The Round Tower

The Round Tower
The Round Tower

The Round Tower in Copenhagen is a tower. And it’s round. You probably could have guessed that from the name.

Rising to 34.9 meters (about 114.5 feet) above the ground, it was built by King Christian IV of Denmark between 1637 and 1642. Well, I doubt he actually got his hands dirty building it. He probably had people do that for him. But he commissioned it. What more could you ask of a king?

There’s an observatory on top of the tower that was used by the University of Copenhagen until 1861. There were a few different observatories there after that, right up until 1929. And it is still used by amateur astronomers today.

There’s also an observation deck that runs around the outside of the observatory.

The Round Tower adjoins a church, but it was built as an observatory, not to function as part of the church.

Spiralling Up (And, of Course, Down)

I got to the observation deck by walking up a wide, spiralling walkway. That took me most of the way up. It’s only the last short way to the top that involves climbing stairs, which are an easy climb.

Hmm. I just realized that my choice of words in the subheading for this section was not the best. “Spiralling” carries a connotation of being out of control. That’s not the case. I didn’t see a single person rolling down the walkway out of control while I was there. I doubt that happens to more than one in a hundred people, so you’re probably safe.

A little way up the spiral I came to a glass door that provided a good view of the handsome adjoining church. After walking further up I came to a gallery off to side that, when I was there, housed an exhibition of hats and the gift shop. I think the hat exhibit was temporary, but the gift shop was likely permanent because there is a galactic law that requires that all major tourist attractions must have gift shops. Churches sometimes get exemptions to this galactic law, but not always.

Speaking of churches, I think the gallery was above the church, but after a turn or two on the spiral walkway I totally lost my sense of direction. Although, after looking at the structure from the outside, it must be over the church. Either that or it exists in another dimension not visible to the human eye from the outside, but that’s not terribly likely.

I walked further up the spiral and got a chance to peer into the bell loft that contains a collection of stuff that was found when refurbishing the log. I know it was above the gallery because a sign told me so. So, if the gallery is above the church, then so is the loft (with the gallery in between). If not, then not, but that might overcrowd the otherwise hidden dimension.

On the observation deck are some great views of Copenhagen. To my mind, they’re better than the views I got from The Corkscrew Church (aka Church of Our Saviour). That’s not just because the Round Tower didn’t challenge my fear of heights as much as the Church of Our Saviour. The Round Tower is closer to the center of town and it’s not as high. So I was closer to the buildings that I was looking upon, allowing me to see them better. And, well, there is that fear of heights not being as challenged as much thing as well.

Been there? Done that? Do tell.