Something Swedish

The Changing of the Guard and The Marble Church


Copenhagen is cloudy today, instead of the brilliant and beautiful backdrop of clear blue skies I’ve been lucky with so far, today is dull and so photos have a lack of “edge.” I did not make it all the way to the little mermaid statue due to a) immense foot pain b) cold weather and wind c) lack of energy d) Camera battery died e) why bother when the sky is so grey? I’ll be back.

However I made it to the first goal of the day which was the Amalienborg Palace to see the changing of the guards at noon. This is where the royal family stays during Winters, consisting of four identical mansions set up to leave a square courtyard with a statue of the founder of the palace atop a horse in the center.

I wasn’t sure it would be worth it to wait around and watch the changing of the guards since two days ago I accidentally followed them as I stumbled upon (standing in the middle of a street I felt as if I was suddenly being descended upon) them as they marched through town back to the barracks – flutes drums, trumpets and all. This was not the same at all – I’m happy I decided to watch it, to witness such a traditional ceremonial procedure.

It was neat to see them move to perfectly in unison, to listen to the noise of their guns hit against their hands or the ground and to hear them “Pssst” to each other as a sort of secret language/code when to move, walk, change direction- making it seamless from far away until you hear them communicate so slightly up close. When I think of any guard of this nature I think of the Buckingham palace guards who are known for not being allowed to move (unless marching) let alone speak or smile. These guards hold their composure and do not interact with tourists, however you can see they quietly speak to one another as they march around side by side.

I know I posted photos of the guards marching two days ago but this is more special than me running  alongside them as they walked down the street, I hope you can see that through these still frames.

You can hear the drums a few minutes before noon as the new guards are marching towards the palace through the streets of Copenhagen, the police tell people where it’s okay to stand (The police officer told me where to stand for the best photos- so nice!). They enter the courtyard and circle the statue in the middle.

The first part takes about 10 minutes, then it is time to relieve the guards that are presently on watch- this takes about 20 minutes of marching to each post (There seems to be 8?) checking inside their red standing booth (?) and then swapping places with a fresh guard.

The new guards and the on duty (But not currently standing watch outside) guards then stand face to face and then switch places.

The whole thing takes about 50 minutes and is pretty interesting to watch something to monumental, a huge part of history, culture and tradition.

At this point my SLR camera died, but I did have a back up and asked someone to take a couple of photos of me (I’m getting better at that!):

Next I went to the Marble Church which is just one block down, exactly lined up with the palace which makes it perfect for photos from the courtyard

Unfortunately there was no sun, no SLR camera and there is construction scaffolding all over the church right now so there was not much photo opportunity.

Getting closer this was the only angle I could manage without showing the construction:

I have never walked into any church to “look around,” the idea has always sort of creeped me out and seems disrespectful, but today I decided to take a peek

Beautiful and serene.


4 thoughts on “The Changing of the Guard and The Marble Church

  1. wow someday i wanna see this for myself too 🙂

  2. Looks like you’re having a nice time in Denmark!

  3. Beautiful photos of Denmark, Meg. So glad you went inside the Marble Church! Wandering around Rome many years ago, I stopped into a very plain looking church (and there is literally one on every corner) and came face to face with the Pieta. In another spot, the very famous statue of Moses . . . and so on. In so many places, churches are the keepers of art, architecture, culture and history. And, assuming everyone that goes in is respectful, they are welcome places to sit quietly, reflect and let the peacefulness settle in.

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