Equestrian Statues

We Three Kings - On Horseback

You won't find many, if any, statues of kings on horseback here in the USA. Presidents and Civil War heroes of course, plus some cowboys and indians.
But no kings.

During a visit to Copenhagen, Denmark I had the opportunity to revisit three very attractive equestrian statues, each located within a few short blocks of one another. In fact should you have the opportunity to visit Wonderful Copenhagen you can see these very attractive works of art during the course of a ten to fifteen minute walk.

King Christian V

Kongens Nytorv, the King's New Square, is located a few blocks from the royal residence, Amalienborg, and adjacent to the popular and scenic harbor area, Nyhavn. In the center of the square is a very imposing statue of King Christian V. This statue was the first of its kind in Scandinavia, placed in the square in 1688. At first glance the statue may lead one to believe that the Danes were not acquainted with the stirrup in the 17th century. However, the sculptor chose to portray the monarch as one would picture a general on horseback in ancient Rome. Christian V designed and built the square containing his statue. He was popular with his subjects although one of his greatest ambitions, to recapture areas in southern Sweden lost to the Swedes in an earlier war proved unsuccessful.

King Frederik V

The royal residence in Copenhagen, Amalienborg, consists of four palaces surrounding an octagonal courtyard. To the west is the imposing dome of the Marble Church (Marmor Kirken) and to the east lies the harbor. Across the harbor is one of Copenhagen's newest structures, the New Opera House. In the center of the Amalienborg complex is the equestrian statue of King Frederik V. This statue is considered by many to be one of the finest equestrian statues in Europe. Frederik V was King of Denmark and Norway from 1746 until his death in 1766 at the relatively young age of 43. It was Frederik V who purchased what eventually became known as the Danish West Indies, now the United States Virgin Islands. The names of three of the towns, Frederiksted, Christiansted, and Charlotte Amalie, relate to this time in Danish history.

King Christian X

A more recent king (and his statue) is Christian X, King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 (and of Iceland until 1944). Christian X was the grandfather of the present Queen of Denmark, Margrethe. An aristocratic man, Christian initially had some diffuculties in adjusting to a Danish democracy in which the king had limited powers but eventually became a champion of democratic values and an ardent foe of totaltarianism. The statue of Christian X on horseback is fitting. During the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World war II Christian X would ride daily through the streets of Copenhagen on horseback, mingling with the people. Tragically, he fell from his horse during a ride through the streets in 1942 and never fully recovered from his injuries. He did live to see the end of the occupation, dying in 1947, an honored and revered king. His statue is located on Bredgade's St. Annæ Square roughly midway between the two above-mentioned statues.

Thinking about a horse statue or a photograph of one as a gift? Visit The Main Horse Statues Page.