(Danish: Amalienborg) is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace facades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the center of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace
burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.
According to Eigtved's master plans for Frederikstad and the Amalienborg Palaces, the four palaces surrounding the plaza were conceived of as town mansions for the families of chosen nobility. They were identical from the outside, but different on the inside. The building site for each palace was donated free of charge to the chosen aristocrat to build on, and they were further exempted from taxes and duties. The only conditions were that the palaces should comply exactly to the Frederikstad architectural specifications, and that they should be built within a specified time framework.
Building of the palaces on the western side of the square started in 1750. When Eigtved died in 1754 the two western palaces had been completed. The work on the other palaces was continued by Eigtved's colleague and rival, Lauritz de Thurah strictly according to Eigtved's plans. The palaces were completed in 1760.
The four palaces are:
• Christian VII's Palace, originally known as Moltke's Palace
• Christian VIII's Palace, originally known as Levetzau's Palace
• Frederick VIII's Palace, originally known as Brockdorff's Palace
• Christian IX's Palace, originally known as Schack's Palace
When the Royal Family found itself homeless after the Christiansborg Palace fire of 1794, the palaces were empty for long periods throughout the year, with the exception of the Brockdorff Palace, which housed the Naval Academy. The noblemen who owned them were willing to part with their mansions for promotion and money, and the Moltke and Schack Palaces were acquired in the course of a few days.
A colonnade, designed by royal architect Caspar Frederik Harsdorff, was added 1794-1795 to connect the recently occupied King's palace, Moltke Palace, with that of the Crown Prince, Schack's Palace.
Currently, only the palaces of Christian VII and Christian VIII are open to the public.
The equestrian statue
was commissioned by Moltke, as Director for the Danish Asiatic Company, and it was made by French sculptor Jacques-Francois-Joseph Saly. Work began in 1753, and the foundation stone was laid in place in 1760 at the 100 year celebration of political absolutism in Denmark. The statue was finally unveiled in 1771, five years after King Frederik V's death in 1766.
The Danish Royal Life Guard (Den Kongelige Livgarde) march from Rosenborg Castle
at 11.30 am daily through the streets of Copenhagen, and execute the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg Palace at noon.
See more pictures from the Royal Palace Amalienborg
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