Facts about Rundetårn (Round Tower)

Round Tower (Rundetårn) in Copenhagen

Rundetårn (Round Tower) in Copenhagen may not be the biggest tourist celebrity abroad, but the building draws many Danes every year for a trip up the spiral walkway – but how well do you know the Danish landmark?

We’ve gathered 10 quirky facts about the Round Tower that offer cool information to show off – and a strange riddle!

1) In 2015, artist Uwe Max Hansen managed to scale the first security fence at the top of the tower to perform a piece of performance art. He drank a beer and then pulled out his penis and urinated on the street. He stated that in the followingthat he wanted to give Copenhageners a new kind of water art, with the Round Tower acting as the pedestal.

2) Unfortunately, not everyone buys a ticket to the Round Tower with the intention that it will be a return ticket along the same route. Several times people have attempted – and succeeded – in taking their own lives by jumping off the Round Tower. This has happened in 2008 and 2016, among others. However, there are several fences at the top of the tower that are not meant to make it easy to climb out to jump off the tower.

3) Despite the tragic circumstances of such events, accidents emanating from the Round Tower have been the focal point of even a famous song that dates back many years. “Adolf” is the name of the song, which was written by author Julius Strandberg, who lived from the early 1800s to the early 1900s. The song tells the story of a man named Adolf and his love for a girl named Thora. However, the love is not reciprocated, so Adolf decides to kill himself by jumping off the Round Tower. The song was later made famous in an interpretation by Kim Larsen.

4) The finds a large inscription on the side of the Round Tower that forms a rebus. Supposedly, it would meanthat God was to impart learning and righteousness into the king at the time. However, not everyone agrees with this interpretation. Others, on the other hand, believe it’s a greeting to a brotherhood or lodge that has sinister plans to take over the kingdom, etc.

Rundetårn seen from the inside

5) Most people can probably figure out that with the Round Tower’s iconic status as a national treasure, it has been used as a location in several Danish films as a more or less important element. Few people may have realized that the Round Tower’s many “roles” in various films include an appearance in the erotic comedy “Hopla on the edge of the bed” from 1976.

6) As traffic through Copenhagen had increased significantly over the years since the construction of the Round Tower in the 1600s, a proposal was made in the late 1800s to moving the Round Tower a few meters away to make more room for traffic. However, this plan was shelved in the early 1900s when a better solution was found that didn’t require moving the Round Tower.

7) Inside the Round Tower there is, among other things, a planetary machine, designed by Danish astronomer Ole Rømer. The machine always shows the position of the six innermost planets in our solar system around the sun. This machine needs to be wound up once a week to function.

8) If you’ve taken a trip to the Round Tower to get from street level to the top of the tower and look out over Copenhagen’s city life, you may have wondered how long that trip will take. The answer to this depends on your fitness level, but we can tell youthat the spiral walkway winds 7.3 times around itself, and if you walk at the very end of the corridor, the length is 281 meters, while it is significantly smaller at 93.5 meters if you walk at the very end.

9) You may have heard the expression: “What’s taller? The Round Tower or a thunderclap?” This phrase is used to point out when trying to compare two entities that cannot be measured under the same conditions.  However, we can tell, that the Round Tower is just over 41.5 meters highif you include the lookout. The Round Tower was built with the idea of being a lookout tower in its time.

10) ArtThe construction of the tower together with the adjacent church, Trinity Church, was initiated by the enterprising and construction-minded King Christian IV in 1637. and was completed five years later.