The Royal Library Garden

Set in the political, economic and literary heart of Denmark, the atmosphere here is meditative, the trees cast soft shadows, the plants are in bloom and the buildings are beautiful. Enter through the gate at the National Archives, opposite the main entrance to the Parliament into Rigsdagsgården, and you find yourself in the Royal Library Garden, commonly known as just the Library Garden.

Her er en andægtig ro, som kun brydes af lyden fra de kaskader af vand, den otte meter høje vandskulptur midt i anlægget sender ned i sit bassin. Og når Rådhusuret i det fjerne slår sine timeslag, markeres det med ekstra høje stråler og plasken fra skulpturens top.

This is a place of devout tranquility, the peace broken only by the sound of water cascading from the eight-metre-tall fountain in the middle of the garden. When the City Hall clock strikes the hour in the distance, it is echoed by the fountain, which sends extra jets shooting into the air.

Visitors get to enjoy the flowers, which change with the seasons, the stylised trees and the Virginia creepers that climb the walls of the old library. You can immerse yourself in a book or ponder the meaning of life in the company of the famous philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whose sculpture appears to gaze into the distance, beyond the red walls.

If you arrive at the right time of day, you may be lucky enough to bump into MPs and other people who work in Parliament. They often come here in their lunch breaks in search of peace, quiet and a place to think.

The garden dates from 1920, when it was installed on the reclaimed site of Christian IV’s military port, Tøjhushavnen. Traces of this maritime history still remain, in the form of the old mooring rings still visible on the western wall of the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum.

Photo: Scanpix/Kristoffer Juel Poulsen

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DATA & LINKS

Det Kongelige Biblioteks Have
(The Royal Library Garden)
Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1
1016 Copenhagen K

  • Peace
  • Tranquility
  • Contemplation
  • Both the Victualler’s Yard (Proviantgården), east of the Library Garden, and the Arsenal to the west were built in 1604 to cater for the fleet anchored in the military port on the spot now occupied by the Library Garden.
  • The Victualler’s Yard has been ravaged by fire on a number of occasions, most recently in 1992, but has been rebuilt each time. The National Archives, facing Rigsdagsgården, were built in 1720. The main entrance to the Royal Library was built between 1898 and 1906.
  • The bronze fountain in the middle of the Library Garden was sculpted by Mogens Møller to mark the inauguration of the Black Diamond, the Royal Library’s new waterfront extension, in 1999.
  • Wheelchair access is via Søren Kierkegaard’s Square at the Black Diamond.
  • There are several restaurants nearby - including in the Black Diamond.
1 km

Get directions here