Gefion Fountain: Tales of Mythology in Copenhagen

Gefion Fountain Copenhagen Europe Norse Mythology Denmark Travel Guide

If you want a city break where you can walk and explore with a coffee in your hand, Copenhagen is perfect. There is so much for you to explore that if you went by public transport you would miss. During my short stay in the city I did a self-guided tour with Around, which took me to some of these and introduced me to some of Copenhagen’s best works of art.

In Langelinie Park, just a short walk from the Little Mermaid, you will find this staggeringly beautiful fountain. A tribute to the Norse Goddess Gefion, it depicts her driving a group of animals across a field.

The Legend of Gefion

As with any good sculpture, Gefion Fountain is steeped in legend. According to Norse Mythology, The Swedish king Gylfe offered Gefion as much land as she was able to plough in one day and one night. Of course she could not achieve this alone, so she transformed her sons into four, incredibly powerful oxen. And with their combined strength razed the land and pulled it into the sea, giving birth to the island of Zealand.

The island of Zealand is roughly the same shape of Lake Vännern in Sweden, adding further fuel to the legend.

Gefion Fountain Story

The Fountain was unveiled in 1908 by Anders Bundgaard and is one of the largest monuments in Copenhagen. It was commissioned in 1897 as a gift to the city from the Carlsberg Foundation as part of their 50 year anniversary. It took Anders seven years to create to figurest atop the fountain, and they were finished in 1904. The next four years were spent preparing the basic for their arrival, until its eventual completion and unveiling in 1908.

Sculptures in Copenhagen

It always impresses me how well the sculptures of Copenhagen are looked after (with the exception of the occasional protestors). In 1999 an extensive operation began to restore the fountain, leaving it out of commission for many years as the work was completed. It eventually reopened five years later in 2004, and now tourists and locals throw a coin to make a wish 

With so many things to do in Copenhagen it is hard to find the time to stop and rest. Luckily when I visited there was a mobile coffee shop for me to grab a pick-me-up on my walk. Revitalising me for my walk as I continued to explore Historical landmarks in Copenhagen. My next stop would be to another of Copenhagen’s attractions, the Little Mermaid. Which although its labelled one of the must-see places in Denmark, after the magnificence of Gefion Fountain felt a little bit like an anti-climax. But on the way I would walk through a park filled with cherry blossom trees, which was breathtaking in its own right.

Gefion Fountain FAQ’s

Where should I go next in Copenhagen?

There is so much nearby, and Copenhagen is one of the most walkable cities I have ever visited. Nearby you can find cherry blossom trees which are fantastic to photograph, or further down Copenhagens most famous statue, The Little Mermaid.

Below you can find examples of the latest attractions in Copenhagen courtesy of Get Your Guide. By booking through this link I will receive a commission which helps support this blog.

Powered by GetYourGuide

When was the Gefion Fountain finished?

The Gefion Fountainta was unveiled in 1908, and has been on display since. It was closed down for five years for some restoration work between 1999 and 2004.

Who was the sculptor who created the fountain?

 Anders Bundgaard was commissioned to create the fountain on behalf of the Carlsberg Foundation.

How long did the fountain take to be built?

Creation of the fountain began in 1897, and was unveiled in 1908 after 11 years of construction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *