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“Pleasant cafe”

Royal Library (Kongelige Bibliotek)
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Danish Hygge Culture and Historical Copenhagen Walking Tour
Ranked #36 of 356 things to do in Copenhagen
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Nicknamed the "Black Diamond" for its architectural profile, Copenhagen's Royal Library also functions as Denmark's national library and stacks for the University of Copenhagen. The building houses a cafe and bookshop, and hosts exhibitions and concerts. Entry to the library is free; public tours are offered on Saturdays at 3 p.m. for a fee.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Pleasant cafe”
Reviewed April 6, 2014

Didn't use the library, but found the cafe of the Black Diamond a good place to stop off, with its views over the water. There's also a smarter restaurant, if you want to do things properly.

Visited March 2014
Thank culturevulture100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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Colorado, USA
Level Contributor
147 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Amazing, and yet atrocious”
Reviewed March 18, 2014 via mobile

Love this building, the blend of old and new, and it serves as a meeting place in the winter months with a cafe on the water that is still inside.

However, the standing exhibit of the treasures of the collection has left me speechless in two ways. First, the examples are astounding, comparable with the British Library or Smithsonian or Harvard. A Gutenberg Bible, Luther's illuminated manuscripts, observations on a notebook penned by Tycho Brahe, original drafts by Kierkegaard, an original illustrated volume by Audubon, original scoring penned by Bach, and of course volumes in the unmistakable penmanship of Hans Christian Andersen. It takes your breath away, really, even if you aren't a rare book scholar.

And then there is the installation. In the same room with the masterpieces, never out of sight because it occupies the entire center of the round room, is a very modern art installation, a stuffed polar bear attacking the crotch of a cutout man in underwear. Alright, I don't like it, but some might. It gets worse. The floor is covered in a bright Warhol-esque print, completely distracting from the mind's ability to perceive color and detail in the masterworks on display... The prints are loud and colorful in an otherwise very dimly lit room. Try to pick out ancient ink on vellum against that noise! And then there is the actual noise. The installation art continues with a continuous-loop cartoon video displayed on the floor. With constant cartoonish laughter played through speakers.

Please stop this travesty. While I can appreciate differences in artistic opinion, it appears that the modern is being deliberately superimposed on the classic. The addition of laughter and cartoons seems to mock what is otherwise a somber testament to human achievement. I find myself grieving rather than celebrating, wondering whether our current generation can appreciate brilliance and dedication and scholarship, or can we merely lampoon and trivialize it?

By all means visit. But be warned.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Daniel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
177 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Great Place to See and Study”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Stunningly beautiful combination of old and new architecture. Great place to study. Good cafe for those all important study breaks. Breathtaking.

Visited January 2014
Thank Eleanor A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
510 reviews
279 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 299 helpful votes
“Good displays, events, local exhibition and friendly staff”
Reviewed February 18, 2014

This modern library incorporates the old reading rooms, offers special events and exhibitions (had a free cartoon and local histories on when I visited). The cafe is welcoming and offers good views of the bay.
In addition, the library offers WIFI, Digital Course Literature, Digitization service, Reserved lockers and desks, and contains the Danish National Bibliography

Visited February 2014
Thank johnretroreload
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful building”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I pass by Royal Library often by bike and enjoy just to look at it. There are always people sitting outside and enjoying their cup of coffee and lovely waterview. I have been few times inside to drop off my books and it is a beautiful library

Visited June 2013
Thank anitra_val
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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