The Gala Hall
The Gala Hall is the palace’s largest room and is amongst the most beautiful interiors in Denmark. The hall was the masterpiece in Nicolai Abildgaard’s restoration of the palace, which was undertaken following the royal acquisition of Amalienborg in 1794. The Gala Hall was last renovated in the 1980s, when the interior was returned to the intentions seen in Abildgaard’s original drawings.
The style is strictly neoclassical, and the recurring yellow and blue colours give the Gala Hall a quite special atmosphere. The hall features a magnificently carved coffered ceiling, which Abildgaard had raised to 8 metres in height in order give the room more harmonious proportions.
The statues of Euterpe and Terpsichore, the Muses of choral music and flute playing, were made by a young Bertel Thorvaldsen. He presumably also executed the dance friezes, which like the vines on the console tables underline that the room was conceived for festive occasions.
Model of Amalienborg
Amalienborg is unique in many ways. The four palaces were originally built as homes for high-standing noble families, and not intended for the royalty at all. Nevertheless, the complex came to function optimally as a residence for the Royal Family, who moved in after the fire at Christiansborg Palace in 1794. That Amalienborg came to serve this purpose was first and foremost due to it being an unusually successful work of architecture, but the harmonious proportions and elegant rococo decoration are only one side of the story. Another lies in the very practical fact that the various generations of the Royal Family have been able to share the palaces among themselves, which in the international context is something quite unique for Amalienborg. In honour of this fantastic edifice, we have had made a large interactive model of Amalienborg, which can be seen in the Garden Room in Christian VIII’s Palace. The model, which was unveiled in 2013, is made of Corian. The palaces are reproduced to a high degree of detail, which takes into account the particular characteristics of of each of the four buildings, and the model is oriented in parallel to the palace complex itself. The equestrian statue of Frederik V is reproduced in particular detail on the basis of a 3D scan of the smaller bronze version of the sculpture, which is found in Christian VII’s Palace. Around the model there are iPads, on which one can explore the palace complex and read more about the palaces and the royal personages who have lived in them. The history of each palace is outlined along with its current use, with a large amount of accompanying visual material. The model is supplemented all the way around by a number of stories about Amalienborg, for example about the large columned structure, ‘The Colonnade’, which was built as a sort of bridge between Christian IX’s Palace and Christian VII’s Palace, and about the digging of the tunnel under Frederiksgade street, which was intended to make it possible for the Royal Family to flee from the occupying forces during World War II. The contemporary Danish Royal Family is presented at the other end of the Garden Room, where one can learn about their various royal duties. One can gain an overview of HM Queen Margrethe’s many state visits, and log on to the Royal Family’s calendar, as well as watch a film about the daily life of the Royal Family.
The Royal Representation Rooms
The piano nobile features some of Amalienborg’s most beautiful interiors and is used for official functions by HRH Princess Benedikte as well as TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Large parts of the piano nobile were created by the painter Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard (1743-1809), who mastered several arts. He was responsible for renovating the palace following the royal assumption of Amalienborg, as a result of the fire at Christiansborg, in 1794. The palace, which was originally known as Levetzau’s Palace after its noble owner, was taken over by Hereditary Prince Frederik (son of Frederik V and Queen Julianne Marie) and his wife, Hereditary Princess Sofie Frederikke. Their son Christian VIII later resided in the palace, which later became known as Christian VIII’s Palace. Abildgaard’s interiors are neoclassical in style and characterised by columns, pilasters, straight lines, and strict symmetry with a fairly bold choice of colours – both by the standards of the time and today. Parts of the interiors were recreated according to Abildgaard’s watercolour sketches of the decor during a thorough renovation of the palace in the 1980s.