23 November 2010

Copenhagen anatomy

If there is such a thing as the heart of Copenhagen, the very core, I would say it is buried right under the Stork Fountain on Hojbro Plads. Not quoting history books, but simply going by how I feel: this is the place. At the moment the area is under attack/heavy construction. On Gammel Strand, a stone throw away they are building a metro (ugh, don't get me started... I am so against that fragile location), and on the adjoining Amagertorv, the energy company are working about 3 metres below street level.

It was already dark last week when I spotted a series of Bert's near the Stork Fountain. I knew the shots would not work, but I stopped to pet them anyway, and had a nice chat with the construction workers. As we were talking, they uncovered a heavy bone from the ground. To them it was no big deal (they even come across human remains sometimes, I was told), but for me it was a major rush. Like having a glimpse of the past. If you like this, you should take a look over there, one of them said, there is a part of an ancient floor showing (if you were on Twitter that night, I am sure you caught my excitement). I returned the next day to get a disappointing shot, wrecked by an annoying piece of rainbow colored plastic, but nevertheless I got a peak into the anatomy of Copenhagen.

Some of the earliest photographs of my fair city turns out to be from this spot, making me think that others before me have felt the heart here too. Leaving us plenty of now & then images. Listen to that beautiful heartbeat:

Earliest shot from 1865, back turned to where the fountain was later inaugurated (in 1894):

The lower far right corner is where they uncovered the bone. And on the opposite side the well (?). I was looking to see if there is a well on some of the old photographs, but all I can tell is that it used to be a vegetable market.

[Hochbrucke Square, Copenhagen, Denmark] (LOC)

A rare photocrome from the Library of Congress, ca. 1900.

And the same spot, 1938:

And today:

The well (at least I think it is) below:

Almost too dark again, my ever loosing fight. I just wanted to show the depth. 

And closer. Wild, huh?


  1. The plastic is used to keep the knees from being sore, when working on your knees.

  2. I see. But now my eye is sore..

  3. To me, it seems that it has not changed that much. It's a delight to see the old photographs and old buildings. I miss that a lot in LA.

  4. Hi Carole, it really is very close to the same, and that is what I find so fascinating. But then that may just be me, completely nerding out in my own little universe, haha. I passed by again today, and there was a lot more of the old cobblestone exposed at the lover level, the streets were apparently narrower then, and the sidewalks wider, because people got around by horse. It has come as a surprise to me how fascinating I find this..

    I am happy that you like the old photographs too.


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