The Night of Culture in Copenhagen (Kulturnatten) takes place each year in October. Without a doubt, it is a major event where various cultural places in Copenhagen open their doors for public until the very late.
Kulturnatten in Copenhagen is a part of a long standing tradition taking it’s root in the night of museums, which was first started in 1997 in Berlin. The idea for museums extending their opening hours to the night time was rapidly taken up by other cities in the world and within time in some cities extended to other cultural institutions and events. That is why for example in Copenhagen it is no longer called Museum Night but Culture Night.
This year’s Kulturnatten offered 961 events all over the city. The program included a wide variety of attractions amongst which were museums, concerts, theatre plays, ethnic culture’s nights with food tasting and music , open tours to many political and cultural institutions normally closed for public, and the unique experience of trying to ride a fire truck or sitting in a F-16 fighting falcon. The city, which normally is quite vibrant on Friday night, was even more alive than usually due to the happy crowds and visualizations screened on many of the historical and touristic icons of the city.
The night starts at 6 pm and most of the attractions are open till midnight, although midnight is hardly a beginning of this exciting night.
After many hours of browsing through the Kulturnatten program me and my friend finally made a list of our plan for the night.
We started with the tour to Tycho Brahe Planetarium and watching solar system on the planetarium’s amazing 1000 m2 dome-shaped screen covering the ceiling and walls. The screen gives the impression of moving. It’s similar but still quite different to the IMAX 3D movie experience. So it is a unique and frankly quite thrilling experience. I also learned that there is a cinema in the planetarium where audience can see documentaries and science fiction movies or fantasy. The choice of movies screened in the Tycho Brahe Planetarium , is adjusted to the atmosphere created by the dome – shaped screen, thus the cinema offers Documentaries and Fantasy movies, characterized by breath-taking landscapes. The program includes such cinematography icons as Samsara by Fricke and Madigson, which can hardly can found in any other cinema.
After less than an hour in the Planetarium we rushed to another equally exciting place- The Design Society Center. On our way there we had to stop to grab a fancy yellow helmet from the Metro Building exhibition, try out driving the Fire Truck and try out some delicious soup from the food stands opened for the night. Finally we reached the Design Community Center, a center for many interesting project including Copenhagen Fashion Week , and also has a really nice café. This night the Center was bustling. Many people came to see the “Material show” where they could touch and discover the properties of advanced materials, that are usually only available to designers and companies. In the break between watching the exhibition magic materials of the future and newest design and fashion samples, many people sat down in the Center’s café bar, and enjoyed the great life music.
We couldn’t, as there was still so much we wanted to see. Our next stop was Copenhagen’s Famous Opera. The building has once aroused a lot of controversy, when the leading architect of the Opera Henning Larsen has publicly denounced his design, short before the Opera’s grand opening in January 2005. The building was donated by Maersk McKinney Moller and was the biggest private donation in the history of Denmark. The founders interference with the project lead to an “ unsatisfactory compromise” as said by Larsen in his interview for DR 2, and his insistence on adding metal strings to originally planned as an all-glass façade lead to a final result of the building being compared to a grill or a toaster. The Danish newspaper Politiken compared the front with the grille of a 1955 Pontiac. But no matter how critical media and public opinion were about the building the interior was praised for its weightless elegance and light-flooded open space. And indeed it was an amazingly beautiful place, very refined and elegant but also colorful and vivacious. The Opera’s huge round colorful glass lamps make a stunning impression as you enter the building, going further we were given the unique opportunity of experiencing standing on the scene where normally only performing artist are allowed. But the thing I will always remember from my night in the Opera is the view from the building’s balcony. As the building was built on the waterfront of Holmen, Copenhagen seen from the Opera’s 14th floor, looks like the Venice of Scandinavia, as you can see the gracious old buildings of Amalienborg Palace and Parliament, and the modern figure or Den Sorte Diamant – Den Kongelige Biblioteket.
After experiencing the amazing view from Copenhagen Opera’s 14th floor , we took a ferry tour to the other side of the canal to see the moon from the observatory on the Round Tower. The 36 metres tall tower called Rundetarn is a 17th century architect masterpiece with unique spiral ramp leading to the top of the tower. The walk is 209 m long and winds itself 7,5 times round the core of the tower. Walking in circles in narrow space can make you quite dizzy, so just when you are about to stop enjoying it and start feeling wobbly, a rescue comes as on your left side you find an entrance to a spacious and full of light art gallery. Once you enter you are being welcomed by an interesting exhibition treating about nature in art.
The last on our list was a saxophone concert and the famous tower of Vor Frelsers Kirke in Christiania. The Church illuminated with blue and red light looked beautifully and the interior was warm thanks to many candles which gave warmth and cozy nice atmosphere to the place.
Sitting down and listening to the music we thought what a wonderful city Copenhagen is and how we cannot wait till next year’s Kulturnatten.