in Copenhagen.
The city has a variety of sporting teams. The major football teams are the historically successful FC København and Brøndby. FC København plays at Parken in Østerbro. Formed in 1992, it is a merger of two older Copenhagen clubs, B 1903 (from the inner suburb Gentofte) and KB (from Frederiksberg). Brøndby plays at Brøndby Stadion in the inner suburb of Brøndbyvester. BK Frem is based in the southern part of Copenhagen (Sydhavnen, Valby). Other teams of more significant stature are FC Nordsjælland (from suburban Farum), Fremad Amager, B93, AB, Lyngby and Hvidovre IF.
According to Statistics Denmark, Copenhagen's urban area has a larger population of 1,280,371 (as of 1 January 2016 ). The urban area consists of the municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg plus 16 of the 20 municipalities of the former counties Copenhagen and Roskilde, though five of them only partially. Metropolitan Copenhagen has a total of 2,016,285 inhabitants (as of 2016 ). The area of Metropolitan Copenhagen is defined by the Finger Plan. Since the opening of the Øresund Bridge in 2000, commuting between Zealand and Scania in Sweden has increased rapidly, leading to a wider, integrated area. Known as the Øresund Region, it has 4.1 million inhabitants (of whom 2.7 million (August 2021) live in the Danish part of the region).
Copenhagen is recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. As a result of its commitment to high environmental standards, Copenhagen has been praised for its green economy, ranked as the top green city for the second time in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI). In 2001 a large offshore wind farm was built just off the coast of Copenhagen at Middelgrunden. It produces about 4% of the city's energy. Years of substantial investment in sewage treatment have improved water quality in the harbour to an extent that the inner harbour can be used for swimming with facilities at a number of locations.
Movia is the public mass transit company serving all of eastern Denmark, except Bornholm. The Copenhagen Metro, launched in 2002, serves central Copenhagen. Additionally, the Copenhagen S-train, the Lokaltog (private railway), and the Coast Line network serve and connect central Copenhagen to outlying boroughs. Serving roughly 2.5 million passengers a month, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, is the busiest airport in the Nordic countries.
Since the summer of 2000, Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö have been connected by the Øresund Bridge, which carries rail and road traffic. As a result, Copenhagen has become the centre of a larger metropolitan area spanning both nations. The bridge has brought about considerable changes in the public transport system and has led to the extensive redevelopment of Amager. The city's service and trade sectors have developed while a number of banking and financial institutions have been established. Educational institutions have also gained importance, especially the University of Copenhagen with its 35,000 students. Another important development for the city has been the Copenhagen Metro, the railway system which opened in 2002 with additions until 2007, transporting some 54 million passengers by 2011.
On the cultural front, the Copenhagen Opera House, a gift to the city from the shipping magnate Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller on behalf of the A.P. Møller foundation, was completed in 2004. In December 2009 Copenhagen gained international prominence when it hosted the worldwide climate meeting COP15.
Amager Strandpark, which opened in 2005, is a 2 km (1 mi) long artificial island, with a total of 4.6 km (2.9 mi) of beaches. It is located just 15 minutes by bicycle or a few minutes by metro from the city centre. In Klampenborg, about 10 kilometers from downtown Copenhagen, is Bellevue Beach. It is 700 metres (2,300 ft) long and has both lifeguards and freshwater showers on the beach.
Many Danish media corporations are located in Copenhagen. DR, the major Danish public service broadcasting corporation consolidated its activities in a new headquarters, DR Byen, in 2006 and 2007. Similarly TV2, which is based in Odense, has concentrated its Copenhagen activities in a modern media house in Teglholmen. The two national daily newspapers Politiken and Berlingske and the two tabloids Ekstra Bladet and BT are based in Copenhagen. Kristeligt Dagblad is based in Copenhagen and is published six days a week. Other important media corporations include Aller Media which is the largest publisher of weekly and monthly magazines in Scandinavia, the Egmont media group and Gyldendal, the largest Danish publisher of books.
As of 2014 , Copenhagen has 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, the most of any Scandinavian city. The city is increasingly recognized internationally as a gourmet destination. These include Den Røde Cottage, Formel B Restaurant, Grønbech & Churchill, Søllerød Kro, Kadeau, Kiin Kiin (Denmark's first Michelin-starred Asian gourmet restaurant), the French restaurant Kong Hans Kælder, Relæ, Restaurant AOC with two Stars, and Noma (short for Danish: nordisk mad, English: Nordic food) as well as Geranium with three. Noma was ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012, and again in 2014, sparking interest in the New Nordic Cuisine.
In 2010, it is estimated that city break tourism contributed to DKK 2 billion in turnover. However, 2010 was an exceptional year for city break tourism and turnover increased with 29% in that one year. 680,000 cruise passengers visited the port in 2015. In 2019 Copenhagen was ranked first among Lonely Planet's top ten cities to visit. In October 2021, Copenhagen was shortlisted for the European Commission's 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism award along with Bordeaux, Dublin, Florence, Ljubljana, La Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.
Copenhagen has an extensive road network including motorways connecting the city to other parts of Denmark and to Sweden over the Øresund Bridge. The car is still the most popular form of transport within the city itself, representing two-thirds of all distances travelled. This can however lead to serious congestion in rush hour traffic. The Øresund train links Copenhagen with Malmö 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Copenhagen is also served by a daily ferry connection to Oslo in Norway. In 2012, Copenhagen Harbour handled 372 cruise ships and 840,000 passengers.
