Amalienborg is the winter residence of the Danish royal family. Situated in the centre of Copenhagen, the complex comprises four palaces and is a great example of the popular Danish rococo style. Two of the palaces are open to the public. The changing of the royal guard that watches over Amalienborg attracts hundreds of spectators every day in the streets of Copenhagen.
The buildings date back to the middle of the eighteenth century and were the centrepiece of a district built to honour the 300th anniversary of the ascent of the Oldenburg family to the throne of Denmark via the coronation of Christian I. The land was assigned to four different noble families, and four identical palaces, designed by architect Nicolai Eigtved, were built. Three of the buildings were given the names of the resident nobles, while the fourth had to be sold by the Løvenskiold family and was named after Countess Anna Sophie Schack. The four palaces are arranged around a square centred on a statue of King Frederick V unveiled in 1771.
When the former royal residence Christiansborg burned down in 1794, King Christian VII and his family needed a new home. They moved into Moltke Palace, which was renamed for the king, and Schack Palace, which was named after his son Frederick VI. The other two palaces also soon became home to the royals and were given the names of two other Danish kings. Although a new Christiansborg was subsequently built, the royal family preferred to stay at Amalienborg. The palace became and remains the official royal residence of Denmark.
Den Kongelige Livgarde (the royal guard) watches over Amalienborg. Every day at 11:30, the guard marches from Rosenborg Castle through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg. The changing of the guard, an impressive ceremony, takes place at 12:00. When the flag flies on Schack Palace, this means that the Queen is at home.