Børsen - the 17th-century Exchange in Copenhagen
Friday 9 October was Kultur Natten - Culture Night - in Copenhagen so from 6pm through to around midnight museums, galleries, churches, government departments and commercial companies around the city opened their doors and organised events to show off their collections or their work. There were around 250 venues so the real problem was planning which were the must-sees and then how to take the best route around the city. All you needed for entrance anywhere was a badge that cost 90 Kroner and that included public transport free for the evening.
Many of the events focused on food and children and no I’m not complaining. The city had a sort of bustle and carnival feel all night. There were short concerts or performances at a huge number of the venues.
I started at Børsen, the Royal Exchange that dates from the early 17th century, now owned and occupied by the Chamber of Commerce. The very large crowd there suggested that a lot of people were as curious as I was to see inside the building.
There was an efficient one-way route through the building and as I left from the side door of the Exchange I was distracted by the smell of roasting deer at the Ministry of Agriculture opposite and by demonstrations of wood carving and people sawing up saplings to make their own candlesticks. By chance, I found it was also a good place to learn about spelt flour and other ancient types of wheat and I finally worked out why spelt bread here is so different to the spelt bread I bought in England … most of the Danish bakers use spelt for a sour dough making it more open and more moist.
From there it was a loop around the south side of Christianshavn and Holmen starting off at the public bath on Sofiegade and up to the Danish Architecture Centre for a trial firing of the apparatus that will blow smoke rings from the exhaust chimney of the new waste plant designed by Bjarke Ingels and now rising upwards rapidly - the building not the smoke ring - at the east end of the harbour. There was a barbecue here and a large enthusiastic crowd who cheered and clapped as the boiler built up pressure and released a burp of smoke though in the time I was there I have to confess that there was nothing that came even close to a complete ring.
It was then on to KADK. Then the Scenekunstskole for some more good food and amazing light shows and some slightly iffy busking before heading to the Opera House and a ferry back over the harbour.
There was still a huge queue to get into the Medicine Museum - presumably for the Panumkoret rather than the dissection of a pig’s heart and lungs that I had deliberately avoided earlier in the evening - but I decided I had not paced myself well and headed for home without finding out who or what a Panum choir is.