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Culture — The beautiful old university library has been almost deserted for 14 years. This has now changed. The general public can now experience the historic architecture.
Back in 2018, the University Post wondered why this library gem in the centre of Copenhagen could not be accessed by the many daily passers-by. Now — what in 2018 was a footnote in the university’s 2023 strategy — has become a reality.
The university’s library opened to the outside world on 3 October.
»The ambition for the University Library in Fiolstræde is that it becomes an interdisciplinary, physical, framework for the University of Copenhagen’s encounter with the surrounding world. A meeting place that communicates research, history and knowledge, and that provides inspiration and sets of discussions in new ways,« says Prorector Kristian Cedervall Lauta.
The building was inaugurated in 1861 after the architect, Johan Daniel Herholdt, had won Denmark’s first architectural competition for a public building.
Herholdt’s Gothic-inspired brick cathedral was at the time a bold addition to Copenhagen’s urban architecture, where brick facades had been banned for hundreds of years.
Until 2009, the building served as a university library for almost all faculties. But with the construction of the Black Diamond building, South Campus and the opening of the City Campus in the old Kommunehospitalet buildings, the library lost its function.
Since then, the building has been closed to everyone apart from the university administration with the exception of a period when master’s thesis students could work there.
If you are a student or an employee, you have free access for yourself and a companion. Otherwise, there is a DKK 75 entrance fee.
At 1 pm, there is a free guided tour every day during opening hours. No museum visit is complete without a shopping experience, so T-shirts, mugs and other UCPH merchandise are available at the gift shop.