If you like grand architecture and great views, you really should visit the majestic Royal Library. Among its more than 2 million volumes are accounts of Viking journeys to America and Greenland and original manuscripts by Hans Christian Andersen and Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). Peer through the glass opening in the door to the old, ornate reading room, which is open only to readers.
The library's massive new glass-and-granite addition, called the Black Diamond,
looms between the main building and the waterfront. The Black Diamond hosts temporary historical exhibits that often feature books, manuscripts, and artifacts culled from the library's extensive holdings. The National Museum of Photography, also housed in the Black Diamond, contains temporary exhibitions with handouts and wall texts in English.
Escalators that lift you from sea level to the main study areas provide spectacular views of both the harbor and an impressive ceiling mural by the Danish artist Per Kirkeby. The park that lies between the library and the parliament is a lovely place for a stroll or a pensive rest.