The Cisterns, a long forgotten subterranean reservoir, once contained the supply of drinking water for the Danish capital and could hold as much as 16 million liters of clean water.
Excavation began in 1856. Taking only three years to complete, the great structure quickly helped to alleviate many of the water supply problems of the day; but by 1933, the city’s cisterns ceased their function as a reservoir for drinking water, and they were finally drained in 1981. In 1996, in connection with Copenhagen’s status as European City of Culture – and through a joint initiative between the City of Frederiksberg and gallery owner Max Seidenfaden, who ran The Cisterns as a museum of modern glass art from 2001 to 2013– the underground water reservoir was put to use as an exhibition space.
Today, The Cisterns is an integral part of Frederiksberg Museums, acting as a venue for art exhibitions and other events where the singularity of its architecture and atmosphere remains a core attraction.
The Cisterns: A Cave within a City
Located under Frederiksberg Hill in the heart of Søndermarken Park, The Cisterns is the only dripstone cave in Denmark. The natural formation of stalactites and stalagmites are not uncommon for concrete structures, yet none anywhere can offer the sheer magnitude and diversity of those found here.