Cirkelbroen: A bridge that invites you to stay


© Martin Auchenberg

Internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson created this charming bridge, which merges history, art and function in a poetic contribution to the city.

Resembling a five-masted ship, Olafur Eliasson’s celebrated Cirkelbroen – The Circle Bridge – floats gracefully atop the mouth of Christianshavns Canal, at the point where it flows into Copenhagen’s harbor opposite the monolithic The Black Diamond.

More than a connection

Connecting the Christiansbro side of the canal with Applebys Plads on the other, the bridge – a gift from Nordea-fonden – grants the City of Copenhagen its wish for a continuous harborfront boardwalk from Islands Brygge to the Inner Harbor. Yet Cirkelbroen is more than a gateway or connector. Its structure of overlapping circles was designed by its Danish-Icelandic creator to make it what he calls “a meeting place, a ‘see you at the bridge’ kind of place.” The result is a bridge that encourages visitors to slow down and take in all that exists around it.

Garden gate of enchantment

With a clearance height of 2.75 meters, the 40-meter-long bridge allows harbor tours, kayaks, and regular boats to pass. For larger vessels, two of its discs swing open like a garden gate in a 20-second process operated by a group of local sailors.

Cirkelbroen is nothing short of enchanting – in the way it kicks against the uniformity expected of a bridge; in the way its form is inspired by elegant ships; and, in its nocturnal creation of misty white orbs of illumination, on the rippling surface of the water beneath it.