The Liberty Memorial - Copenhagen

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*





The Liberty Memorial - Copenhagen
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Liberty Memorial - Copenhagen
From 1779 - and symbolizes the abolishment of adscription in 1788.
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The Liberty Memorial from 1797 - for The Freedom-Loving Danes
The Liberty Memorial from 1779 - symbolizes the abolishment of adscription in 1788.

The Liberty Memorial
The Liberty Memorial is placed on "Vesterbrogade" opposite the Grand Central Station - and was erected in 1797 - on its present location - which was at that time far outside the ramparts of the city. Five years earlier Prince Frederik - later King Frederik VI (1768-1839 - King of Denmark and Norway 1808-1839) had laid the foundation stone in 1792 - as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the abolishment of adscription (stavnsbåndets ophævelse) in 1788. Adscription was introduced in Denmark in 1733 - binding the farmers and workers to the estate - where they were born and preventing them from leaving the properties without the permission of the landowners.

A Gift from Reform-Seeking Citizens
The Liberty monument was given as a gift in 1791 - to the city from the bourgeoisie of Copenhagen together with reform-seeking citizens - who wished to celebrate the formal freedom of the farmers that were lawfully tied up with their landowners. The Liberty Memorial was also erected by the people to honour King Christian VII (1749-1808 - King of Denmark and Norway 1766-1808) for abolishing adscription and for his efforts on supporting agricultural reforms.

The Liberty Memorial inaugurated in 1797
King Christian VII and Prince Frederik (VI) celebrating the inauguration of the Liberty Memorial in 1797 - together with citizens and farmers - who collected founds in 1791 - to build this high "Peasant Freedom Monument" and Obelisk. The erection of the monument was also the start of a new democratic era in Denmark called "stavnsbåndets ophævelse". Painting from 1839 - by C. W. Eckersberg.
Fidelity - Justice - Virtue and Courage
The Liberty Memorial from 1797 - with the four figures symbolizing Fidelity - Justice - Virtue and Courage. The monument is created by sculptor Nicolai Abildgaard - and was at that time placed way outside and beyond the ramparts of Copenhagen - and nearly on the same spot as the monument is situated today - which is right in the city centre of Copenhagen - and just beside the Central Station of Copenhagen.
The Democratic Movement in Denmark
Actually - the Liberty monument is also a symbol of a germinating democratic movement in Denmark from 1788 to 1849 - which slowly turned the Danish Kingdom into a democratic nation - in spite of being a territorial state in a strict absolutist form during this period.

The Royal Law of 1665 - and Democratic Constitution in 1849
The King‘s unrestricted authority was subsequently codified in the Royal Law (Kongeloven) of 1665 - which in general remained in force until the abolition of absolutism in 1848 - and the adoption of a Democratic Constitution in 1849. This legislative achievement resulted in the formation of the Danish Constitutional Monarchy - and led to King Frederik VII (1808-1863 - King of Denmark 1848-1863) declaring himself as the first constitutional King - which was codified in The Constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark - June 5th 1849.
The Liberty Memorial in 1863 - and Horse Driven Tramcars
The Liberty Memorial was a landmark for Copenhageners - here illustrated in 1863 - with the horse driven tramcar and tracks that ran on both sides of the monument. The tramcar line went through the city between the Liberty Memorial and Frederiksberg - and was opened 22 October 1963. The tramcar service was operated by Copenhagen Railway Company and was the first tramcar route in Denmark.
Introduction of the new Danish Constitution in 1849
With the introduction of the first Danish Democratic Constitution in 1849 - based upon a parliamentary liberal democracy - and a national citizenship founded on a universal set of rights and obligations - the growing democratic movement and freedom-loving Danes had achieved their goals in a very peacefully manner.
Four Danish Kings - and the New Democratic Era - 1788-1849
King Christian VII - 1749-1808 - King of Denmark and Norway 1766-1808.
King Frederik VI - 1768-1839 - King of Denmark and Norway 1808-1839.
King Christian VIII - 1786-1848 - King of Denmark 1839-1848.
King Frederik VII - 1808-1863 - King of Denmark 1848-1863.
From Absolute Monarchy to The Democratic Era
Four Danish Kings - King Christian VII - King Frederik VI - King Christian VIII and King Frederik VII - all from the Royal House of Oldenborg - were more or less involved in this new Democratic Era starting with the year - when abolition of adscription took place in 1788 - up to the abolition of absolutism was a reality in 1848 - and until the Danish Constitution was finally signed by King Frederik VII
in June 1849.
The Liberty Memorial Moved 5,5 meters
Due to trafficable conditions of the railway system to the Central Station - the Liberty Memorial was moved 5, 5 meters from its previous position - towards the Town Hall Square - and inaugurated again in 1909. In 2000 - the monument was given a major overhaul - and was again celebrated with a official inaugural ceremony.
New Opening Ceremony - 1909
Opening ceremony of the Liberty Memorial at Vesterbrogade in 1909 - when the monument was moved 5,5 meters towards the Town Hall to give place for a new railway line from the old Central Station to the new - which was opened in 1911.
Moved 5,5 meters to final present location
The Liberty Memorial at its final and present location in 1910 - with the railway tracks to the Central Station. The 20 meter high obelisk - and the four figures surrounding the monument went through a major overhaul in 2000.
Brief data of The Liberty Memorial
The Liberty Memorial was erected in 1797 - as a 20 meter high obelisk in Italian and Polish marble together with sandstone from the isle of Bornholm - and surrounded by four 220 cm high figures symbolizing Fidelity - Justice -
Virtue and Courage.
The Liberty Memorial (Frihesdstøtten) is located right in the centre of Copenhagen - and just opposite the Central Station - Tivoli and the Town Hall.

Liberty Memorial



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The Liberty Memorial - Copenhagen
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