If we could turn the clock back a couple of hundred years, we’d hear gunfire, the sounds of war and death cries. But today, all you’ll find behind the iron gates on Classensgade is peace and tranquility. This romantic fairy-tale garden is one of Copenhagen’s best-kept secrets, tucked away behind beautiful, neoclassical blocks of flats.
In Classen’s Garden, you can hide in the scrub that conceals old bomb shelters, explore its many secrets, seek shade under the tall chestnut trees, throw yourself on the grass on a sunny day or immerse yourself in a book on one of the many benches while the children play on the swings or in the playhouse.
This is a garden that cries out for you to picnic. It offers respite from the city, somewhere you will be left undisturbed on hot summer days when other parks are crowded.
Classen’s Garden is part of a former country estate that stretched from Sortedam Lake down to Strandboulevarden. During the British siege of Copenhagen in 1807, the Danes made a sortie from the Citadel, during which they razed the country seat and its many trees to prevent the British seeking cover.
After the war, the gardens remained a wilderness for many years. The current garden is all that remains of the former parkland, and was set up at the same time as the surrounding housing was built in 1924.
The garden is named after Major-General Johan Frederik Classen, who originally owned the country seat. An obelisk dedicated to him stands at the entrance to the site.
Photo: Søren Rud