Opened in 1843, the Tivoli (or Tivoli Gardens) is a garden and amusement park located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world after the Dyrehavsbakken (more commonly known as ¨Bakken¨) which was opened in 1583. Almost 5 million people visit the park each year making it also one of the most popular amusement parks in the world.
The park was founded by Georg Carstensen who convinced the then King, Christian VIII, that:
¨when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics¨
As a result, the King gave Carstensen the use of 15 acres (61000m²) which was part of ruined fortress located outside the West Gate (Vesterport) in return for an annual rent.
From its beginnings, the Tivoli included a variety of attractions including an oriental theatre, band stands, amusement rides such as merry-go-rounds and scenic railways as well as cafés and restaurants. As the evening came, the gardens were illuminated with multi-coloured lighting and on certain evenings displays of fireworks were organised.
Pantomimeteatret (Pantomine Theatre)
One of the parks most admired attractions is Pantomimeteatret, or a Pantomime Theatre. Opened in 1874, the theatre, the curtain of which is a mechanical peacock´s tail which takes 5 men to operate, was the home of the Italian pantomimes that were introduced into Denmark by Giuseppe Casorti. The tradition continues today with characters such as Cassander (the old father), Columbine (his beautiful daughter), Harlequin (her lover) as well as the not so smart servant Pierrot. The is no spoken language, which makes the theatre not only popular with all ages but also with all nationalities.
In 1943 Nazi sympathisers burnt many of the Tivoli´s buildings to the ground. Temporary building were created and within a few weeks the park was back in operation.
In 1844 Georg Carstensen said:
¨the Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished¨
This sentiment was echoed more than a century later by Walt Disney when he spoke of his own Tivoli-inspired theme park:
¨Disneyland will never be completed, it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world¨¨
Today, in all Scandinavian countries, the word ¨Tivoli¨ has become synonymous with any amusement park
What’s in a Name
The park was originally called the “Tivoli and Vauxhall¨. The ¨Tivoli¨ was a reference to the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris (which in turn was named after the Tivoli in Rome), whilst the ¨Vauxhall¨ was alluding to the Vauxhall Gardens in London.
Or the Bjergbanen (The Mountain Roller Coaster) is the most well-known attraction in the park. Built in 1914, it is one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating. The operator controls the ride by braking as it goes down the hills so it doesn’t pick up too much speed.
Dæmonen (The Demon)
A roller coaster that combines a vertical loop, Immelmann loop (half loop followed by a half twist) and a zero g-roll (track twists on the ascent and decent) all in 1 min 46 seconds.Tivoli Gardens