Why is the The Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen known by most people in the world?
Well.. the Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen, different from many theme parks, is truly an old magical garden. It holds a quite unique atmosphere and history which is unlike anything you'll meet in other amusement parks in the world. Tivoli truly masters the "soft skills" of amusement parks.. so to speak. You can literally sense fairy tales in the air.
© Photo Tivoli
Nowadays amusements parks are getting more extreme every year in terms of action based rides such as rollercoasters and "free falls". Also the priority of almost exclusively fast food bars and ice cream stands is increasingly apparent.
Tivoli however provides you with 27 restaurants where at least 10 are very good, most of them in gorgeous surroundings. And although things here are also a bit influenced by the changing times - it's to a much lesser degree.
The magic is still here.
The Tivoli Garden is also special because it has remained untouched in its shape due to its clearly defined geographical position right in the very heart of Copenhagen.
The old amusement park is surrounded by a tall but transparent fence with boulevards on all sides. This has prevented any expansion physically.. but has encouraged new inspiration and creativity for more than one and a half century.
Walt Disney in Tivoli
In 1958 Walt Disney visited Tivoli again as he had before. It later turned out that his Disneyland was much inspired by his early visits to the Tivoli Garden. He came back to visit several times since - perhaps for further inspiration. The photos below show when he visited again in 1964.
"Garden" in Danish
Danes simply call Tivoli Gardens - "Tivoli". It's an interesting fact that to a Dane the name "Tivoli Garden", since "Garden" means "guard" in Danish, refers to the famous Tivoli children "guards". Above to the right - you see a representative next to Walt Disney.
The Tivoli Guards started in 1844 as a childrens version of the Life Guards of the The Royal Danish Family at Amalienborg - who is a well known tourist attraction itself. So.. what in English refers to the old amusement park - in Danish means the "junior" guards, who also march and play their instruments.. just like their "role models". And they play well.
Tivoli is always evolving without abandoning its original charm or traditions. Every time I visit Tivoli something new has happened since when I last stopped by.
As Georg Carstensen - the founder of Tivoli Gardens said in 1844:
"Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished," a sentiment echoed just over a century later when Walt Disney said of his own Tivoli-inspired theme park, "Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world."
A magical garden
Unlike other typical amusement parks - Tivoli also has more quiet spots. When you stand right next to the roller coasters or bumper cars it is indeed loud. But just around the corner away from the noise, you can experience that after all this is an old garden. So if you enjoy tranquillity in between the rides ..
..you are in the right place.
Tivoli is built so it speaks to the imagination. For kids as well as adults.. (who actually are nothing more than older kids when you watch them..) It‘s big enough that you feel you are in a cosy environment of a certain size and yet small enough to be really cosy. The age of this old place is reflected in the numerous tall oaks and big weeping willows surrounding the lake.
There is even a small Japanese garden to be discovered and plenty of quiet benches where you can relax and enjoy the view until you venture off to see the next thing.
The little Japanese garden ..
The Bubble Fountain
"Nimb" is the oriental influence on Tivoli and was built to represent the somewhat mystical and far away. It makes you think of places like the Taj Mahal and 1001 Arabian Nights. Nowadays it is a restaurant and a celebration venue. The lights on the building in the evening are very impressive.
The Bubble Fountain adds a very special feeling to this place. Almost meditative.
© Photo Tivoli
The Bubble Fountain contributes a lot to the atmosphere of Tivoli Garden
So, in between the rides.. let yourself explore all the subtle corners of historical beauty in this Tivoli garden in Copenhagen. Hang out on a bench or take a stroll - and just have a good time.
From Tivoli Garden back to Home