Gammeltorv

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Gammeltorv
Gammeltorv, Copenhagen.jpg
Gammeltorv
Part of Strøget
Location Indre By, Copenhagen, Denmark
Postal code1457
Coordinates 55°40′41″N12°34′20″E / 55.67806°N 12.57222°E / 55.67806; 12.57222

Gammeltorv (Old Market) is the oldest square in Copenhagen, Denmark. With adjoining Nytorv it forms a common space along the Strøget pedestrian zone. While the square dates back to the foundation of the city in the 12th century, most of its buildings were constructed after the Great Fire of 1795 in Neoclassical style. Another dominating feature is the Caritas Well, a Renaissance fountain erected by King Christian IV in 1610.

Contents

Historically, Gammeltorv has been the focal point of Copenhagen's judicial and political life as well as one of its two principal marketplaces. Several former city halls have been located on the square or in its immediate vicinity. Surprisingly, its name is not a reference to adjoining Nytorv but to the slightly younger Amagertorv, Copenhagen's other major market in early times.

History

Origins

The city hall at Gammeltorv as it appeared after the rebuilding in 1610 as seen from Gammeltorv Copenhagen City Hall (1479-1728) from Gammeltorv.jpg
The city hall at Gammeltorv as it appeared after the rebuilding in 1610 as seen from Gammeltorv

Already prior to Absolon's construction of his castle on Slotsholmen, there seems to have been a marketplace at Gammeltorv, possibly also a Thing. [1] Copenhagen's first town hall, of which practically nothing is known, was built on the east side of the square but later destroyed during Hanseatic capture and pillaging of the city in 1368. In 1374 the square is referred to as Forum and in 1446 the square is referred to as "the old square" as opposed to the somewhat younger Amagertorv. From 1470 the name Gammeltorv is used consistently.

In 1479 a new town hall was built on the southern side of Gammeltorv. Towards the end of the 16th century, King Frederick II provided for the construction of a water tube from Lake Emdrup. Six kilometres long, it was made from carved out tree trunks, and with an altitude difference of 9 metres the water pressure was high enough to erect Copenhagen's first fountain at Gammeltorv.

King Christian IV rebuilt the town hall in Renaissance style from 1608 to 1610. He also moved and redesigned Frederick II's fountain, creating the Caritas Well. It was also at this point that the area behind the town hall was cleared and Nytorv founded. [2]

When Kongens Nytorv King Christian V's grand new place royalewas established in 1670 and the area of the Copenhagen fortified was doubled, Gammeltorv lost its status as the focal square of the city. [3]

Effects of the two fires

Gammeltorv with the Caritas Well and the new city hall, c. 1730, painting by Johannes Rach Gammeltorv ( Rach and Eegberg).png
Gammeltorv with the Caritas Well and the new city hall, c. 1730, painting by Johannes Rach
Gammeltorv seen on Gedde's map of Copenhagen's Vestre Quarter Gammeltorv (Gedde).jpg
Gammeltorv seen on Gedde's map of Copenhagen's Vestre Quarter

In the Great Fire of 1728, the town hall was among the many buildings lost to the flames. A new town hall was erected on its foundation, built to a design of Johan Conrad Ernst and Johan Cornelius Krieger in the Baroque style. To commemorate the tercentenary of the House of Oldenburg's accent to the Danish throne, the City Magistrate erected an octagonal memorial temple in the square in 1749.

In the Copenhagen Fire of 1795 the city hall burnt down once again. After this it was moved to a site at Nytorv and the two earlier squares were merged to form one large, rectangular space. [4] After the fire the buildings around the square were mainly rebuilt in the Neoclassical style typical of the time.

The meat market

Chicken ladies at Gammeltorv, c. 1800 Valby women at Gammeltorv, Copenhagen, c. 1800.jpg
Chicken ladies at Gammeltorv, c. 1800

In spite of King Christian IV's refurbishments, Gammeltorv remained a crowded marketplace in the middle of an over-populated city which, away from the main streets, had not changed much since the Middle Ages.

