National Museum of Denmark

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National Museum of Denmark
Nationalmuseet logo.svg
Nationalmuseet kbh.jpg
The Prince's Mansion in Copenhagen. Home of the National Museum of Denmark
National Museum of Denmark
Former name
Det Kongelige Kunstkammer
Established22 May 1807;213 years ago (22 May 1807) [1]
LocationNy Vestergade 10, Copenhagen,
Coordinates 55°40′29″N12°34′29″E / 55.674722°N 12.574722°E / 55.674722; 12.574722
TypeNational gallery
Visitors351,373 (2017) [2]
Founder Christian Jürgensen Thomsen
Director Rane Willerslev
OwnerState of Denmark
Website Official Website
Seal (1893) Nationalmuseets segl 1893.png
Seal (1893)

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen is Denmark's largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum's main building is located a short distance from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen. It contains exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America. Additionally, the museum sponsors SILA - The Greenland Research Center at the National Museum of Denmark to further archaeological and anthropological research in Greenland. [3]


The museum has a number of national commitments, particularly within the following key areas: archaeology, ethnology, numismatics, ethnography, natural science, conservation, communication, building antiquarian activities in connection with the churches of Denmark, as well as the handling of the Danefæ (the National Treasures).


The museum covers 14,000 years of Danish history, from the reindeer-hunters of the Ice Age, Vikings, and works of religious art from the Middle Ages, when the church was highly significant in Danish life. Danish coins from Viking times to the present and coins from ancient Rome and Greece, as well as examples of the coinage and currencies of other cultures, are exhibited also. The National Museum keeps Denmark's largest and most varied collection of objects from the ancient cultures of Greece and Italy, the Near East and Egypt. For example, it holds a collection of objects that were retrieved during the Danish excavation of Tell Shemshara in Iraq in 1957. [4]

Exhibits are also shown on who the Danish people are and were, stories of everyday life and special occasions, stories of the Danish state and nation, but most of all stories of different people's lives in Denmark from 1560 to 2000.

The Danish pre-history section was re-opened in May 2008 after years of renovating.

In 2013, a major exhibition on the Vikings was opened by Margrethe II of Denmark. It has toured to other museums, including the British Museum in London. [5]

Notable artifacts


Publications (selected)

Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark is the title of the museum's yearbook which has been published since 1928 and contains articles and other contributions. [6] ISSN 0084-9308

See also

Related Research Articles

Golden Horns of Gallehus

The Golden Horns of Gallehus were two horns made of sheet gold, discovered in Gallehus, north of Møgeltønder in Southern Jutland, Denmark. The horns dated to the early 5th century, i.e. the beginning of the Germanic Iron Age.

Lindholm Høje

Lindholm Høje is a major Viking burial site and former settlement situated to the north of and overlooking the city of Aalborg in Denmark.

Nordic Bronze Age

The Nordic Bronze Age is a period of Scandinavian prehistory from c. 1700–500 BC.

Gundestrup cauldron Silver cauldron from Denmark dating to 200 BC to 300 AD

The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly decorated silver vessel, thought to date from between 200 BC and 300 AD, or more narrowly between 150 BC and 1 BC. This places it within the late La Tène period or early Roman Iron Age. The cauldron is the largest known example of European Iron Age silver work. It was found dismantled, with the other pieces stacked inside the base, in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in the Aars parish of Himmerland, Denmark. It is now usually on display in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, with replicas at other museums; during 2015–16 it was in the UK on a travelling exhibition called The Celts.

Horned helmet Helmet with horns

Horned helmets were worn by many people around the world. Headpieces mounted with animal horns or replicas were also worn, as in the Mesolithic Star Carr. These were probably used for religious ceremonial or ritual purposes, as horns tend to be impractical on a combat helmet. Much of the evidence for these helmets and headpieces comes from depictions rather than the items themselves.

Egtved Village in Region Syd, Denmark

Egtved is a village with a population of 2,420 near Vejle, Denmark in Vejle municipality in the Danish Region of Southern Denmark.

History of Scandinavia

The history of Scandinavia is the history of the geographical region of Scandinavia and its peoples. The region is in northern Europe, and consists of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finland and Iceland are at times, especially in English-speaking contexts, considered part of Scandinavia.

Trundholm sun chariot Late Nordic Bronze Age artifact discovered in Denmark

The Trundholm sun chariot, is a Nordic Bronze Age artifact discovered in Denmark. It is a representation of the sun chariot, a bronze statue of a horse and a large bronze disk, which are placed on a device with spoked wheels.

