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Visiting the Thorvaldsen Museum

One of the exciting aspects of traveling in Europe is the great diversity of museums and places to see. One museum that is well worth visiting, but one that you may not have heard of before, is the Thorvaldsen Museum in Denmark.

Bertel Thorvaldsen lived between 1770 and 1844. He was a Danish sculptor who worked mostly in Rome. He sculpted the tomb monument for Pope Pius VII. This monument done for a Catholic Pope by a Protestant sculptor is the only commissioned piece of art in the basilica done by a non-Italian.

Thorvaldsen’s most recognizable work is probably the Lion Monument in Lucerne Switzerland. While Bertel did not sculpt this piece he is the designer.

The museum itself was the first museum building in Denmark. It houses a collection of Thorvaldsen’s works, including sculptures and models. You will also find his private collection of art. His collection includes antiques, coins, books, paintings and sculptures. His personal belongs and tools are also on display.

The building itself is encircled by a work of art! There is a frieze done by the artist Jorgen Sonne that depicts Thorvaldsen’s homecoming from Rome in 1838. Contemporary accounts of Torvaldsen’s return to Copenhagen liken his return as to that of a national hero.

Thorvaldsen, while not a household name to many people, is so well respected that the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts awards the Thorvaldsen Medal yearly to artists who represent the highest of achievements in the visual arts.

The museum is easily accessible by both train and bus. The admission price is minimal but if you are able to schedule your visit on a Wednesday the admission is free. Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. They are closed on Mondays and most of the week between Christmas and New Years.

You should be able to explore the entire museum in about half a day. There are audio tours available. These are free and are available in the gift shop. You can also book a private guided tour but you will need to make arrangement for these in advance.

There is a café onsite where you can enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa.

There are no elevators available for guests to access the three levels so the museum is not fully handicap accessible. Photography is allowed with restrictions on flash use in some areas.

Copenhagen has many incredible places to visit. Taking the time to tour the Thorvaldsen Museum is one place that is well worth the visit.

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