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Christiansborg Palace is today situated at the side where Bishop Absalon built a castle in 1167. During the following 800 years several castles and palaces have been replacing one another. Some of them were demolished and others burned down, but new buildings were always erected again symbolising the power of the Danish Kingdom.

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1369-87 Copenhagen Castle was built.
1417 Erik of Pommerania compels the Castle, to which he later builds the Blue Tower.
1428 A Hanseatic naval attack is repulsed.
c. 1445 The Castle’s great hall building is extended by Christoffer of Bayern.
1523 Rebellion of the nobility against Christian the Second. After a 5-months siege the town and the Castle surrender.
1534 During the civil war in Denmark, Copenhagen takes Christian the Second’s part and endures one year of hard siege, before the town and the Castle capitulate to the later Christian the Third in 1536. 
1552-58 During the reign of Christian the Third, the Castle’s royal wing and the wing of the guard’s room are extended out into the moat.
1596 Christian the Fourth heightens the Blue Tower and gives it a cooper-roofed spire with three crowns.
1663-85 Leonora Christina is imprisoned in the Blue Tower.
1710-14 The Great Hall building and the Council Hall are heightened.
1720-29 A complete reconstruction: the wings of the church and the kitchen are extended out into the moat and all the wings are given the same heights and uniform facades.
1731-32 The Castle’s destruction.

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The ruins underneath the castle

In the ruins it is possible to see the remains of two buildings: Bishop Absalon’s Castle and Copenhagen Castle. The Castle of Bishop Absalon of Roskilde was built in 1167 and destroyed in 1369, after which Copenhagen Castle was built. Both buildings consisted of a ring wall. Inside the wall were the Castle’s buildings and from the high ring wall it was possible to fight down the enemy.

On the left (just behind the big stone left in the front) you see some stones looking like a part of a wall That is the foundation from Bishop Absalon’s castles ring wall.
And in the front starting with the big stones going to the right hand side of the pic is the foundation from Copenhagen castle’s ring wall.
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The secret
The toilet of the time was a “secret”; it only consisted of a drain, which ended right below the ring wall. The drain to the left belonged to a house inside Absalon’s Castle. The drain to the right is the bottom of a shaft, which have been leading up to a toilet on a floor higher up in the tower.

The remains of the secret can be seen in the pic in the middle looking like a little tunnel and the other one is just to the right of it. The wall on the right side are the remains of Absalon’s Castles tower.
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The ring wall continues behind the tower. This means that the tower on Absalon’s castle is a later extension to the ring wall which is built of limestone while the tower is built of bricks. It was not until the end of the 12th century that bricks became a common building material. The tower of the ring wall became part of Copenhagen Castle as Bagertarnet (the Baker’s Tower). This can be seen on the outside of the tower, where new bricks have been added.

The wall on the right is the ring wall of Absalon’s Castle. It had a diameter of more than 50 meter. Below you can see the drain from the courtyard The beginning of the drain can be seen from the Castle’s courtyard on the other side of the ring wall.    The left wall is an additional reinforcement of the Castle’s defence. The stones just in front of you is the ring wall of Copenhagen’s castle. The ring wall shows that Copenhagen Castle was larger than Absalon’s Castle.
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The ring wall was a doublewall, which means that it consisted of two walls with a filling of stones and mortar. The outer side of the ring wall consisted of limestone from Stevns Klint. The white limestone wall was visible at a great distance and could thereby frighten the enemy. The wall was about 5 meters tall and 1.5 metres wide. On the top of the wall there might have been a watchman’s gallery. The outer wall is built of beautifully dressed stones, and it is evident that the wall’s appearance has also been in focus. The lower parts of the wall are formed as a jutting plinth and the height of the stones varies and forms a pattern.

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In 1368 during the reign of Valdemar Atterdag, Copenhagen was conquered by the united enemies of the king led by the Hanseatic towns of northern Germany. After a siege of one and a half month, the castle had to surrender. One of the ultimate objectives of the war was “simply to destroy and ruin the house in Copenhagen”. This objective was reached in 1369, when 47 Hanseatic stone cutters destroyed the castle and left in the ruins.

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The foundation stone for the present Palace was laid in 1907. REX, LEX and JUS are the Latin words for the institutions that the Palace would house: the Royal, legislative and judicial power.

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Stove from 1698. Stoves like this one have been placed at Copenhagen Castle, the first and the second Christiansborg. Every winter small fires broke out in the poorly cleaned and superheated stove pipes. It is considered to be the cause of both fires of the Palace in 1794 and 1884.

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A part of the sandstone decoration from the first Christiansborg. The Palace was decorated by the French sculptor, le Clerc.
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The left half is part of a facade from the first Christiansborg. The right half is a volute from the second Christiansborg.
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Nach einem schönen ausgiebigem Frühstück ums Eck der Winterresidenz der königlichen Familie, dem Schloss Amalienborg, folgten wir der vorbeimarschierenden königlichen Garde. Die Garde wurde von ihrem (sicherlich) Vorgesetzten uund einem Polizisten begleitet. Um 10 Uhr startet die “langwierige” Wachablöse, die von hunderten von Touristen verfolgt wird.

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