Egtved Girl Bronze age girl found in a Danish burial mound

The Egtved Girl[ˈektveð] was a Nordic Bronze Age girl whose well-preserved remains were discovered outside Egtved, Denmark in 1921. Aged 16–18 at death, she was slim, 160 centimeters tall, had short, blond hair and well-trimmed nails. Her burial has been dated by dendrochronology to 1370 BC. She was discovered together with cremated remains of a child in a barrow approximately 30 m (98 ft) wide and 4 m (13 ft) high. Only the girl's hair, brain, teeth, nails and a little of her skin remain preserved.

The archaeology of Northern Europe studies the prehistory of Scandinavia and the adjacent North European Plain, roughly corresponding to the territories of modern Sweden, Norway, Denmark, northern Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.

Veksø Town in Capital Region, Denmark

Veksø is a small town located between Ballerup and Ølstykke-Stenløse in Egedal, some 20 km northwest of Copenhagen, Denmark. The town is on a hill, surrounded by meadows and bogland. Veksø station is served by the Frederikssund radial of the S-train network.

Danish art

Danish art is the visual arts produced in Denmark or by Danish artists. It goes back thousands of years with significant artifacts from the 2nd millennium BC, such as the Trundholm sun chariot. For many early periods, it is usually considered as part of the wider Nordic art of Scandinavia. Art from what is today Denmark forms part of the art of the Nordic Bronze Age, and then Norse and Viking art. Danish medieval painting is almost entirely known from church frescos such as those from the 16th-century artist known as the Elmelunde Master.

Borremose is a raised bog in central Himmerland, Denmark south east of the town of Aars. The name translates directly as 'Borre'-bog, where 'Borre' might well be a derivation of the old word burgh meaning fortified place, as seen in many other place-names.

Grevensvænge figurines

The Grevensvænge hoard is a find of the late Nordic Bronze Age, discovered in the late 18th century at Grevensvænge, Næstved Municipality, Zealand, Denmark. The hoard consisted of seven bronze figurines. Its first mention is in 1779, where it is said to have been found in the ground "a few years ago". After their discovery, they were kept with the pastor at Herlufmagle, Marcus Schnabel.

Waterloo Helmet

The Waterloo Helmet is a pre-Roman Celtic bronze ceremonial horned helmet with repoussé decoration in the La Tène style, dating to circa 150–50 BC, that was found in 1868 in the River Thames by Waterloo Bridge in London, England. It is now on display at the British Museum in London.

Nordic art is the art made in the Nordic countries: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and associated territories. Scandinavian art refers to a subset of Nordic art and is art specific for the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Veksø helmets

The Veksø helmets are a pair of Bronze Age ceremonial horned helmets found near Veksø in Zealand, Denmark.

Wetland deposits in Scandinavia

In many areas of Scandinavia, a wide variety of items were deposited in lakes and bogs from the Mesolithic period through to the Middle Ages. Such items include earthenware, decorative metalwork, weapons, and human corpses, known as bog bodies. As Kaul noted, "we cannot get away from the fact that the depositions in the bogs were connected with the ritual/religious sphere."

Tjele helmet fragment

The Tjele helmet fragment is a Viking Age fragment of iron and bronze, originally comprising the eyebrows and noseguard of a helmet. It was discovered in 1850 with a large assortment of smith's tools in Denmark, and though the find was sent to the National Museum of Denmark, for 134 years the fragment was mistaken for a saddle mount. In 1984 it was properly identified by an assistant keeper at the museum as the remainder of one of only five known helmets from the Viking era.

Gevninge helmet fragment 6th or 7th century artefact

The Gevninge helmet fragment is the dexter eyepiece of a helmet from the Viking Age or end of the Nordic Iron Age. It was found in 2000 during the excavation of a Viking farmstead in Gevninge, near Lejre, Denmark. The fragment is moulded from bronze and gilded, and consists of a stylised eyebrow with eyelashes above an oval opening. There are three holes at the top and bottom of the fragment to affix the eyepiece to a helmet. The fragment is significant as rare evidence of contemporaneous helmets, and also for its discovery in Gevninge, an outpost that is possibly connected to the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. It has been in the collection of the Lejre Museum since its discovery, and has been exhibited internationally as part of a travelling exhibition on Vikings.


  1. "Nationalmuseets historie / Oldsagskommissionen" (in Danish). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  2. "Nationalmuseets besøsgtal" (in Danish). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  3. "About SILA". Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  4. Mortensen, Peder (1970), Tell Shimshara. The Hassuna period, Historisk-Filosofiske Skrifter, 5, 2, Copenhagen: Kongelige Danske videnskabernes selskab, p. 14, OCLC   562453801
  5. Kennedy, Maev (19 June 2013). "Biggest Viking exhibition in 20 years opens – and this time they're angry". Guardian. London.
  6. Om Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark;