Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Infobox Amusement park
name = Tivoli Gardens

location = Copenhagen, Denmark
opening_date = 1843
area = 82,717m²
rides = 25| owner = Tivoli A/S
homepage = [http://tivoli.dk Tivoli.dk]

Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on August 15, 1843 and, except for Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg, it is the oldest amusement park which has survived intact to the present day.


The amusement park was first called "Tivoli & Vauxhall"; "Tivoli" alluding to the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris (which in its turn had been named from Tivoli near Rome), and "Vauxhall" alluding to the Vauxhall Gardens in London.

Tivoli's founder, Georg Carstensen (b. 1812 - d. 1857) obtained a five-year charter to create Tivoli by telling King Christian VIII that "when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics". The monarch granted Carstensen use of roughly 15 acres (61,000 m²) of the fortified glacis outside Vesterport (the West Gate) at the annual rent of 945 kroner. Therefore, until the 1850s, Tivoli was outside the city, accessible through Vesterport.

From the very start, Tivoli included a variety of attractions: buildings in the exotic style of an imaginary Orient: a theatre, band stands, restaurants and cafés, flower gardens, and mechanical amusement rides such as a merry-go-round and a primitive scenic railway. After dark, coloured lamps illuminated the gardens. On certain evenings, specially designed fireworks could be seen reflected in Tivoli's lake.

Composer Hans Christian Lumbye (b. 1810 - d. 1874) was Tivoli's musical director from 1843 to 1872. Lumbye was inspired by Viennese waltz composers like the Strauss family (Johann Strauss I and his sons), and became known as the "Strauss of the North." Many of his compositions are specifically inspired by the gardens, including "Salute to the Ticket Holders of Tivoli", "Carnival Joys" and "A Festive Night at Tivoli". The Tivoli Symphony Orchestra still performs many of his works.

In 1943, Nazi sympathisers attempted to break the Danish people's spirit by burning many of Tivoli's buildings, including the concert hall, to the ground. Undaunted, the Danes built temporary buildings, and the park was back in operation after a few weeks.

In 1874, Chinese style Pantomimeteatret (The Pantomime Theatre) took the place of an older smaller theater. The audience stands in the open, the stage being inside the building. The theatre's "curtain" is a mechanical peacock's tail. From the very beginning, the Theater was the home of Italian pantomimes, introduced in Denmark by the Italian Giuseppe Casorti. This tradition, which is dependent on the Italian Commedia dell'Arte has been kept alive, including the characters Cassander (the old father), Columbine (his beautiful daughter), Harlequin (her lover), and, especially popular with the youngest spectators, the stupid servant Pierrot. The absence of spoken dialogue is an advantage, as Tivoli is now an international tourist attraction.

Tivoli is always evolving without abandoning its original charm or traditions. As Georg Carstensen said in 1844, "Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished," a sentiment echoed just over a century later when Walt Disney said of his own Tivoli-inspired theme park, "Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world." Walt Disney during a trip overseas with his wife Lilly visited Tivoli Gardens. Walt was so impressed with the Danish amusement park, he immediately decided Disneyland should try to emulate its "happy and unbuttoned air of relaxed fun."


The park is best known for its wooden roller coaster, "Rutsjebanen" or as some people call it "Bjerg Banen" ("Mountain Track"), built in 1914 Malmö, Sweden. It is one of world's oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won't gain too much speed. It is an ACE Coaster Classic. [ [http://www.aceonline.org/CoasterAwards/?type=1 ACE Coaster Classic Awards] ]

"Dæmonen" features an Immelmann loop, a loop, and a Zero-G roll all during the ride time of just two minutes. The old roller coaster, "Slangen", was removed to have enough space for "The Demon". The roller coaster is situated next to the concert hall.

The world's tallest carousel, "Himmelskibet", opened in Tivoli in 2006. It is 80 meters high and is built by the Austrian company, Funtime.

In July 2006, Tivoli also played host to Jamie Cullum as part of the Copenhagen Jazz week.

During the warmer summer months, Tivoli also features a live music series dubbed Fredagsrock (Friday Rock), which in the past has featured the Smashing Pumpkins, Sting, the Beach Boys, Pet Shop Boys and Danish groups such as TV-2, Nephew, Hanne Boel, and Thomas Helmig.


ee also

* Tourism in Denmark


External links

* [http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-3351.htm Home page of Tivoli]
* [http://www.rcdb.com/qs.htm?quicksearch=tivoli+gardens The Roller Coaster Database's page about Tivoli]
* [http://www.european-city-parks.com/copenhagen/tivoli-gardens/ Tivoli Gardens Article]

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