Picture of the Week

2 May 2014

Week 17: Copenhagen

Filed under: — Administrator @ 10:28

The week began in Copenhagen, and although I flew home to Alicante Tuesday morning, all the pictures are from Sunday and Monday in Denmark.

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As usual, I was staying at the hotel De Ni Små Hjem (“the nine little homes”, converted apartments in the building where Victor Borge was born) in Østerbro, just around the corner from my friend Beata. Østerbro is a (upper) middle class neighbourhood just north the centre. Its most prominent features are Langelinie, where the Little Mermaid is located, and a three interconnected artificial lakes that stretch from Østerbrogade, the main street of the quarter, south to the centre. They have individual names, but everyone calls them simply “Søerne”, “the lakes”:
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A closer view of the bird in the previous image:
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Part of the northernmost lake, Sortedams Sø, is currently covered by the construction of a new metro station, 40 m underneath. It is one of several huge construction projects going on in Denmark right now:
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On the opposite side of the lake there is an apartment building that used to be a home for unmarried women, back in the days when being unmarried past 30 was a social disaster and left you in poverty. The façade of the building is decorated with reliefs representing various virtues. Here we have Purity:
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Faith:
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Wisdom:
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Another feathered inhabitant of the lake:
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I noticed this weird statue at the southern end of the lakes while driving by, and so had to have a closer look. It is called “Dodekalitten”, has some connection to Greek mythology, and a rich guy is planning to put up 12 of them in a field on one of the islands south of Copenhagen, like a modern-day Stonehenge:
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Bicycles parked on Classensgade, Østerbro. It is not unusual to see old grocery boxes and such converted for use on bicycles:
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A standard phrase on Danish shop fronts is “Cykler fjernes uden ansvar” which means “Bicycles will be removed, no liability assumed” or something like that, means to discourage people from parking their bikes against the shop window. This shop, selling arts supplies, has twisted the phrase to mean that bicycles will be painted:
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One of the best bakeries in Østerbro:
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Langelinie is the home of the Little Mermaid, but the locals go there because it is one the nicest parks in the city, especially at this time of year when everything is in bloom:
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Besides the Little Mermaid, Langelinie contains several other sculptures and monuments, such as this, recently raised, monument to Danish seamen who have perished at sea:
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On my last day in Copenhagen, Monday, my sister and I borrowed Beata’s car and drove up to Humlebæk, home of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It is one of the places I visit every time I am in Copenhagen, not least because of its beautiful location on the shores of the Øresund:
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The Swedish coast is just visible in the distance:
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Here too, things were blooming:
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Stairs up to the village:
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Louisiana is surrounded by a large park, dotted with sculptures by Henry Moore, Max Ernst and others:
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One by Max Ernst:
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Anatomically correct:
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Danish sculptor Henry Heerup was known for his use of colour:
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This and the next image show the landscape itself becomes part of the art. First, the gate:
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Wind chimes of sorts:
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One of my favourite rooms at Lousiana:
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In addition to the permanent collections, Lousiana always has one or more interesting exhibitions going on. Here, my sister is watching a video montage of a flooded McDo, part of an exhibition of modern American art:
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But our main objective this time was to see a major exhibition of Arabic art and (especially) architecture:
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Traditional lattice wall, allowing people to see out while maintaining some degree of privacy:
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Looking in from the outside:
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Desert town:
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Pink:
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The darker side of Arab architecture, as evidenced in the excesses of places like Dubai, was also well documented and their resulting environmental footprint, as were the upheavals of the Arab spring. Here, a ceramic statue from Egypt, depicting riot police in action:
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One of the wonderful things about visiting Louisiana is the luminosity and the views of the surrounding landscape, which are never far away:
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And art is everywhere, even in the toilets:
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After our visit to Louisiana, my sister and I drove south to Vallensbæk, to visit the beach where we had walked so many times with our parents:
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There are several inlets, and also a harbour:
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Sailing is popular in Denmark and by no means reserved for the rich. A big part of the attraction is what takes place on land. Lots of sausages get grilled here, and lots of green bottles are emptied on nice summer evenings:
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However, in recent years, sailing has been losing popularity. The young people these days find it too time-consuming and just too much work compared to other outdoors pursuits. Consequently, Vallensbæk harbour has set aside an area as a sort of boat cemetery:
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Finally, we walked back to the car and drove back to Beata’s place. Before doing so, we looked from Vallensbæk towards Brøndby Strand, the neighbouring suburb. My parents lived in the second building from the left until my father’s death in 2004:
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1 Comment »

  1. A feast for the eyes and mind. Many thanks. The flooded McDo was unexpected 🙂

    Comment by Brian Swale — 3 May 2014 @ 14:30

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