ABOVE: The main entrance to Tivoli at night. (Fireworks are by the Barfoed family, which has supplied pyrotechnics to the park for six generations.) INSET BELOW: Copenhagen's City Hall above Tivoli's treetops, and a couple enjoying an evening in the gardens.
In a world where amusement parks spend millions on high-tech roller coasters and movie-theme rides, Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens are a delightful anomaly: a park where you can enjoy carnival thrills, eat pølser sausages under the trees, swill øl in a beer garden, dine in an elegant restaurant, attend a symphony concert, enjoy free pantomime theatre, or sniff the 115,000 flowers that bloom during the park's season.
Tivoli opened in 1843, after a Danish architect named Georg Carstensen talked King Christian VIII into leasing him a site for a park modeled after the now-defunct Parisian Tivoli and Vauxhall Gardens in London.
Tivoli's charter required that 75% of the site had to be open space, and that rule--still observed--is one reason why Tivoli feels more like a public garden than a theme park. A buglike roller coaster whirls through the treetops; a Ferris wheel overlooks park benches and flower beds; small motorboats make circles on a scenic lake. While teenagers play games in video arcades, their younger siblings enjoy a clown show or wave at the costumed king and queen (both of whom are children) in the Tivoli Guard parade.
Business people wheel and deal over expense-account meals, and lovers cuddle on benches as 110,000 bulbs create a romantic glow from dusk until closing time.
Music is always popular at Tivoli. In Danish Quality Living: The Good Life Handbook, Ed Thomasson writes:
For practical information and advice about Tivoli Gardens (including Web links), see page 2 of this article.
Next page: Tivoli visitor information
2nd inset photo copyright © Christian Alsing for Visit Copenhagen.
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