Although the earliest historical records of Copenhagen are from the end of the 12th century, recent archaeological finds in connection with work on the city's metropolitan rail system revealed the remains of a large merchant's mansion near today's Kongens Nytorv from c. Excavations in Pilestræde have also led to the discovery of a well from the late 12th century.
The remains of an ancient church, with graves dating to the 11th century, have been unearthed near where Strøget meets Rådhuspladsen.
After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment.
This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
This makes it the oldest university in Denmark and one of the oldest in Europe.Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.The Copenhagen Metro launched in 2002 serves central Copenhagen while the Copenhagen S-train network connects central Copenhagen to its outlying boroughs.The original designation, from which the contemporary Danish name derives, was Køpmannæhafn, meaning "merchants' harbour", often simply Hafn or Havn ("harbour").The literal English translation would be "Chapman's haven".
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With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, promenades and waterfronts.Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid Statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.Originally controlled by the Catholic Church, the university's role in society was forced to change during the Reformation in Denmark in the late 1530s.In disputes prior to the Reformation of 1536, the city which had been faithful to Christian II, who was Catholic, was successfully besieged in 1523 by the forces of Frederik I, who supported Lutheranism.Serving roughly 2 million passengers a month, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, is the largest airport in the Nordic countries.
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The name of the city reflects its origin as a harbour and a place of commerce.
Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century.
Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions, defences and armed forces.
In 1186, a letter from Pope Urban III states that the castle of Hafn (Copenhagen) and its surrounding lands, including the town of Hafn, were given to Absalon, Bishop of Roskilde 1158–1191 and Archbishop of Lund 1177–1201, by King Valdemar I.
On Absalon's death, the property was to come into the ownership of the Bishopric of Roskilde.