A 17th-Century Danish Icon Known as the Rundetårn

Rundetårn, Rundetaarn, or simply the Round Tower is one of Denmark’s 17th century icons that continue to be visited by travelers from all over the world. It is Europe’s oldest functioning observatory. It was built to continue the research of the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe after his death. Thus, history will say that Denmark was already famous for achievements related to astronomy even before this iconic tower was built. This structure also call to mind the great importance of astronomy during the 17th century during a time when many countries where involved in colonization. Astronomy was actively used for navigation purposes in oceans.

The Round Tower was built in 1601 by Christian IV. It is especially known for its 7.5 turn helical corridor and an outdoor platform that offers the most expansive view of Copenhagen. It continues to function mainly as an observation tower particularly for tourists and amateur astronomers although it has also become a cultural venue for holding exhibits and concerts. 

This structure is actually a part of the Trinitatis Complex which was envisioned to have a chapel, a church, and an academic library to serve the scholars. It became an outdated astronomical observatory in the 19th century due to pollution and increased traffic that rendered observations inaccurate. This resulted to the decision to build another observatory.

The tower was decommissioned as a university observatory in 1860 but was reopened in 1928 to the public. From mid-October to mid-March, people can have an exciting view of the city at about 34.8 meter above street level while having the chance to see the interesting interiors of the Round Tower. 




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