After a royal decree on 28 July 1684 provided that all trade in fresh fruit and vegetables was to take place at Amagertorv, [5] Gammeltorv had primarily been a meat market, mainly for trade in pork and poultry. The square was particularly known for its 'poultry ladies' who gathered around the Caritas Well, selling poultry and eggs. [6] They came from the village of Valby unlike the vendours on Amagertorv who came from Amager.

Modern times

In 1901 a covered market hall was constructed in the Meat District, established by the City in 1879 to ensure ordered and hygienic handling of meat and livestock, but it was dedicated to trade in calf, sheep and lamb meat. After this the City's attention became directed at the trade at Gammeltorv and on 15 April 1910 a Pork Hall was inaugurated. From the same date all trade in pork meat was stopped at Gammeltorv while the poultry ladies were allowed to continue their activities by the Caritas Well until 1 April 1917. [7]

Gammeltorv became increasingly dominated by cars and in the 1950s it turned into a car park. This was changed when the Strøget pedestrian zone was created starting in 1962. [8]

Notable buildings and residents

No. 18: The Bachmann House Gammeltorv 18.jpg
No. 18: The Bachmann House

A number of architectural styles are represented in spite of Gammeltorv's small size and harmonic character. No. 14, 16 and 18 on the square's north side and No. 20 and No. 22 on its west side all date from the years 17951801 but none of the architects are known. The more monumental of the three houses is the Bachmann House at No. 18. The facade is decorated with Ionic order pilasters and is tipped by a triangular pediment. The Suhr House at No. 22 is also decorated with Ionic order pilasters.

Gammeltorv 2 Nygade 6 (Aage Langeland-Mathiesen).jpg
Gammeltorv 2
Arne Jacobsen's Stelling House at 6 Gammeltorv Gammeltorv 6 Kobenhavn.jpg
Arne Jacobsen's Stelling House at 6 Gammeltorv

The building on the corner with Frederiksborggade (Gammel Torv 24/Frederiksberggade 2) is from 1899 and was designed by Johan Schrøder. The building at the corner with Nygade (Gammel Torv 2/Nygade 6), on the other side of the square, is from 1898 and was designed by Aage Langeland-Mathiesen in a style inspired by Renaissance architecture. The neighbouring building (No. 4), with arched windows and rustication on the lower floors, was designed by Frederik Levy and is also from 1898.

The Neo-Baroque property on the corner of Nørregade (Gammel Torv 8/Nørregade 1) is called Alexandrahus and was built in 1906 to design by Ulrik Plesner.

Arne Jacobsen's Stelling House on the corner of Skindergade is an early example of Functionalist architecture. [9]

Gammeltorv today

Today Gammeltorv is one of the busiest squares in central Copenhagen. At its latest refurbishment, conducted by city architect Otto Käszner in 1993, the footprint of the former city hall was marked in the paving with a paler stone.

A modern proof of Gammeltorv's historic role as the centre of the city is that house numbers in Copenhagen proceed from the end of the street which is located closest to the square.

Panorama

Gammeltorv panorama, Denmark.jpg
Gammeltorv panorama seen from the south

See also

Related Research Articles

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Valby

Valby  is one of the 10 official districts of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is in the southwestern corner of Copenhagen Municipality, and has a mixture of different types of housing. This includes apartment blocks, terraced housing, areas with single-family houses and allotments, plus the remaining part of the old Valby village, around which the district has formed, intermingled with past and present industrial sites.

City Hall Square, Copenhagen

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Copenhagen Fire of 1728

The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 was the largest fire in the history of Copenhagen, Denmark. It began on the evening of 20 October 1728 and continued to burn until the morning of 23 October. It destroyed approximately 28% of the city and left 20% of the population homeless. The reconstruction lasted until 1737. No less than 47% of the section of the city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was completely lost, and along with the Copenhagen Fire of 1795, it is the main reason that few traces of medieval Copenhagen can be found in the modern city.

Nytorv Public square in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark

Nytorv is a public square in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. Together with the adjoining Gammeltorv it forms a common space, today part of the Strøget pedestrian zone. The square is dominated by the imposing Neoclassical façade of the Copenhagen Court House, which from 1815-1905 also served as the City Hall.

Caritas Well

The Caritas Well, also known as the Caritas Fountain, is the oldest fountain in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was built in 1608 by Christian IV and is located on Gammeltorv, now part of the Strøget pedestrian zone.

