The National Museum (Nationalmuseet) is the largest museum of Danish history. The main building is a stone’s throw from downtown Copenhagen and occupies an 18th-century mansion.
The National Museum is a landmark throughout Denmark, where you can trace the history of this country from the depths of centuries to the present.
The Stone Age is represented here by everyday objects, pottery, flint implements and stone arrowheads, which were found together with the remains of a wounded bison. Many of the finds date back to 4000 BC.
Bronze Age. One of the most significant finds is the Chariot of the Sun. The chariot was found by a farmer in 1902. Its disk is covered with a thin layer of gold on one side, representing the daytime when the sun is at its zenith. No other similar religious artifacts have been found in the world.
Iron was not the only metal in the Iron Age. Silver and gold were also widespread. The Roman Empire was expanding, roads were being built, and traders began to carry goods over long distances. Just in these times, the luxuries of the Roman Empire reached Denmark.
The most significant find of the Iron Age is two gold horns, each weighing about three kilograms. Unfortunately, they were stolen and melted down in 1802. Now in the museum is a copy made in 1979.
An equally surprising find that has survived to this day is the silver cauldron Gundestrup, weighing nine kilograms. This cauldron presumably arrived in Denmark in 100 BC, when silver was not yet known to the locals. The style and workmanship suggest that this cauldron was made in the southern Balkans.
Viking Age – 800-1050 years. AD. – is represented by tombstones with runic inscriptions, which contained the date and, less frequently, the circumstances of death. The oldest belong to pagan times, while the later ones are from the Christian period.
In the Middle Ages, the church played a huge role in the life of the Danes. More than 200 stone churches were built between 1100 and 1250. The exhibition devoted to the Middle Ages shows not only remarkable works of art created for the glory of God, but also objects related to the everyday life of ordinary people. For example, a unique collection of medieval casual wear.
Golden Altars. The central motif of one of the five altarpieces belonging to the National Museum is the Virgin Mary with the holy infant in her arms, depicted as the queen and her son. The altar is decorated with decorative oak inlays and richly ornamented with rock crystal, which shines just as well as precious stones. All the altars were made in Denmark.
The Renaissance is marked by the human drive for knowledge, great discoveries, and grand journeys. Half face, half skull can be called a symbol of the Renaissance, as humanity focused not only on life, but also on death. Carved from ivory, it was long in the collection of the Danish “Kunstkammer,” the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities.
Contemporary Danish history is represented by various collections of cultural objects, which aim to show the life of modern Danes from different sides.