When you visit the neighborhood around Kongens Nytorv, you’ll be astounded to see the Royal Theatre, a huge Neo-Renaissance structure that has served as Denmark’s primary performing arts center since its founding in 1748. The current structure, which stands on the original location, was built in 1874. This theater distinguished itself for many years by presenting ballet, opera, and theater in the same venue. Two theaters are part of the complex: Gamle Scene (Old Stage) and Nye Scene (New Stage), the latter of which was constructed in 1931 and is more often referred to as Staerekassen. Since Operaen, a spectacular opera house across the harbor from Amalienborg Slot, opened, ballet performances are now largely performed on the Old Stage, while plays are presented at Skuespilhuset.
Two notable Danes who made contributions to the growth of theater and the arts are honored with sculptures at the front of the theater. The playwright Ludvig Holberg, who is frequently credited as the founder of contemporary Danish theater, and the poet Adam Oehlenschläger, who popularized Romanticism in Danish literature, are the first and second.