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Kopenhagen, Denmark » City Info » History

Kopenhagen city was founded in late decades of 1100 by Bishop Absalon who was the archbishop of Roskilde in 1158. King Valdemar the Great (Valdemar I - Who ruled Denmark from 1154-57) had given him the power to have a control over the then newly formed city of Copenhagen, where the warrior Bishop Absalon had found a small settlement of wattle and daub fishing huts to protect the trade on the Oresund region.

Till Absalon died, the city had transformed into a vital military post where the stone fortress (built by Absalon on the Isle of 'Slotsholmen' to protect Copenhagen) served as a pedestal for the demolition of the Wendish pirates. It also sheltered a flourishing trade center and became an imperative stop on the route from Roskilde to southern Sweden, leading a development of the region, which continues till today.

The name of city that we see today i.e. 'Copenhagen' is derived from several names and designations given to the city that dates back to various historical evidences. The Vikings age described it as 'Havn'; but the contemporary Danish name got its origin from the word 'Kopmannaehafn' meaning 'merchant's harbor'. The English name for the city is derived from its Low German name, 'Kopenhagen'.

Historical Events:

In the past, Copenhagen has faced repeated attacks by the Hanseatic League (Germans). It was under Bishop Jacob Erlandsen, this place received its charter as a 'city'.

During 1658-59, Copenhagen withstood a severe siege by the Swedes people under Charles X and successfully repelled a major assault.

In 1801, a British fleet under Admiral Parker fought a major battle which is famous as the 'Battle of Copenhagen' with the Danish Navy in Copenhagen harbor.

In 1807, the British expeditionary force bombarded the city to gain control over the Danish Navy. Because of the old defense-line and old ramparts, the city suffered a great damage where hundreds of people were killed. The era of 1850’s opened the ramparts allowing new housing of the inhabitants and further expansion of the city.

During the period from 1940-1945 i.e. during world war II, German troops occupied the city. Meanwhile, when the government collaboration with the occupation forces collapsed, the Royal Danish Navy sunk several ships in Copenhagen Harbor so as to avoid getting used by the Germans.

Era of 1970's saw growth of the city using the commuter train lines that surround the towns and suburbs of Copenhagen.

In 1995, the construction of Oresund Bridge started and the project got completed around mid 2000, which open avenues of trade across the bridge which has lead to the economic development of the city.