Copenhagen Court House

The Copenhagen Court House is a historic building located on Nytorv in Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally built as a combined city hall and courthouse, it now serves as the seat of the District Court of Copenhagen. Inaugurated in 1815, it was built to the design of Christian Frederik Hansen in Neoclassical style.

Amagertorv

Amagertorv, today part of the Strøget pedestrian zone, is often described as the most central square in central Copenhagen, Denmark. Second only to Gammeltorv, it is also one of the oldest, taking its name from the Amager farmers who in the Middle Ages came into town to sell their produce at the site.

Bredgade

Bredgade is one of the most prominent streets in Copenhagen, Denmark. Running in a straight line from Kongens Nytorv for just under one kilometre to the intersection of Esplanaden and Grønningen, it is one of the major streets in Frederiksstaden, a Rococo district laid out in the middle of the 18th century to commemorate the tercentenary of the House of Oldenburg's accession to the Danish throne. It is lined with a number of fine mansions as well as other historic buildings. Many law firms, trade unions, fashion stores and art galleries are based in the street.

Højbro Plads

Højbro Plads is a rectangular public square located between the adjoining Amagertorv and Slotsholmen Canal in the City Centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. It takes its name from the Højbro Bridge which connects it to the Slotsholmen island on the other side of the canal while Gammel Strand extends along the near side of the canal.

Copenhagen City Hall (1479–1728)

A new, third City Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, was built at Gammeltorv in 1479. Rebuilt by King Christian IV into the Renaissance style in 1610, it was in use until 1728 when it was destroyed in the first Great Fire of Copenhagen. It was replaced by a new city hall which was built on its foundations the same year.

Copenhagen City Hall (1728–95)

A new, fourth City Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, was built between Gammeltorv and Nytorv in 1728 on the foundations of its predecessor which had been destroyed in the first Great Fire of Copenhagen earlier that same year. In 1795 it was itself destroyed in the second Great Fire of Copenhagen and later replaced by the new combined city hall and courthouse at Nytorv which was completed in 1815.

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Købmagergade

Købmagergade is a pedestrian shopping street in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark. It connects Amagertorv on Strøget to Nørreport station, although the last section, north of Kultorvet, is part of Frederiksborggade, which continues on the other side of the railway station.

Nørregade

Nørregade is a street in central Copenhagen, Denmark, linking Gammeltorv in the south with Nørre Voldgade in the north. Landmarks in the street include Church of Our Lady, Bispegården, St. Peter's Church and Folketeatret.

Grønnegade

Grønnegade is a street in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark, running northeast from Gammel Mønt to Gothersgade where it turns into Borgergade. It is part of Copenhagen's most exclusive shopping area, located northwest of Kongens Nytorv.

Kristen Bernikows Gade

Kristen Bernikows Gade is a street in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It extends north from the major shopping street Strøget to Grønnegade where it turns into Gammel Mønt. Together with Bremerholm, its extension to the south, it forms one of only two places where car traffic crosses pedestrianized Strøget on its way from Kongens Nytorv to the City Hall Square, the other being at Gammeltorv- Nytorv.

Strædet

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A/S Københavns Telefonkiosker

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References

  1. "Gammeltorv". Selskabet for Københavns Historie. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  2. "Magtens korridorer - Københavns rådhuse i 500 år" (in Danish). Københavns Stadsarkiv. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  3. "Kongens Nytorv". Selskabet for Københavns Historie. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  4. "Magtens korridorer - Københavns rådhuse i 500 år". Københavns Stadsarkiv. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  5. "Amagertorv". Selskabet for Københavns Historie. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  6. "Magtens korridorer - Københavns rådhuse i 500 år". Københavns Stadsarkiv. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  7. "Fra Trommesal til Kødby". Kødbyen. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  8. Gehl, Jan; Gemzøe, Lars (1996). Public Spaces, Public Life, Copenhagen. The Danish Architectural Press and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. p. 16. ISBN   877 407 305 2.
  9. "Gammeltorv". Gyldendal. Retrieved 2010-01-12.

Coordinates: 55°40′41″N12°34′20″E / 55.67806°N 12.57222°E / 55.67806; 12.57222