THE BLACK DIAMOND - ROYAL DANISH LIBRARY
Petit Futé's opinion on THE BLACK DIAMOND - ROYAL DANISH LIBRARY
The extension of the Royal Library is one of the symbols of the city's renewal as it takes on architectural challenges. Designed by Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the Black Diamond was completed in 1999. It is the first of a series of large-scale cultural buildings built along Copenhagen's waterfront. It owes its nickname to its polished black granite cladding! There are two ways to get to its main entrance: arrive on the Nyhavn side, after the Knippel Bridge which goes towards Christianshavn - or on the Fredericksholms Kanal side by boat-bus. The new building is connected to the old one by a series of footbridges. Designed like an irregular box, it leans to one side and expands at its base! A technical feat for this imposing polygon cut in its middle by a vast atrium. The strong element remains the black of its colour, which changes according to the weather and the time of day. The ceiling of the passage between the old and the new library is signed by the artist Per Kirkeby.
The entrance hall is huge and contains a bookstore, a café, a restaurant, exhibition rooms and escalators leading to the reading rooms. The cultural program is very varied: photo exhibition, concert, debates of authors... The Black Diamond is home to a very rich collection: two and a half million books, tens of thousands of manuscripts, newspapers, portraits... It is the largest library in Scandinavia.
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Free of charge (except in exceptional cases). Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-7pm. July-August Mon-Sat 8am-7pm. Guided tour Monday 15h. 60 DKK, free - 18 years old.
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