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Vandkunsten (square)

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Vandkunsten (square)

Vandkunsten (literally "The Water Feature") is a small square in the Old Town of Copenhagen]], Denmark. It is located on the corner of Rådhusstræde with Løngangstræde. The name also refers to its fountain from 1910.



In the 14th century, a mill pond was located at the site. The watermill supplied Copenhagen Castle on nearby Slotsholmen with water through a system of wooden pipes. A pumping station was built at the site in 1539 but the water was polluted in connection with one of the many alterations of Copenhagen Castle and it therefore had to be shut down. For many years the site was left as a waste dump but it was finally cobbled upon orders from Christian V and from 1684 it was used as a fish market.The square escaped both the Copenhagen Fire of 1728 and the Fire of 1795. It has also been used as a flee market.


The water feature was commissioned by Københavns Kunstfond (Copenhagen Art Foundation( from the architect Johannes Magdahl Nielsen in 1907 and inaugurated in 1910. The central stele is made of granite with decorative details in bronze and gilded metal. Its cylindrical, lower part is decorated with fish scales and the water jumps from four fish heads, details that commemorates the square's former use as a fish market. Its top is a hemisphere in polished red granite.

Notable buildings and residents

Four buildings on the square are listed. Two of the,. No. 8 and No. 10, were built as breweries. No. 8 is from 1750. In the 1810s, the brewer moved his activities to Kompagnistræde No. 39 on the other side of the block and the house on Vandkunsten was then converted into a residence for him and his family. The four Ionic order pilaster on the façade date from this time. On the corner with Gåsegade, Ording's House at No. 10 is from 1803 and was also built as a brewery. A memorial plaque on the corner commemorates the Swedish storm oassault on Copenhagen on which took place 10 and 11 February 1659 at this site. The three-bay house at No. 11 (1735) and No. 13 (1754) are also listed.

The large property at the end of the square (No. 12, on the corner with Løngangsstræde, is called Kronborg due to its Historicist design which is remniscient of that of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. The building is from 1895 and formerly served as headquarters of the Danish Teachers' Association. The building on the corner with Frederiksholms Kanal (Vandkunsten 1) is from 1910 and was designed by Aage Langeland-Mathiesen.


Vandkunsten (square) Wikipedia

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