Copenhagen has been rated as the most bicycle-friendly city in the world since 2015, with bicycles outnumbering its inhabitants. In 2012 some 36% of all working or studying city-dwellers cycled to work, school, or university. With 1.27 million km covered every working day by Copenhagen's cyclists (including both residents and commuters), and 75% of Copenhageners cycling throughout the year. The city's bicycle paths are extensive and well used, boasting 400 kilometres (250 miles) of cycle lanes not shared with cars or pedestrians, and sometimes have their own signal systems – giving the cyclists a lead of a couple of seconds to accelerate.
For a number of years, Copenhagen has ranked high in international surveys for its quality of life. Its stable economy together with its education services and level of social safety make it attractive for locals and visitors alike. Although it is one of the world's most expensive cities, it is also one of the most liveable with its public transport, facilities for cyclists and its environmental policies. In elevating Copenhagen to "most liveable city" in 2013, Monocle pointed to its open spaces, increasing activity on the streets, city planning in favour of cyclists and pedestrians, and features to encourage inhabitants to enjoy city life with an emphasis on community, culture and cuisine. Other sources have ranked Copenhagen high for its business environment, accessibility, restaurants and environmental planning. However, Copenhagen ranks only 39th for student friendliness in 2012. Despite a top score for quality of living, its scores were low for employer activity and affordability.
Shipping is another import sector with Maersk, the world's largest shipping company, having their world headquarters in Copenhagen. The city has an industrial harbour, Copenhagen Port. Following decades of stagnation, it has experienced a resurgence since 1990 following a merger with Malmö harbour. Both ports are operated by Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP). The central location in the Øresund Region allows the ports to act as a hub for freight that is transported onward to the Baltic countries. CMP annually receives about 8,000 ships and handled some 148,000 TEU in 2012.
The Technical University of Denmark is located in Lyngby in the northern outskirts of Copenhagen. In 2013, it was ranked as one of the leading technical universities in Northern Europe. The IT University is Denmark's youngest university, a mono-faculty institution focusing on technical, societal and business aspects of information technology.
Tourism is a major contributor to Copenhagen's economy, attracting visitors due to the city's harbour, cultural attractions and award-winning restaurants. Since 2009, Copenhagen has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan destinations in Europe. Hotel capacity in the city is growing significantly. From 2009 to 2013, it experienced a 42% growth in international bed nights (total number of nights spent by tourists), tallying a rise of nearly 70% for Chinese visitors. The total number of bed nights in the Capital Region surpassed 9 million in 2013, while international bed nights reached 5 million.
Copenhagen is the major economic and financial centre of Denmark. The city's economy is based largely on services and commerce. Statistics for 2010 show that the vast majority of the 350,000 workers in Copenhagen are employed in the service sector, especially transport and communications, trade, and finance, while less than 10,000 work in the manufacturing industries. The public sector workforce is around 110,000, including education and healthcare. From 2006 to 2011, the economy grew by 2.5% in Copenhagen, while it fell by some 4% in the rest of Denmark. In 2017, the wider Capital Region of Denmark had a gross domestic product (GDP) of €120 billion, and the 15th largest GDP per capita of regions in the European Union.
The Copenhagen Metro expanded radically with the opening of the City Circle Line (M3) on 29 September 2019. The new line connects all inner boroughs of the city by metro, including the Central Station, and opens up 17 new stations for Copenhageners. On 28 March 2020, the 2.2 km (1.4 mi) Nordhavn extension of the Harbour Line (M4) opened. Running from Copenhagen Central Station, the new extension is a branch line of M3 Cityring to Østerport. The M4 Sydhavn branch is expected to open in 2024. The new metro lines are part of the city's strategy to transform mobility towards sustainable modes of transport such as public transport and cycling as opposed to automobility.
Copenhagen aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025. Commercial and residential buildings are to reduce electricity consumption by 20 percent and 10 percent respectively, and total heat consumption is to fall by 20 percent by 2025. Renewable energy features such as solar panels are becoming increasingly common in the newest buildings in Copenhagen. District heating will be carbon-neutral by 2025, by waste incineration and biomass. New buildings must now be constructed according to Low Energy Class ratings and in 2020 near net-zero energy buildings. By 2025, 75% of trips should be made on foot, by bike, or by using public transit. The city plans that 20–30% of cars will run on electricity or biofuel by 2025. The investment is estimated at $472 million public funds and $4.78 billion private funds.
Population by ethnic background in 2022
Copenhagen (/ˌkoʊpənˈheɪɡən, -ˈhɑː-/ KOH-pən-HAY-gən, -HAH- or /ˈkoʊpənheɪɡən, -hɑː-/ KOH-pən-hay-gən, -hah-. ; Danish: København [kʰøpm̩ˈhɑwˀn] (listen)) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2022, the city had a population of 805,402 (644,431 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,608 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,723 in Tårnby Municipality, and 14,640 in Dragør Municipality). It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen (population 1,336,982) and the Copenhagen metropolitan area (population 2,057,142). Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.
On 3 July 2022, three people were killed in a shooting at Field's mall in Copenhagen. Police chief inspector Søren Thomassen announced the arrest of a 22-year-old man and said that the police cannot rule out an act of terrorism.