The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The National Museum is the museum for all Denmark, where you can follow the history of the Danes right down to the present day. And you can get around the world from Greenland to South America.
The museum’s main domicile is a classical 18th century mansion just a stone’s throw from “Strøget” at the center of Copenhagen. The museum’s main building is located a short distance from Strøget at the center of Copenhagen. It contains exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America.
The museum has a number of national commitments, particularly within the following key areas: archaeology, ethnology, numismatics, ethnography, natural science, conservation, communication, building antiquarian activities in connection with the churches of Denmark, as well as the handling of the Danefæ (the National Treasures).
The museum covers 14,000 years of Danish history, from the reindeer-hunters of the Ice Age, Vikings, and works of religious art from the Middle Ages, when the church was highly significant in Danish life. Danish coins from Viking times to the present and coins from ancient Rome and Greece, as well as examples of the coinage and currencies of other cultures, are exhibited also. The National Museum keeps Denmark’s largest and most varied collection of objects from the ancient cultures of Greece and Italy, the Near East and Egypt. For example, it holds a collection of objects that were retrieved during the Danish excavation of Tell Shemshara in Iraq in 1957.
Exhibits are also shown on who the Danish people are and were, stories of everyday life and special occasions, stories of the Danish state and nation, but most of all stories of different people’s lives in Denmark from 1560 to 2000.
The Danish pre-history section was re-opened in May 2008 after years of renovating.
The museum has several permanent exhibitions including:
Denmark’s old age
Denmark’s Middle Ages
Denmark History 1660-2000
collection of Antiquities
The Royal Coin and Medals Collection
Among the exhibited articles from Denmark are treasures from the Vikings’ voyages, well-preserved mosque, objects from the church’s world in the Middle Ages and the world’s largest collection of golden altars. In addition, one can also see Denmark’s oldest coin, weapons and ironworks from the Iron Age, finds from the hunter’s age camps, the bronze age wind instruments – the lurks, Egyptian mummies and 4000-year-old Greek marble figures.
Among the foreign collections are amulets from Greenland, cultures from America before Christoffer Columbus, the world’s oldest paintings depicting the people of America, suits and prints of the Prairie Indians, a Japanese Samurai suit or Indian goddesses.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum also has special exhibitions.
The museum was known in the 1970s for its educational exhibition, including panoramas and models of Vedbæk fjord in the Stone Age and the present, an Iron Age village, the Trelleborg plant, Dannevirke and more. In the case of a new setup, most of these models have been removed.