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The Cisterns

Soendermarken | Soendermarken, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen 2000, Denmark
+45 30 73 80 32
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The Cisterns in Søndermarken ParkResting deep beneath the green lawns of Søndermarken Park is a cavernous world that never sees the light of day. Enveloped in darkness, these damp and cold surroundings call ancient cathedrals and murky catacombs instantly to mind. History of The Cisterns The Cisterns, a long forgotten subterranean reservoir, once contained the supply of drinking water for the Danish capital and could hold as much as 16 million liters of clean water. Excavation began in 1856. Taking only three years to complete, the great structure quickly helped to alleviate many of the water supply problems of the day; but by 1933, the city’s cisterns ceased their function as a reservoir for drinking water, and they were finally drained in 1981. In 1996, in connection with Copenhagen’s status as European City of Culture – and through a joint initiative between the City of Frederiksberg and gallery owner Max Seidenfaden, who ran The Cisterns as a museum of modern glass art from 2001 to 2013– the underground water reservoir was put to use as an exhibition space. Today, The Cisterns is an integral part of Frederiksberg Museums, acting as a venue for art exhibitions and other events where the singularity of its architecture and atmosphere remains a core attraction. The Cisterns: A Cave within a CityLocated under Frederiksberg Hill in the heart of Søndermarken Park, The Cisterns is the only dripstone cave in Denmark. The natural formation of stalactites and stalagmites are not uncommon for concrete structures, yet none anywhere can offer the sheer magnitude and diversity of those found here. Such geological formations are extremely fragile, so for the sake of the museum as well as future guests we kindly request that you refrain from touching them. Thank you. Andante Christian Lemmerz at The CisternsIn a unique concoction of granite, concrete pillars and delicate stalactites and stalagmites, the subterranean exhibition space under Søndermarken Park is breathtaking. Of course, not every artist can meet the challenges proposed by these surroundings, but internationally renowned Danish artist Christian Lemmerz is certainly one who can! Lemmerz’ site-specific work, Andante, emerges as a monumental living sculpture, like a sea of candles, to illuminate and stage the sheer drama of this dark and cavernous space. AndanteChristian LemmerzMarts 2 – November 30, 2014
  • Excellent39%
  • Very good36%
  • Average16%
  • Poor6%
  • Terrible3%
Travellers talk about
“water reservoir” (12 reviews)
“modern glass” (3 reviews)
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Soendermarken | Soendermarken, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen 2000, Denmark
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1 - 10 of 137 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2017

I was in Copenhagen for a couple of days and this was one of the places I wanted to go to, I was so glad to see it was included in the CopenhagenCard! It's an installation due to be replaced in a few months time...More

Thank Billy J
Reviewed 25 October 2017 via mobile

Amazing. If you don’t mind the dark, and the occasional drip of water on the head, then this is worth a trip. It was an unusual place but the engineering of the structure is impressive. It’s an eerie place.

Thank 1wozza
Reviewed 23 October 2017

Ok, you've got this redundant underground storage facility and you want to turn it into a tourist attraction, what do you do, flood it with light so that everyone can see the architecture, construction, the remaining water and lime build up? Nah, keep it gloomy,...More

2  Thank NeMoSubrosa
Reviewed 16 October 2017

It was an amazing experience to see the japanese lamps during the night in the Cisterns, very interesting!

Thank Dani L
Reviewed 7 October 2017

Across from Copenhagen Zoo is Sondermarken, which is a large park. In the middle of Sondermarken you'll find the Cisterns. Right now Hiroshi Sambuichi have done some dark in dark exhibition. A little light might have helped. I know that the exhibition is supposed to...More

Thank JBPurgerFrb
Reviewed 2 October 2017 via mobile

A once in a lifetime experience. Go as soon as possible and preferably when the Sun is shining. So aesthetically beautiful.

Thank Susanne K
Reviewed 1 October 2017

When I booked my trip to Copenhagen I started looking at things to do and this caught my attention. I like doing things that are unique, off the beaten path and not all the other tourists are doing. Funny thing is my cab driver had...More

Thank icityrules
Reviewed 17 September 2017

My partner and I really enjoyed it. At first it seems incredibly dark but that is an experience in itself - we accidentally went in the opposite direction than instructed which plunged us into near total darkness with only the ropes and posts to guide...More

Thank achill123
Reviewed 23 August 2017

The Cisterns are an interesting structure, underground chambers and arches used previously for water storage. The Water, an art installation in The Cisterns is a creepy and thought-provoking experience; Walk Towards the Light, as instructed, and when you do, it is reflected light from a...More

Thank Lyn B
Reviewed 23 August 2017

I saw this advertised on Travel man and as I like quirky unusual places I wanted to visit this. It was total rubbish and I genuinely do not understand the 5 star reviews for this exhibition. There is literally NOTHING to see!! If your idea...More

2  Thank silvernlilac
Located between Noerrebro and Vesterbro you’ll find
Frederiksberg, which is actually a municipality in
itself but completely surrounded by Copenhagen. Here
there are several fine theaters, from the experimental
to the great Det Ny Teater (The New Theater) which
specializes in transcribing the great London and New
York musicals into Danish, and has done so for several
years with huge success. In Frederiksberg you’ll find
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