Tivoli: Part of the National Identity


© Lasse Salling

Tivoli, the romantic and enjoyable amusement park, has been a popular attraction since its opening in 1843. Today, Tivoli is world-renowned for its cozy atmosphere and unique location in the heart of the city.

Tivoli was established in 1843 on the old fortification grounds just outside Vesterport. The initiator was Georg Carstensen, who had received permission from the king to create an entertainment establishment for the people. Such amusement parks had been popular in several European cities since the late 1700s. The park in Copenhagen was named after an amusement park in Paris, whose garden design inspired the Danish version. The park in Paris was named after the Italian city, Tivoli.

A Public Success

Tivoli was designed as a romantic garden with light pavilion buildings, scenic landscapes, and viewpoints. From the very beginning, Tivoli was a public success. Partly because the garden fulfilled a need of the time, and partly because Georg Carstensen enlisted talented individuals for his establishment. The young architect Harald Conrad Stilling created the physical framework, H.C. Lumbye’s orchestra entertained daily with festive music, and the popular pantomimes amused people. As Copenhagen’s most popular summer attraction, Tivoli quickly became an institution in itself – and today it is a part of many Danes’ national identity.

In the 1880s, Tivoli changed significantly. When Copenhagen’s old fortifications with ramparts and moats were removed, the scenic idyll disappeared, and at the same time, the Tivoli Lake, which is part of the former moat, was created.

More and More Attractions

At the beginning of the 1900s, electricity was introduced. This led to Tivoli getting new American attractions, elegant restaurants, and a large concert hall. However, the concert hall burned down during World War II, and the current one was inaugurated in 1956. In 2005, the architectural firm 3XN carried out a thorough renovation of the traditional concert hall. The space under the concert hall – which functions as a lobby and cloakroom – was radically changed and now contains a 30-meter-long aquarium. Additionally, the firm constructed a transparent, circular foyer in three stories, which serves as the entrance to the concert hall.
Internationally, Tivoli occupies a special position among amusement parks, partly due to its age and character, and partly due to its location in the city center.

Well-Preserved Features

Tivoli still retains significant features from the classic amusement park, and many traditions and attractions date back to the 1840s. These include the zigzag promenade, illumination, fireworks, roller coaster, and the pantomime theater. Many well-known architects and landscape architects have left their mark on Tivoli over the years.

Near Tivoli

Tivoli, along with several other important cultural attractions in the city, is part of Copenhagen Cultural District. Here you will find places like The National Museum of Denmark, Museum of Copenhagen, Christiansborg Palace, and BLOX, where the Danish Architecture Center is located.

Tivoli’s closest neighbor is Copenhagen City Hall, a prime example of national romantic architecture. For those interested in history, the City Hall also houses the Copenhagen City Archives, which provides public access to 750 years of historical documents and records.


This translation was performed by an AI-based service and subsequently reviewed by an editor. For any clarifications, refer to the original Danish version.