6 Early Amusement Parks: Tivoli Gardens

Rotating Octopus Rides

      Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens first opened in 1843, when showman Georg Carstensen persuaded King Christian VIII to let him build a pleasure garden outside the walls of Copenhagen. Originally constructed on around 20 acres of land, Carstensen’s creation featured a series of oriental-inspired buildings, a lake fashioned from part of the old city moat, flower gardens and bandstands lit by colored gas lamps. The park quickly became a Copenhagen institution, and won fame for its “Tivoli Boys Guard,” a collection of uniformed adolescents who paraded around the premises playing music for visitors. Tivoli later added an iconic pantomime theater in 1878, and by the early 1900s it featured more traditional amusement park fare including a wooden roller coaster called the Bjergbanen, or “Mountain Coaster,” as well as bumper cars and carousels. Tivoli Gardens was nearly burned to the ground by Nazi sympathizers during World War II, but the park reopened after only a few weeks and remains in operation to this day.
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