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NileGuide Expert Says:
Four castles in one.
Prins Jørgens Gård 1, Copenhagen, Denmark
33 92 64 92
There have been castles on Slotsholmen since the island was first settled in the 12th century, on the site from where the country is still governed. Along with the Houses of Parliament, Christiansborg is also home to the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court, and still used by the Royal Family, who moved out in 1794. Put simply, Parliament (Folketinget) uses the southern half of the building and the Royal Family the northern section, though you can't get from one end to the other without leaving the building. The current building, built between 1907 and 1928, is the third version of Christiansborg, one having burnt down and another torn down. Christiansborg's 106-metre high tower is the highest in the city, and its façade contains granite collected from the entire country, including Greenland. While much of Christiansborg is closed to the public, it is possible to visit the Royal Reception Rooms, including the Great Hall, where the Queen's Tapestries hang, as well as a far older piece of history: underneath the modern palace are the remains of the original Absalon Castle, built by Bishop Absalon in 1167 and discovered accidentally by workmen in 1907. The ruins were reopened to the public as part of a more visitor-friendly exhibition in 2006.