Visiting the museum that retells 600 years of Denmark’s maritime history, also happens to be an incredible architectural experience.

An institution with a 100-year history, Denmark’s Maritime Museum originally opened in Kronborg Castle in Elsinore in 1915. Having moved to a new location in 2013, this year marks ten years in the unique new premises in a former shipyard.

According to head of marketing Marianne Friis Vindahl, the Maritime Museum is one for all generations. “We offer a total experience for a wide group of visitors, whether you know a lot about maritime life and history already, or have come to learn,” she says.

The setting of the museum is of unique architectural interest. The development was constructed eight metres underground within an old dry dock, which had previously been used as a shipyard for building and repairing ships. “Arguably the museums most important item, the dock, was re-imagined by star architect Bjarke Ingels and a current exhibition outlines the vision and the creative process behind the project,” says Vindahl.

Maritime Museum of Denmark: Explore life on the seas in an architectural gem

Another permanent installation, Our sailors, unpacks how sailors are depicted in pop culture by exploring their way of life and associated myths. This exhibition includes everything from films and comics to perfumes and fashion objects.

Maritime life during the world wars, and Denmark as a colonising state, are among the topics of other exhibitions. “We periodically show exhibitions on contemporary topics like globalisation,” explains Vindahl.

Surrounded by water on all sides, Denmark is perfectly placed to talk about maritime life and history. “We are a nation that has always been quite strategic in relation to the water on all sides – the country is in easy reach of the rest of Europe to the south and north, as well as across to the UK and towards Russia,” says Vindahl. “We rely on the water and use it for trade, but it also makes us vulnerable.”

This summer, visitors can enjoy the special exhibition Haeneyo, Women of the Sea, about a fascinating South Korean community where elderly women free-divers are the breadwinners in society.

This summer, when Copenhagen is named World Capital of Architecture, the Maritime Museum will run architecture tours that teach guests about the museum building in the dry dock. In October, a new exhibition with a focus on ship models will open. “This is set to be very popular,” says Vindahl. “It will be an immersive exhibition that will bring to life what might seem like a niche area.”

Maritime Museum of Denmark: Explore life on the seas in an architectural gem

Photo: Sunok Kang

Instagram: @maritimemuseumofdenmark
Facebook: mfsdk

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