The RUNDETAARN, or RUNDETåRN (Round
The tower is part of the Trinitatis Complex which also provided the
scholars of the time with a university chapel, the
Trinitatis Church ,
and an academic library which was the first purpose-built facilities
Today the Round
* 1 History
* 1.1 Background * 1.2 Planning and preparations * 1.3 Construction phase * 1.4 Time as an observatory * 1.5 Demise and later years * 1.6 Notable ascents
* 2 Architecture
* 2.1 Spiral ramp
* 2.2 Observation deck
* 2.3 Observatory
* 3 Toilet
* 4 The Round
* 5 Cultural references * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
Rundetaarn. Illustration from the architect Laurids de Thurah's Hafnia hodierna of 1748.
Astronomy had grown in importance in
17th-century Europe. Countries
had begun competing with each other in establishing colonies, creating
a need for accurate navigation across the oceans. Many national
observatories were therefore established, the first in 1632 at Leiden
PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS
Vignette of Rundetaarn Observatory, as depicted Johann Doppelmayr 's map of the southern celestial hemisphere, ca. 1742.
Longomontanus' initial proposal was to erect the new observatory on the top of the hill Solbjerget, now known as Valby Bakke. But since there were also plans for the construction of a new students' church and a library for the university, the idea of merging the three buildings into one grand complex emerged.
Already in 1622, Christian IV had bought the land where it was ultimately decided to build the Trinitatis Complex. His original plans for the site are not known but as it was conveniently located next to the Regensen dormitories and the university, it was chosen for his new prestigious project.
Although there is no clear proof, it is generally accepted that Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger was charged with the commission to design the new edifice though he did not live to see the tower completed. Cross section of the tower and the church from Thurah's Hafnia Hodierna
From 24 November 1636, stones were brought to the site for the
foundation, first from the city's ramparts and later from the area
The Trinitatis Complex was set for construction in a crowded neighbourhood of narrow streets and alleyways. The area first had to be cleared. On 18 April 1637, 200 men, soldiers and personnel from Bremerholm began to demolish the half-timbered houses occupying the site.
The foundation stone was laid on 7 July 1637. When Hans van
Steenwinckel died on 6 August 1639,
Leonhard Blasius was brought to
TIME AS AN OBSERVATORY
Christian Longomontanus became the first director of the observatory. In the Great Fire of 1728 the Trinitatis Complex was severely damaged but was rebuilt.
DEMISE AND LATER YEARS
Rendering made by
During the early 19th century, the Round
* In 1716, The Czar
Peter the Great
Rundetaarn seen from Krystalgade
Steenwinckel — whose name is otherwise synonymous with Dutch
Renaissance architecture in
The architects now setting the agenda in the Netherlands, masters
Jacob van Kampen (Amsterdam City Hall), Pieter Post
Inside view of the spiral ramp
Instead of stairs, a 7.5-turn spiral ramp forms the only access way to the towertop observatory as well as the Library Hall and the Bell-Ringer 's Loft, both located above the church. The ramp turns 7.5 times around the hollow masonry core of the tower before reaching the observation deck and observatory at the top, on the way also affording access to the Library Hall as well as the Ringer's Loft. This design was chosen to allow a horse and carriage to reach the library, moving books in and out of the library as well as transporting heavy and sensitive instruments to the observatory.
The winding corridor has a length of 210 m, climbing 3.74 m per turn. Along the outer wall the corridor has a length of 257.5 m and a grade of 10%, while along the wall of the inner core the corridor is only 85.5 m long but has a grade of 33%.
The observation deck is located 34.8 m above street level. Along the edge of the platform runs a wrought-iron lattice made in 1643 by Kaspar Fincke, Court Artist in metalwork. In the latticework, Christian IV's monogram and the letters RFP are seen, the letters representing the King's motto: Regna Firmat Pietas – Piety strengthens the Realms.
Inside view of the rebus inscription on the façade
The observatory is a small domed building, built on the roof of the tower. Built in 1929, the current observatory is 7 m high and has a diameter of 6 m. Access is by a narrow winding stone staircase from the observation deck.
On the upper part of the façade of the tower, there is a gilded
rebus inscription. Christian IV's draft of it, written in his own hand
writing, is kept at the
Danish National Archives
The tower contains a toilet used by the researchers and astronomers working in the tower and consisting of a seat almost at the top and a shaft leading down to the bottom floor built into the hollow core. This shaft has no way of emptying it nor any ventilation to the outside, making it arguably one of the world's largest and earliest septic tanks.
THE ROUND TOWER TODAY
Today the Round
In 1860 the University of
EXHIBITIONS AND CONCERTS
Since 1987, the Library Hall which lies above The Trinitatis Church, has served as an exhibition space, featuring various exhibitions of art, culture, history and science. At the same time, it is used as a concert venue, every year hosting around a hundred concerts.
The observation deck affords extensive views over the rooftops of the
old part of
RUNDETAARN UNICYCLE RACE
Every year in spring, a unicycle race is held in the Round Tower. The contestants have to go up and down the tower. The world record, set in 1988, is 1 minute and 48.7 seconds.
Adi Holzer: Rundetaarn 1999.
Hans Christian Andersen
* ^ "Centuries of Astronomy Astronomy in Denmark". Rundetaarn. Retrieved 2009-12-01. * ^ "Hans van Steenwinckel". answers.com. Retrieved 2009-11-26. * ^ A B "Bygningen af Rundetaarn". Rundetaarn. Retrieved 2009-12-01. * ^ A B C D "Trinitatis Kirke og Rundetaarn". kloakviden.dk. Retrieved 2009-12-02. * ^ "Østervold". Danmarks Natur- og Lægevidenskabelige Bibliotek. Retrieved 2009-08-03. * ^ A B "Sære måder at bestige tårnet på". Rundetaarn. Retrieved 2009-08-18. * ^ "Mål og vægt". Rundetaarn. Retrieved 2009-08-02. * ^ A B "The Tower". Rundetaarn. Retrieved 2009-08-02. * ^ "Views from the Round Tower, November 2016". Independent Travellers. independent-travellers.com. Retrieved September 5, 2017. * ^ "The elderbush". andersenstories.com. Retrieved 2009-06-23.