Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the center of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V. Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in.
Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.
The Frederiksstaden district was built on the former grounds of two other palaces. The first palace was called Sophie Amalienborg. It was built by Queen Sophie Amalie, consort to Frederick III on part of the land which King Christian IV had acquired outside of Copenhagen's old walled city, now known as the Indre By district, in the early 17th century.
Other parts of the land were used for Rosenborg Castle, Nyboder, and the new Eastern fortified wall around the old city. It included a garden, as a replacement for an earlier garden which had been destroyed under siege from Sweden in 1659— the Queen’s Garden, which was located beyond the city's western Gate Vesterport, an area today known as Vesterbro. Work on the garden was begun in 1664, and the castle was built 1669-1673. The King died in 1670, and the Queen Dowager lived there until her death on 20 February 1685. On 15 April 1689 King Christian V, Sophie Amalie’s son, celebrated his forty-fourth birthday at the palace with the presentation of a German opera, perhaps the first opera presentation in Denmark, in a specially built, temporary theatre. The presentation was a great success, and it was repeated a few days later on 19 April. However, immediately after the start of the second performance a stage decoration caught fire, causing the theatre and the palace to burn to the ground, and about 180 people to lose their lives.
The King planned to rebuild the palace, whose church, Royal Household and garden buildings were still intact. Ole Rømer headed the preparatory work for the rebuilding of Amalienborg in the early 1690s. In 1694 the King negotiated a deal with the Swedish building master Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, who spent some time in Copenhagen that summer, reviewing the property. His drawing and model were completed in 1697. The King, however, found the plans too ambitious, and instead began tearing down the existing buildings that same year, with the reclaimed building materials used to build a new Garrison Church. The second Amalienborg was built by Frederick IV at the beginning of his reign. No palace was built; however, there was built a summerhouse, a central pavilion with orangeries, and arcades on both side of the pavilion. On one side of the buildings was a French-style garden, and on the other side were military drill grounds. The pavilion had a dining room on the groundfloor. On the upper floor was a salon with a view out to the harbour, the garden and the drill grounds. Amalienborg is the centerpiece of Frederiksstaden, a district that was built by King Frederick V to commemorate in 1748 the tercentenary of the Oldenburg family's ascent to the throne of Denmark, and in 1749 the tercentenary of the coronation of Christian I of Denmark.