The modern mystery of Borgergade

The area in centre of Copenhagen known as Frederikstaden is one of the most historic sections of the city characterised by Nyboder, Amalienborg and Marmorkirken yet just one street away is probably the most modern selection of buildings in the whole of Indre By along Borgergade. I walked down this street for the first time a few weeks ago on my way to the new Sticks & Sushi there and the anomaly was so immediate that I felt it needed further investigation. How was an entire street so completely modern? What had happened to what should have been a street full of historic buildings? I know that Copenhagen had minimal damage during the Second World War but I couldn’t think if any obvious reason.DSC00754 My friend Wikipedia stepped in. This street had indeed been part of city planning back in 1649 and had been mainly inhabited by tradesmen and shopkeepers whilst the streets closer to the harbour were for more affluent people. Despite the fact the street was largely untouched by the great fires of 1728 and 1795, their impact was felt as the housing became crowded due to the number of displaced people in the city. It became one of the most crowded slums in the city and a hot bed of crime and vice. By the 1940s the area was part of the largest condemnation projects in the city and was cleared. By the 1950s many modern buildings took the place of the original architecture.IMG_0423The new buildings were not simply thrown up to fill a space. Despite their very modern appearance, the apartment blocks above, known as Dronninggården, were built between 1943 and 1958 and a fine example of Nordic Functionalism and were designed by notable architects such as Kay Fisker and CF Møller.DSC00756A street with a fascinating history.




  1. It’s peculiar when you find a street that ‘sticks out’ for no obvious reason (like bombing damage or fire)
    Thank you for doing the research for us! I’ll look out for that street when I eventually make it to Copenhagen.

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