The happiest in the world
How lives the city whose citizens had been twice officially declared the happiest in the world? The answer is easy: simple! They appreciate more the practical over the luxury, bicycle over car, nature over shopping, they have much more than other Europeans, but consider it impolite to show it, they live in a fairy-tale like city that takes a good care about things and people.
Of the approximately 5.6 million inhabitants of the Kingdom of Denmark, the smallest Scandinavian country, about 1.2 million people live in Copenhagen. City of Andersen, of magical white nights, parks and lakes, within which the Freetown Christiania lives independently …
Copenhagen seems too good to be true. Tailored for people, known for good due to fantastic architecture and excellent urban planning, huge green areas with the greatest traffic congestion on bicycle trails wide as the streets – all this makes Copenhagen close to Utopian ideal of the perfect city. Despite the fact that winter lasts longer than all three remaining seasons together, Copenhagen residents are rightfully feeling the happiest of the inhabitants of all cities in the world. This was confirmed twice by a study for the UN by the New York University Columbia. The cause of their happiness is not only because of the high standard, an extraordinary educational and social system, but also because of the mentality – they simply do not have great requirements. Except perhaps for a little more sunshine. They live in an economy that records steady growth, work in the atmosphere of a relaxed hierarchy where everyone is unofficial, and on friday there’s a tradition of a joint breakfast of employees with executives. They do not like credits, although the interest rate goes around 3%; Instead of credits, banks offer courses to citizes on how to manage their money, and they do not even understand the concept of “permitted minus”.
The green capital of Europe
Copenhagen was granted a title of the Green Capital of Europe in 2014, and Monocole magazine, among other things, has chosen it twice as the world’s most suitable city for living. In a city of millions of people, everything is running smoothly, without nervousness and pleasantly, and while returning in colonies from work on their bicycles, the Danes will be cheerful enough to wave tourists that cruise the city. And tourists are visiting it for a lot of things, from historical sights and driving along the canals along the colorful old buildings to visiting clubs and restaurants, some of which, like the famous “Goma”, carry the title the best in the world. Many will not miss to drive to the nearby Swedish town of Malmo via the “Öresund Line”, a 8 km long bridge tunnel, which mostly goes below the sea.
The revived fairy tale
How else other than a fairy-tale like can look the city whose symbol is the personality from the imagination of the most famous Dane, the mage of fairy-tales, Hans Christian Andersen. The Statue “Little Mermaid” reflects the essence of this city-calmness, gentleness and beauty of simplicity. Much smaller than we imagine, only 1.25 feet high, The Little Mermaid sits calmly on its rock. People tried to steal her head, they were breaking her hand, throwing her in the sea, spraying with colours, putting burqa in protest, but the sculpture of the underwater princess, who wanted so much to live on the land that she sacrificed everything to live among the people, had withstand it all and in August it will be 105 years old. She is a gift by Karl Jacobsen, son of the founder of the famous brewery “Carlsberg”, and the work of sculptor Edward Eriksen. Amazed by the ballet of the same name in 1909, Jakobsen begged the prima ballerina Ellen Price to be a model, but she refused to pose naked, so the sculpture has her face, and the body of the sculptor’s wife Elin.
The sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairy tales are the symbol of childhood around the world, also Mecca to tourists, is located in the center of Copenhagen. When talking about childhood, let’s not forget: “Lego” cube is invented here. No wonder, because the Danes do not stuff children with toys; they think that only the best creates the game.
The favorite place of fun for both children and adults in the heart of Copenhagen is the Tivoli Park, the world’s second oldest amusement park, opened in 1843, which has more than 4 million visitors annually. They say that during the construction of the Disneyland Walt Disney was inspired by this park. Tivoli has everything for everyone: while adrenaline addicts go for rollercoasters and other eccentricities, art lovers can watch performances, listen to concerts and visit exhibitions.
The fairy tale atmosphere in the city is especially brought by june’s white nights, when the sun sets just before midnight. The Scandinavian tradition of celebrating the longest day of the year is very important and it’s great happiness to be here at that time. The whole Copenhagen is out late; in parks, on the shores or in the gardens, enjoying the longest night, with each other, families with children, bikers, teenagers and eternal teens from Christiania, the last hippie enclave in Europe. It all ends with the burning of huge fires.
City on bicycles
The Danes very much care about ecology and healthy life, so the first thing you see in Copenhagen are bikes in countless forms, with trailers of the most diverse performance. Without competition, it’s a means of transport no. 1. When they drive, they drive small cars; It’s a real rarity to see luxury ones. Denmark is wisely saving energy and nature and tax on luxury cars is 180% double the price of car.
In the Freetown Christiania, which we have already written about, cars are completely banned. In this independent territory of 30 ha in the beautiful nature, where there were military barracks, a group of hippies formed the community in 1971 and set up their social rules. It has about 900 inhabitants and attracts a huge number of tourists not only by its uniqueness, but also by numerous musical events, performances, exhibitions …
Another popular pedestrian zone among tourists is the shopping realm of Copenhagen, Stroget Street, which is reached by the square of the city house. The good thing about Copenhagen is that you can also freely walk in the complex of the Royal Palace of Amalienborg. It has four identical buildings in a late baroque style, in the center of which is the bronze statue of King FrederickV is on the horse. No need of mentioning of visiting the National Museum (entrance is free) and getting to know Danish history from Viking period. The museum also has a part for the youngest in which they “become” Vikings, wear traditional Viking clothes and entertain themselves with old toys. The largest art museum, the National Gallery of Denmark, has one of the best collections of Matisse’s works in the world.
Carlsberg is not just a beer
“Carlsberg Center”, an authentic city unit, a witness of 170 years of industrial culture (“Carlsberg” was founded in 1847) is the center of many events. The beginner of the Carlsberg empire, named after his son, Carl, was Jacob Christian Jacobsen. Fascinated by the modern technology, he introduced many newspapers and revolutionized the beer industry, and in 1875 he founded the Carlsberg Laboratory, even today known for testing the quality of beer from around the world. The Carlsberg Foundation is known for providing prominent scientists with a stay and working conditions in a honorary residential area. Physician Niels Bohr, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, has been here for 30 years. Here is also very rich Glyptotheque with the works of the world’s greatest sculptors that the family has formed for generations.
The magnificent architecture of Copenhagen unifies the past and the present in a natural way. Smart urban planning has found a measure in highlighting the modern alongside the historic buildings and palaces.
Opera on gift
The new opera in Copenhagen, built in 2005, has 14 floors and 5 underground levels, an area of 41,000 m2 and 1,000 rooms, and only the foyer occupies 4,000 m2. It is one of the most modern operas in the world with 6 changing stages and the perfect acoustics of the large hall for 1,500 visitors. The finest wood types, Italian marble and 24-carat gilded ceilings adorn the interior, and the light sculptures of the Olafura Eliasons take your breath away. The Opera is unique also because it is a gift for the citizens from the richest Dane Maerska McKinne Meller.worth a total of 335 million euros. He chose the most famous Danish architect Henning Larsen without a contest, which is a precedent, and the gift is conditioned without the interference of city authorities in the project and construction. During the four years of construction, there was a disagreement between the architect Larsen and the donor, and the architect distanced himself from the project. The most frequent critique of the new Opera is that due to its enormous dimensions, the castle Amalineborg looks like a miniature. Despite the objections, the Danes are grateful for the gift and proud of the new opera.