Kopenhagen, Denmark » City Info » History

Copenhagen (Kopenhagen) city was founded in the late decades of 1100 by Bishop Absalon, the archbishop of Roskilde, in 1158. King Valdemar the Great (Valdemar I - Who ruled Denmark from 1154-57) had given him the power to control the then newly formed city of Copenhagen.

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.

The name of the city Copenhagen is derived from several names and designations given to the city that dates back to various historical evidence. The Vikings age described it as Havn, but the contemporary Danish name got its origin from the word Kopmannaehafn, meaning merchant’s harbour. 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, and this place received its charter as a city.

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

In 1801, a British fleet under Admiral Parker fought a significant battle famous as the Battle of Copenhagen with the Danish Navy in Copenhagen harbour.

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

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 to avoid the Germans’ use.

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

In 1995, the construction of the Oresund Bridge started. The project was completed around mid-2000, opening avenues of trade across the bridge, leading to the city’s economic development.