Danish Royal Library Denmark

Danish Royal Library (Black Diamond)

The prominent feature of the library is the Black Diamond.  Right on the waterfront, this main building reflects the canal’s image on its black granite and glass exterior.  It connects to the older parts of the library by three bridges that go over the street.  The ceiling of the largest bridge contains a fresco by Danish painter Per Kirkeby.

Danish Royal Library (Black Dinond)

image from the Wikimedia Commons

The Black Diamond has five reading rooms, which contain over 200,000 reference books. Bags and coats must be stored in lockers before entering the reading rooms.  The library features a bookshop, a  restaurant with a view of the harbour, a courtyard for exhibitions and a large hall for events.  Queen’s Hall features chamber music, concerts, theatrical performances, meetings and conferences. The bookshop contains Danish and English fiction, children’s books, postcards, posters, Danish art and exclusive stationary.  There are also books published by the Royal Library that can be purchased.   The main building, which faces a small garden, contains exhibits of many rare books and manuscripts.

Danish Royal Library Reading Room

image from the Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Library Garden is located between the library, Christiansborg Palace and Tøjhuset Museum.  The garden contains a copper fountain designed by Mogens Mølle that is dedicated to the written word.  There is also a bronze statue of Søren Kierkegaard, a prominent philosopher and theologian.  Benches are located beneath shade trees near the Danish National Archives. You can escape the sun to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.  Flowers within the garden change based on the season. The garden used to be the site of an old Naval Harbour.  Though the garden was filled in the late 1800s, a small pond and various masonry features are reminders of its maritime past.  The nearby military history museum Tøjhuset was formerly an arsenal connected to the harbour.

Packed lunches can be eaten near the garden of the old building on c-level.  There is also an automated beverage machine.  The café, located on the ground floor, serves light meals and beverages.  The restaurant contains tables for lined against large windows that view the canal.

Many scholars come from around the world to study Jewish religious and secular literature.  Notable works include a complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud from the early sixteenth century and Hebrew bibles from the thirteenth century.  Other scholars seek out the manuscripts and correspondence of Hans Christian Andersen. 

The library’s rare collection is not available to view on a walk-in basis.  Appointments must be made in advance.

One hour public tours in Danish are available for purchase at the reception desk.  For the tours you will go through the old building built in 1906, the Black Diamond extension built in 1999, the book depository and Danish Hall.  Private tours can be arranged in Danish or English for a fee and must be booked four to six weeks in advance.  The tour fee includes entrance to exhibitions in the Black Diamond.  Guides provide an overview on architecture, culture and library history.

Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1
DK-1016 Copenhagen K

Date posted: 25th April, 2014

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