< DENMARK | COPENHAGEN: Scandic Palace Hotel
Anders Jensen early on proved to be an ambitious boy. He was born into a poor family in Slangerup and moving to Copenhagen he obtained an apprenticeship
with a butcher. Having finished his apprenticeship and after some years of hard work he opened the first butcher shop at the age of 23. Being a clever businessman he sold the
shop six months later and opened another shop in Nansensgade, a shop which he kept for the next 30 years thus enabling him to carry out some risky financial plans.
Anders Jensen had secretly purchased the wayfarers inn “Knapstedgaard” on Town Hall Square as well as the adjacent buildings. He was going to build a grand hotel. People were astonished, and rumours were plenty – a hotel costing millions, did he have that kind of money? Naturally, people doubted the venture as Anders Jensen’s constant money troubles were a well known fact. However, the building started soon and as Anders Jensen himself proclaimed: “with a little help from his African friend”! In everyone’s opinion that could be no other but King Frederik VIII himself!
Butcher Anders Jensen was a successful man and so was the architect he asked to design the hotel, Professor Anton Rosen, who was a reputable architect and a controversial person.
He also had a great belief in the youth working for him, and the story goes that Svend Moeller (later to become architect and editor) during his apprenticeship was asked by the
Professor, “you are a carpenter, right?”. “Yes”. “Well then, you go right ahead and design the Palace Hotel tower”. And so he did, with the confidence instilled in him by the
Professor. Copenhagen now had a magnificent piece of architecture and a third tower.
Inauguration day: July 15, 1910 marked a great day in the history of Copenhagen. The grand new hotel on Town Hall Square was inaugurated! A new and elegant restaurant opened its doors to the public.
The architect Anton Rosen created not only the amazing building he almost created everything at the Palace Hotel from furniture and hand tags to built in watches in the corridors and ornaments at the building. Except from the main building nearly everything is gone today due to different renovations during the last century. Original art nouveau furniture and accessories was kicked out but the original drawings made by Rosen was kept alive. The drawings is now the main ingridiens in the concept for the Palace Hotel artwork as we see it today.
You will find original Anton Rosen art nouveau details around the hotel such as outdoor decorations. Details on door handles, details from the furniture on original drawings made especially for the hotel etc. All these flowers, Strange animals and other typical art nouveau decoration figures you will find all over.
The hotel became a univers with 4 wings that each represented a specific time odf the day. These wings and different atmosphares Anton Rosen created is now an inspiration to the stories and colours used in the new modern artwork. The stories created with the inspiration of the hotels golden days back in the start of the 20th century.
Night wing – Grey The nightwing has the signatures of the big muscisians who stayed at the hotel among those Ray Charles and Lena Horne; The colour used is grey and represent the nights, the music and the poetry.
Morning wing – Light blue The morningwing has the signatures of all the big explorers and adventyrers who had made their way to the hotel after visiting new places in the world or made the first flight over the Atlantic Ocean. The light blue colour represents ideas and courage of tomorrow.
Evening wing – Red The eveningwing is red and refers to all the royal persons who stayed at the hotel during its long life. All the red rooms has a wonderful view to Tivoli and with the signatures from kings to emperors you have a perfect set for fairytales and happy endings.
Day wing – Purple The daywing refers to all the big Hollywood stars who stayed at the Hotel from Eryl Flynn to Audrey Hepburn.with all its glamour and greatness back in the 50 ties and 60 ties.
In 1927 Anders Jensen sold the hotel to Valdemar Nielsen, who decided to change the name of the hotel from Palads to the more international ”Palace Hotel” and millions were spent on modernising and refurbishing the interior. In 1937 when the Danish-Norwegian hotelier Waldemar Jensen acquired the Palace Hotel and brought in his Hungarian architects to convert the Marble Garden into the “Ambassadeur”, the Palace Hotel became an entertainment establishment famous throughout Europe. Shortly thereafter through an appeal by Prime Minister Stauning the Copenhagen City Council decided that the Town Hall clock should cease to strike the hours from midnight until eight in the morning. After all, the locals could not expect overnight guests to share in the patriotic pride when being awakened every 15 minutes during their sleep.
Shortly after the opening of the Palace Hotel in 1910 King Frederik VIII sent word to Anders Jensen that he intended to honour the hotel with a visit. This communiqué stirred up a great commotion, the red carpet was rolled out in front of the main entrance of the hotel where the public eagerly awaited the arrival of the King. Suddenly, Anders Jensen rushed to the concierge, “The book, remember the book!”. The Golden Book was brought out ready for the royal signature on page one. However, the King surprised everybody as he entered the hotel through the back door.
Another anecdote concerning the Golden Book brings us to November 29th 1958, the St. Andrews Ball, when two ladies noticed that a pretty young girl was about to affix her signature on the very same page as King Frederik VIII. They hurried to stop her, only to realize she was the heir apparent to the throne, Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe! The signature was affixed thus making the Golden Book a valuable piece of history. Several Notabilities may be found in the Golden Book and to name but in chronological order: in 1912 Charles de Bourbon, Infant d’Espagne. The world famous North Pole explorer Roald Amundsen. Later still the Maharaja of Baroda and his son in 1956. Mistinguett, Tito Schipa, the North Atlantic pilot Holger Højriis. Prince Bertil of Sweden, the first Secretary General to the United Nations Tryggve Lie, Lena Horne, Captain Kurt Carlsen of the Flying Enterprise, Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander, Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Rosita Serano, Cleo and Carl Brisson, Erskine Caldwell, Robert Stoltz, Audrey Hepburn, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker and many more.
Additional literature: n/a