Amalienborg is the winter home of the Danish Royal family, located right in the centre of Copenhagen. The complex consists of 4 palaces and is a wonderful example of the popular Danish rococo style. Two of these palaces are open to the public. Amalienborg is protected by the royal guard and the daily changing of guards in the streets of Copenhagen draws hundreds of spectators.
The buildings date back to 1750 and were built in honour of the 300-year anniversary of the monarchy. The piece of land was given to 4 noblemen who decided to build 4 identical palaces. The buildings were designed by architect Nicolai Eigtved and 3 of the palaces were named after these noblemen. The fourth palace was named after Countess Anna Sophie Schack, as one nobleman, Løvenskiold, was forced to sell his palace.
When the former royal residence Christiansborg burned down in 1794, King Christian VII and his family had to find a new home. They moved into Palace Moltke and Palace Schack. Palace Moltke is the western wing of Amalienborg and was thus named after the King. Nowadays it serves as a guest residence and is open to the public when there are no guests staying there. Queen Margrethe II lives in Palace Schack, which forms the southern wing.
The other 2 palaces were also quickly transformed into royal residences. The northern wing is composed of Palace Levetzau; the ground floor houses a museum and contains Queen Margrethe’s library. The upper floor contains the apartment of Prince Joachim. Crown Prince Frederik and his family have their residence in the eastern wing of Amalienborg, in Palace Brockdorff.
Although a new Christiansborg was built after the fire, the royal family preferred to remain in Amalienborg. From that moment, the palace became the official residence of the Danish Royal family. Two of the 4 palaces are open to visitors: Palace Levetzau and Palace Moltke. Inside you can admire royal heirlooms, unique furniture, tapestries and portraits. There are year-round special exhibits about the Danish Royal family.
Amalienborg Slotsplads, 1257 Copenhagen K, Denmark
‘Den Kongelige Livgarde’ (the Royal Life Guard) protects Amalienborg day and night. Every day at 11:30 am, the guards walk from castle Rosenborg through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg, where at noon the changing of the guards takes place; an impressive ceremony. The guards are dressed in brightly coloured uniforms and wear bearskin hats. Check to see if the flag is flying at Palace Schack – this means that Queen Margrethe is home and the changing of the guards will be accompanied by music.