History

Adversity and prosperity

Founded during the twilight of the Viking age, the city’s birth is traditionally dated to the construction of a castle on Slotsholmen by Bishop Absalon in 1167.

From the beginning its development was driven by the fantastic natural harbour, making the city a centre for commerce. In 1254 it finally received its charter as a city.

Large parts of Copenhagen’s history are mired in tragedy and violence, having been subjected to repeated sieges by the Swedes, the Hanseatic League and the British. The latter infamously conducted the first terror attack against a major European city during the bombardment in 1807.

The final chapter of Copenhagen’s warlike story was written by Nazi Germany who occupied the city from 1940 to 1945.

Copenhagen survived, though, and kept on building, growing and developing. Today it stands as one of the world’s most liveable, prosperous, modern, green and charming cities.