a short history of tall buildings in Copenhagen

view over the inner city from the Round Tower in the early evening

Copenhagen has retained a human scale - both in its overall size and, in the centre of the city, in the height of its buildings.

The inner city covers an area that is only about 1.3 kilometres across, from Nyhavn in the east to the City Hall on the west side of the centre, and it’s about the same distance from the quay of the inner harbour to Nørreport metro station. It’s easy to get around the centre on foot - certainly it’s quicker and easier to walk than to drive by car - and even from slightly further out, regular bus services, good suburban train services and, more important, well laid-out cycle routes make the city feel as if it is easily accessed. 

In that central area, few buildings are more than six storeys high. People relate to the streetscape because, to put it simply, they don’t feel dwarfed. For many centuries most of the tallest buildings in the city have been the towers of city churches.

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