A welcome addition to Copenhagen’s roster of Royal attractions, the Lapidarium of Kings (Kongernes Lapidarium) can be found in a former defense bastion built by King Christian IV in 1616 on Slotsholmen Island; he converted this vast, fortified red-brick stronghold into a gabled brewery and it later became a warehouse. In 2014, the building found a new role as the repository for around 400 sculptures and busts of monarchs, mythological gods and legendary heroes.
Gathered from royal palaces and gardens around Denmark, including Amalienborg, Fredensborg and Rosenborg, many of the pieces are life-size, grandiose likenesses of kings and queens commissioned for propaganda purposes, but among them are a series of charming figures of fishermen and farmers sculpted by amateur artist Jørgen Christensen Garnaas between 1764 and 1784.
Other highlights among this delightful collection include the plaster version of French sculptor Jacques Saly’s mammoth equestrian statue of King Frederik V, which has pride of place in the square outside the Amalienborg palaces; two monumental statues of elegant women dressed in Classical Greek style by sculptor Johannes Wiedewelt; and an energy-filled depiction of Hercules fighting the Nemean Lion, which King Frederick IV imported from Italy in 1709.
The Lapidarium of Kings is open May–Oct daily 10am–5pm; Oct–Apr Tue–Sun 10am–5pm. Admission for adults is 50 DKK; students 40 are DKK; children aged 4–17 are 25 DKK. For access via public transportation, take Metro to Kongens Nytorv or buses 40, 2A, 9A or 350S.