Nyboder - rebuilding in the late 19th century


The Nyboder housing on the north edge of the historic city and close to Kastellet - the fortress or citadel - were built for men serving in the navy. The first of the houses were constructed in the early 17th century and through the 17th and 18th centuries more rows were added with a series of parallel streets with long narrow yards between the rows. 

In the 1860s there were proposals to level the whole area, including the Kastellet, to build new apartment blocks here along new wide streets and around new squares but fortunately the plan was abandoned although two new wider street were set out running at an angle from the 18th-century grid to the site of the old east gate near what is now Østerport station - one to extend Store Kongensgade and a new street, Grønningen, that was in part across a parade ground and faces the fortifications of Kastellet. Expensive new apartment building were constructed in that long triangle.

In the 1880s several blocks of the old Nyboder houses were demolished and new streets of apartment buildings were constructed between Borger Gade and Store Kongensgade and a new church, Sankt Pauls Kirke, was built facing a new square with new naval houses constructed along three parallel streets close to the church including Haregade, Gernersgade and Rævegade. These houses are much larger than the earlier Nyboder row houses but were subdivided into apartments.

Because the city blocks here are relatively long and narrow, the streets and yards seem quite dark, particularly as the brick used is the yellow stock which is light in colour when new but turns a dull and rather flat grey as it picks up pollution. 

Architectural details are good with monumental gates between the gable ends of the rows for access to the yards. Windows have shallow arched heads and the end houses that are higher form pavilions at the end of each row and have imposing doors with architraves in the gable end and there are round windows and on some date plaques. Roofs are covered with dark grey slates rather than the red clay pantiles of the earlier houses.