The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek -
ancient art in beautiful acoustics
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a fantastic place. A sanctuary of serene calm marble rooms housing a rare collection of classic Egyptian, Roman and Etruscan art. I must admit the reason I visit this place is primarily because of its astonishing rooms.
The Glyptotek includes a lush, subtropical garden in the centre with palm trees reaching 20 meters (60 feet) in the air. There is no other place like this in Copenhagen. A true oasis situated right next door to another beloved oasis in the city - the
A place to exhale
It's truly an oasis in the centre of Copenhagen and not just a typical art place, I would say. The Glyptotek is both a museum and yet a wonderful place to just hang out. I have been here often, and I'm still overwhelmed every time I enter this majestic place.
The bright spacious rooms is one
of the biggest differences to most other more traditional museums.
A gorgeous palm winter garden, beautiful art, and an excellent
café where you can have a time out, while sipping a cup of tea or warm cocoa. The place is a standing invitation for contemplation with its light and tranquility.
The side halls are not very broad but several hundred feet long and are filled with classical Roman and Egyptian sculptures. The size and quality of the Etruscan collection is one of the most important in the world outside Italy, covering a period from about second century BC to the fifth century AD. The French painting collection consists of works by Manet, Monet, Renoir and Cezanne - as well as more than 40 works by Gaugain.
Manet and Gaugain also belong to the collections of the Glyptotek.
The tropical palm garden
The palm winter garden of the Glyptotek is astonishing in its lush abundance. In order to enter the rest of the museum you must pass through this lovely garden.. and you won't mind. Hanging out here next to the little fountain is truly blissful. The sound of the water mixes with distant school kids and hushed voices all around. It has an atmosphere of tranquility.. and not even a hint of the roaring traffic noise from the Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard, just outside the front doors.
The Water Mother (1921) by Kai Nielsen
The founder of the Glyptotek, Carl Jacobsen had a love for the classical Roman arts. This is clearly expressed when you enter the winter garden and you see what is called the "Dome". Its design was most likely inspired by the characteristic Roman architecture, such as the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
The "Dome" of the winter garden, built by Carl Jacobsen
Rooms of art and sound
The Glyptotek is a big place indeed. Due to the many glass ceilings light pours in from everywhere, creating a soft luminous atmosphere in all of its rooms and halls. The place consists of four different buildings, three of which bear the names of the architects that built them. The most recent addition was made by Henning Larsen in 1996 where the new wing was opened for the collection of French paintings.
As a wonderful side effect most of the rooms have magnificent acoustics. Perhaps not the first thing one would connect with a museum. The sound travels effortlessly in these surroundings - mostly made of marble stone and glass with occasional long curtains between the rooms.
When I was a member of the professional vocal ensemble
I had the pleasure of rehearsing in
the room you see in the upper left picture above. This was our rehearsal room. We were in fact allowed to use the central stage for our musical preparations and often people would just sit down and listen to us for a while.
Among the many projects we engaged in - one stands out. For two weeks we worked in these long halls with world renowned overtone singer David Hykes. We eventually performed a concert in the large red centre room for hundreds of people. Hykes recorded an album in 1997 in these rooms, together with his ensemble The Harmonic Choir.
Check it out here.
This is without comparison the most luxurious rehearsing room I ever worked in.. that‘s for sure. We were additionally doing numerous concerts both in the very long stretched side halls as well as in the large centre room on the stage. You can really look forward to spending time in these magnificent surroundings.
As described above the Glyptotek is known as one of Copenhagen‘s finest performance places especially for concerts and other acoustic performances. Particularly the big "red room" is the venue for a lot of events. An extremely popular recurring feature is a large number of concerts held every year during the "The Copenhagen Night of Culture". For this annual Copenhagen event - the Glyptotek is always a regular venue.
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has one of the nicest cafes in the city, situated in the sub-tropical palm garden. It‘s not cheap but the owner and chef Mette Blomsterberg keeps a very high standard of quality including some exquisite home made cakes and cookies. In other words .. everything they have is just yummie.
They serve both coffee and tea and should you have developed an appetite they have a delicious plate with French cheese and home baked bread - all fresh made of course.
Shere mouth heaven .. the "Tosca" cookies.
The chef is totally dedicated to her establishment and a very nice person too. It‘s easy to feel well here while sitting literally under the tall palm trees and looking up into the old glass dome that forms the top of this magnificent green cathedral like room.
As you can see the Glyptotek is much more than just a museum.
Check their website
I wish you a good time here.
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