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Tivoli Gardens - 19th century Amusement Park


We visited Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens theme park when no one else was around and it was really creepy.

Tivoli Gardens opened on 15th August 1843 but until the 1850’s the gardens were located outside of the city, accessible through Vesterport to the West. They are now located in the centre of Copenhagen, right next to the central train station. Georg Cartensen was given a five-year charter by King Christian VIII to design and build a garden to mirror the grandeur of Jardin de Tivoli in Paris, which had in turn been named after the famous gardens of Tivoli in Italy.

From the outset the gardens and theme park were ambitiously designed to have multiple uses and satisfy the bourgeois needs of Copenhagen’s wealthy. The attractions included buildings in the exotic style of an imaginary Orient: a theatre, band stands, restaurants and cafés, flower gardens, and mechanical amusement rides such as a merry-go-round and a primitive scenic railway. Now, the park is mainly an attraction for children and their parents with many small rides and play areas taking the place of the elaborate flower beds.

When we visited they were preparing for the open season, having been closed for the winter. This meant most of the park was in a state not meant to be seen by members of the public. The stacks of bins, unearthed palm trees in the middle of a path, and piles of red lanterns gave the feeling of abandonment. If it wasn’t for the few workmen giving Tivoli some final safety adjustments, we would have been alone. We managed to find our way onto the largest rollercoaster in the park, which was deserted, and climbed to the top of the big drop. As the park is in the middle of the city, this was one of the best views we found during our stay. And we got to enjoy it for as long as we wanted.

For more info head over to: Tivoli Gardens Website

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