The City of Copenhagen

All about copenhagen

By Mike Peters (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-09 10:04
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Thousands of delegates, government officials and environmental activists are converging on the Danish capital city for the UN's 15th climate conference, which opened on Monday and continues through Dec 18. The country's largest city is spread over two islands, Zealand and Amager, and has been connected to the Swedish city of Malmo since the transnational Oresund Bridge was finished in 2000. It's the most-visited Nordic city, hosting 1.3 million tourists in 2007.

What's copenhagen got?

All about copenhagen

All about copenhagen

All about copenhagen

All about copenhagen

STYLE: Opening a fashion show in China last month, Denmark's Princess Marie told Beijingers that her country has "made an art of simplicity", from furniture design to toys like Lego to clothing from designer labels to ready-to-wear. Danish design items such as Bang and Olufsen stereos, Royal Copenhagen porcelain and Georg Jensen silverware are world famous and available in the Danish capital's shopping district.

GREAT DANES: We're talking about people, of course, not dogs. The Dane you know best may be Hans Christian Anderson, author of fairy tales read to children the world over and the creator of the Little Mermaid. (A famous statue of her by Edvard Erichsen now sits in the city's harbor, but Danish ambassador to China tells us she will soon be on her way to Shanghai as the centerpiece for Denmark's Expo 2010 pavilion.) Other Danes in history include philosopher Soren Kirkegaard and physicist Niels Bohr, as well as more recent celebrities such as filmmaker Lars Von Trier and architect Jorn Utzon, who designed the Sydney Opera House.

Name AND HISTORY: In Danish, "Copenhagen" means "merchant harbor", and points of historical interest include the national flag - believed to be the oldest in continuous use - and the Viking Museum (pictured).

Food: The Danish kolde bord ("the cold buffet"), a cousin of Sweden's smorgasbord, may be a lunchtime cold buffet with many and varied items being brought to the dining table and passed around family-style. Continental influences have elevated restaurant fare in recent years as chefs take advantage of Denmark's plentiful fish and serve them up with the same simple elegance that underlies Danish fashion and design. Herring is often served with schnappes, the story goes, to help the fish swim to the stomach.

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LifeSTYLE: In its latest survey on the standard of living in the world's cities, the William M. Mercer firm positioned Copenhagen as No 5 in its 'Best Cities' list. Monocle Magazine last year rated Copenhagen No1 on its Top 20 list of most liveable cities, citing its excellent transport, quality housing, superb shopping, and abundant culture among the reasons they'd like to live here. The inflation rate in Denmark has been one of the lowest in Europe and that the economy remains strong. Tourism is an important source of foreign currency and employment, and visitors annuall enjoy Tivoli (pictured), where you can eat honey hearts and meet "pixies" during the Christmas season, and many other attractions. Bicycling is a way of life: One in three Danes commutes to work or school on two wheels every day.

ROYALTY: You may have seen the popular royal family in the news lately. Queen Margrethe II and her husband, Prince Henrik, recently made a state visit to Vietnam with Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

ZPrince Frederik often appears in news pages as an enthusiastic and competitive sailor. Prince Joachim and Princess Marie recently spent a week in Hong Kong and Beijing. Visitors to Copenhagen can enjoy the queen's 17 tapestries that are hung in the Great Hall of Christiansborg and depict Denmark's and the World's history from the time of the Vikings.