A Spiraled Path to History: The Round Tower of Copenhagen

During my trip to Copenhagen, I had the opportunity to visit the iconic Round Tower, a historic site and a prominent feature of the city’s skyline.

Constructed from red and yellow bricks, the Round Tower stands as a testament to the architectural ambitions of King Christian IV. Dating back to the 17th century, the Trinitas Complex, of which the Round Tower is a part, originally served as an astronomical observatory for the university, along with housing a library and a church. What sets the Round Tower apart is its helical corridor, which is the sole path leading to the summit of the structure.

Journey to the Top of the Round Tower The visit to the Round Tower is a swift adventure, yet it’s filled with fascinating sights condensed into a small area.

Ascending the Helical Corridor The tower’s centerpiece is undoubtedly the spiraling corridor that stretches over 200 meters, guiding visitors to the top. The slope is gentle, rising at a 10-degree angle, making the walk quite manageable. This ramp has historical significance; not only did Tsar Peter the Great climb it on horseback, but it was also designed for horses and carriages to ascend to the observatory. Today, it is the site of an annual unicycle race, a nod to its diverse uses through history.

This helical ramp was not merely for access; it was ingeniously designed to facilitate the transport of large and heavy objects, like astronomical instruments and volumes of books to the library.

The Library Hall At one time, the Round Tower’s library housed a vast collection of over 100,000 books for the University of Copenhagen. Positioned within the church’s attic, this space has been transformed into a cultural hub. Now, it’s a spacious and luminous venue for exhibitions and musical performances. Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely coffee or browse for keepsakes here.

The Observatory Deck

Ascending from the Library, you enter the somber yet intriguing Bell Loft. Amidst the ancient timber, a modest collection of historical pieces narrates the saga of the Round Tower.

The Summit’s Panorama

A final climb up a snug staircase, regulated by a simple red/green light system to ease the flow, brings you to the culmination of your ascent.

Atop, you stand roughly 35 meters above the city’s hustle, greeted by one of Copenhagen’s most breathtaking vistas. The intricate ironwork that fences the observation platform is not just for safety, but also a canvas displaying King Christian IV’s insignia, seamlessly blending art with utility.

The Stellar Gaze Point

Once an academic haven for stargazers, the observatory crowning the Round Tower served the University until the 1800s. Today, it opens its lens to the public, allowing a glimpse into the celestial canvas with its classic refracting telescope. During the crisp winter evenings every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM, the observatory welcomes visitors to explore the night sky without the need for a separate entry pass.

The Trinitas Church

Nestled within the same architectural ensemble is the Trinitas Church. Historically, it functioned as the chapel for university scholars. Now, its doors are open for all who seek a moment of tranquility and reflection within its hallowed walls.

Visiting Details for the Round Tower in Copenhagen The iconic Round Tower welcomes visitors daily, opening its doors at 10:00 AM. Closing times adjust seasonally, with the tower shutting at 6:00 PM during the winter and extending to 8:00 PM in the summer. For star enthusiasts, from October through March, the Observatory atop the tower invites guests on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 PM to 9 PM.

For adults seeking to ascend the Round Tower, the entry fee is 40 DKK, which is just slightly above 5€. Those holding a Copenhagen Card can enjoy the visit without any additional cost. Keep up-to-date on the latest visitation guidelines and health protocols by consulting the official website before your trip.

During my trip to Copenhagen, I had the opportunity to visit the iconic Round Tower, a historic site and a prominent feature of the city’s skyline.

Constructed from red and yellow bricks, the Round Tower stands as a testament to the architectural ambitions of King Christian IV. Dating back to the 17th century, the Trinitas Complex, of which the Round Tower is a part, originally served as an astronomical observatory for the university, along with housing a library and a church. What sets the Round Tower apart is its helical corridor, which is the sole path leading to the summit of the structure.

Journey to the Top of the Round Tower The visit to the Round Tower is a swift adventure, yet it’s filled with fascinating sights condensed into a small area.

Ascending the Helical Corridor The tower’s centerpiece is undoubtedly the spiraling corridor that stretches over 200 meters, guiding visitors to the top. The slope is gentle, rising at a 10-degree angle, making the walk quite manageable. This ramp has historical significance; not only did Tsar Peter the Great climb it on horseback, but it was also designed for horses and carriages to ascend to the observatory. Today, it is the site of an annual unicycle race, a nod to its diverse uses through history.

This helical ramp was not merely for access; it was ingeniously designed to facilitate the transport of large and heavy objects, like astronomical instruments and volumes of books to the library.

The Library Hall At one time, the Round Tower’s library housed a vast collection of over 100,000 books for the University of Copenhagen. Positioned within the church’s attic, this space has been transformed into a cultural hub. Now, it’s a spacious and luminous venue for exhibitions and musical performances. Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely coffee or browse for keepsakes here.

The Observatory Deck

Ascending from the Library, you enter the somber yet intriguing Bell Loft. Amidst the ancient timber, a modest collection of historical pieces narrates the saga of the Round Tower.

The Summit’s Panorama

A final climb up a snug staircase, regulated by a simple red/green light system to ease the flow, brings you to the culmination of your ascent.

Atop, you stand roughly 35 meters above the city’s hustle, greeted by one of Copenhagen’s most breathtaking vistas. The intricate ironwork that fences the observation platform is not just for safety, but also a canvas displaying King Christian IV’s insignia, seamlessly blending art with utility.

The Stellar Gaze Point

Once an academic haven for stargazers, the observatory crowning the Round Tower served the University until the 1800s. Today, it opens its lens to the public, allowing a glimpse into the celestial canvas with its classic refracting telescope. During the crisp winter evenings every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM, the observatory welcomes visitors to explore the night sky without the need for a separate entry pass.

The Trinitas Church

Nestled within the same architectural ensemble is the Trinitas Church. Historically, it functioned as the chapel for university scholars. Now, its doors are open for all who seek a moment of tranquility and reflection within its hallowed walls.

Visiting Details for the Round Tower in Copenhagen The iconic Round Tower welcomes visitors daily, opening its doors at 10:00 AM. Closing times adjust seasonally, with the tower shutting at 6:00 PM during the winter and extending to 8:00 PM in the summer. For star enthusiasts, from October through March, the Observatory atop the tower invites guests on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 PM to 9 PM.

For adults seeking to ascend the Round Tower, the entry fee is 40 DKK, which is just slightly above 5€. Those holding a Copenhagen Card can enjoy the visit without any additional cost. Keep up-to-date on the latest visitation guidelines and health protocols by consulting the official website before your trip.

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