If you’re in Copenhagen and you find yourself in Stroget – the city’s longest pedestrian and shopping street- chances are you have been to Gammeltorv. “The Old Square,” as its name says is actually the oldest square in the city. Gammeltorv dates back to the 15th century when it was already in use as a major marketplace where farmers come to sell their livestock and fresh produce. As it was the first square in the city, it also quickly became a meeting place and was the site of the town hall. In the 16th century, Frederick II ordered the construction of the city’s first fountain which was the source of water for the entire city. It was later moved and redesigned by Christian IV in the early 17th century. This was named the Caritas Well, one of Copenhagen’s iconic Renaissance monuments and a popular tourist attraction in Stroget. And even after Christian IV founded and established Nytorv and later on Kongens Nytorv which became the seat of royalty during Christian V’s rule, the old square did not lose its purpose as a marketplace.
Today, Gammeltorv is a bustling square lined up with houses that date back from the 1800s along with beautifully-manicured lawns. People still gather to meet and shop around the square and there are a number of small shops that sell unique local wares (some of which are made from the controversial commune in Christiania). There are also cafes, pubs and restaurants around the square along with hotels and apartments for visitors.

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