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Frederiksberg Campus main building — historical pictures of the University of Copenhagen

Not much has changed about the old Landbohøjskolen main building since 1858, but the city scape has morphed around it

[This article has been updated after being originally published in 2016]

Although University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is located in a cultural and political urban center, what is now the Faculty of Science at the Frederiksberg campus was once an agricultural hub well outside the city of Copenhagen.

In this series, we get our photographer to try to stand in the exact location as the photographer of the old photo in order to capture the image as it looks today. The Frederiksberg campus as it is now was completed in the mid-19th century and remains much the same, with a few minor additions and alterations.

»The campus was situated way outside of the city of Copenhagen, really way outside it – it was a farm area. Now it’s at the very center of big metropolis – it’s so fascinating,« says Knud Høgsberg, the Information Specialist at the SCIENCE Library on the Frederiksberg campus.

The economic boom

The Royal Veterinary School moved from Christianshavn to Frederiksberg and became the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in 1858.

At the time of its conception, the new campus at Frederiksberg was a huge success. There was enormous development and focus on agriculture in the period, and the campus continued to grow and thrive.

»There was so much focus from Danish authorities about how to make use of this university that focused on agriculture and agricultural development. It was the basis for much of the economic growth of the late 19th century and for many years to come,« says Høgsberg.

Italian inspiration

The campus, which was completed in 1858, was based on the plans of the celebrated architect Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll. The architecture was inspired by Italian country estates, as it was the fashion of art at the time to be inspired by history.

Although Bindesbøll completed his drawings of what he hoped the new campus would look like, he fatally collapsed just three weeks after delivering his design. The campus was constructed in accordance with his ideas, and the area in front of the main building remained a cultural haven for many years.

»There were ballets and cultural events in the courtyard. It was very nice,« remembers Høgsberg. The area is no longer used for cultural events.