A travel guide to Borgen, The Bridge and The Killing’s Copenhagen

The Danish capital provides the backdrop for the Scandinavian crime dramas' grisly goings-on and political intrigue...

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THE KILLING

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1. Ryvangen Memorial Park

Location: Mindelunden I Ryvangen, Hellerup (three miles north of city centre).
This is the scene of the first murder in The Killing II, and where the finale plays out between Sarah Lund and Ulrik Strange. The Nazis murdered members of the Danish Resistance here during the Seond World War. The pole that first victim Anne Dragsholm is tied to is significant, as the Nazis used three such poles during executions. The original posts have been preserved in bronze and it’s to one of these that Anne Dragsholm is tied. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, the producers re-created the execution poles and filmed those scenes at another location.

2. City Hall

Location: City Hall Square, off Vester Voldgade
City Hall, from where Troels operates in The Killing, opened in 1905, since when its iconic clock tower — standing 346 feet tall — has been a city landmark.

3. Christiansborg Palace

Location: Prins Jorgens Gard, Slotsholmen
Home of the Danish Parliament, where the political shenanigans of The Killing II and III take place. The first castle was built on this site in 1157. It’s been burnt down twice, in 1794 and 1884.

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4. Police HQ

Location: Polititorvet 1
Where it’s all happening. You need a special pass to go inside, but the guards may let you have a quick peek.

5. Theis Birk Larsen’s New House

Location: Kuchlersgade, Vesterbro
Theis’s daughter Nanna is held and raped here over 24 hours in The Killing, and it’s also the scene of the greatest clue reveal in history — “Sarajevo 84”.

6. The Birk Larsen Office

Location: Frederikstade, Vesterbro
This is actually a studio set but they intended the location to be just round the corner from the new house, so if you walk nearby Frederikstade, that’s where it would have been.

7. The wood where Nanna is killed

Location: Whitsun Forest, Pinseskoven
Brrrrr, brrrrr, a thousand times brrrrrrr…

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8. The Kobenhavn Lagerhotel Warehouse

Location: Islands Brygge, just after Dreschelsgade
The warehouse where Mette Hauge’s stuff is stored and Lund’s partner Meyer is shot in The Killing.

9. St Simon’s Church, Vesterbro

Location: Kristkirken, Enghave Plads 18, 1670 Kobenhavn V
Home of Priest and the 3-2-Alpha survivors of The Killing II, who hop in like rabbits negotiating their way around a foxhole.

10. The church where Nanna’s funeral takes place

Location: on the corner of Rantzausgade and J Brochmands Gade
Sit in the pews where Pernille, Theis and the boys said their final farewell.


BORGEN

The main location in the drama about Danish coalition politics is the Christiansborg Palace (nickname Borgen, which means “the Castle”). It’s the home of the Danish legislature, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister’s Office. But mostly, it’s the place where Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) walks purposefully around an open courtyard conducting political negotiations.

The bad news is that you can’t get into her office — but you can walk around the square. So, if you’re a lady, gather your hair into a tight bun; if you’re a man, pull on your trenchcoat and scarf. Remember, it’s very, very important to walk side by side talking like the clappers and then suddenly peel off, stop, and stare meaningfully into the middle distance. Or, if you’re pretending to be Birgitte, make a face that suggests you might have left the oven on at home.

A major location in season two is the office of news outlet Exspres. These are the real-life offices of the broadcaster DR Byen, and can be found at Emil Holms Kanal 20.


THE BRIDGE

The Oresundsbron is the ten-mile road and rail bridge (the world’s longest cable-stayed main span) that connects Copenhagen with Malmo in Sweden. You can take the train or drive over (36 euros) but you cannot, sadly, walk across, so there can be no re-enacting of that moment when Saga Noren cannot tell a lie. Trains depart from Copenhagen Central Station, or you can take bus 999 from Gustav Adolfs Torgn. 

The final episodes of the current series of Borgen are on Saturday at 9:00pm on BBC4. 

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