Museum of Copenhagen

Museum of Copenhagen
General information
Architectural style Neoclassicism
Town or city Copenhagen
Country Denmark
Completed 1787
Client Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society

The Museum of Copenhagen (Danish: Københavns Bymuseum), founded in 1891, is the official museum of Copenhagen, Denmark, documenting the city's history from the 12th century to the present.

The museum is located in a mansion close to the Central Station at Vesterbrogade and overlooks Skydebanehaven. From 1787, the mansion housed the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society; The former shooting range now serves as a small public park.

Outside the museum's entrance is a large-scale model of medieval Copenhagen. Part of the adjacent street, Absalongade, serves as a museum street, featuring historic street furniture.


Starting in 1925, the museum had a permanent exhibition in the attic of Copenhagen City Hall. As the collections grew, the attic became too small and in 1956 the museum moved to the former building of the Royal Shooting Society. The former shooting range became a public park, still known as Skydebanehaven. In 1984, the museum took over the former Maria Kruuse School in the adjacent Absalongade. It is now used for administration as well as the museum's archives. Part of the street was turned into a museum street featuring historic street furniture.[1]


The mansion in which the museum is located today is the former premises of the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society. Originally it trained citizens as part of the defense of the city. By the 18th century, the nature of its activities had become purely ceremonial and social. The society was based in the street Kompagnistræde, which was named after it, where No. 16 lies today, but since its activities were poorly compatible with a location inside the fortified city, it was granted royal permission to conduct the shooting training at a site outside Vesterport in the 1750s.[2] In 1782, the society acquired a 3.5 hectare piece of land, stretching from present day Vesterbrogade to the beach. The foundation stone was laid for the current building the same year, but due to shortage of funds construction came to a standstill several times and the mansion was not completed until 1787.[3]

When Vesterbro started to develop in the second half of the 19th century, after the city had been allowed to develop past its now decommissioned fortifications, the Royal Shooting Society once again found itself situated in urban surroundings. Copenhagen Municipality expropriated much of the grounds and, in 1887, 100 years after the completion of the building, a tall wall was constructed to shield the newly established street of Istedgade from stray bullets from the shooting range. The wall was built to the design of architect Ludvig Knudsen in a neo-Gothic style. Ludvig Knudsen also modernized the interior of the Shooting Society's mansion in the 1890s and added a small new wing towards the gardens. After World War II, the Society moved to Sølyst Manor close to Klampenborg north of Copenhagen, while Copenhagen Municipality acquired the property at Vesterbro.[4]


  1. "Københavns Bymuseum". Gyldendal. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
  2. "Skydebrødrenes palæ". MIK. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
  3. "Museets historie". Københavns Bymuseum. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
  4. "Museets historie". Københavns Bymuseum. Retrieved 2009-12-19.

Coordinates: 55°40′20″N 12°33′12″E / 55.67234°N 12.553451°E / 55.67234; 12.553451

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