When I first heard about a museum in Copenhagen showcasing statues that were not good for public exposure I thought it was a joke and was definitely not interested in paying an entrance fee to see 'dead' statues.
But the Lapidarium of Kings in Copenhagen is great! For those of us who don't know - and I didn't until recently - a Lapidarium is, according to Wikipedia, 'a place where stone monuments and fragments of archaeological interest are exhibited'. Basically, it houses retired statues that have lost their spark but were once flamboyant and proudly featuring on Royal gardens, squares and Palaces.
The building is by itself a great place to visit. It was built in 1608 by Christian IV as a corner bastion which was part of Copenhagen's military fortification. The bastion had a flat roof and cannons. By 1616 the same King Christian IV decided that it was about time to build a brewery for the soldier of the Navy. So it made sure the bastion was modified for this purpose adding a huge roof with pointed gables. Soldier could drink up to 10 litres of beer a day!!!! Yes you read that right. 150 years later, though, the brewery burned down and was rebuilt as a magazine to store ammunition. Its appearance has since been kept and in 2014, almost 250 years later, the building opened its door to the public, maintaining and exhibiting royal sculptures.
The first floor of the old brewery focuses on Frederik V. The statues above were life-size sculptures of Norwegians and Faroese installed in Fredensborg Palace Gardens.
Frederik V (1723-66) built Frederiksstaden - one of Copenhagen's district - in 1749. The plan included 4 identical Palaces called Amalienborg Palace (where the Queen lives today) and a square where features an equestrian statue of Frederik V in the centre. However, Christian V (1646-99) was the first King in Scandinavia to be honoured with an equestrian statue cast in lead and cover with gold leaf (above right - the gold eventually fell off). It's a French artist, A.C. Lamoureux, who portrayed the Danish King on his way to war.
Above: some statues were used on castle facades and had to be slightly bigger than life-size.
Above right: Hercules is not as impressive and tall as I'd imagined. But does size really matter?! :)
For enthusiast photographers the Lapidarium is a great place to practice with your camera using the Aperture priority mode, try different angles and learn about interesting poses.