Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Christmas in Tivoli with new Russian theme

Christmas in Tivoli opens with new Russian theme

Tivoli Russian Christmas Village 2011

Tivoli Russian Christmas Village 2011

COPENHAGEN: On 11 November, Tivoli in Copenhagen opens Christmas in Tivoli for the 18th time, now with a new Russian theme and a 2000 m2 city. Among the attractions of the Russian city is a Tivoli version of St. Basil’s Cathedral known from the Red Square in the Kremlin, featuring a 21 m tower with onion domes and a carillon.

The new Russian theme is to contribute to a renewal of Christmas in Tivoli and ensure an increase in the number of visitors during November and December
. Christmas in Tivoli had almost 800,000 visitors last year.

”Tivoli will never be completed”, the founder of Tivoli, Georg Carstensen, said in 1845. With an investment of almost DKK 10 million in the Russian city, Tivoli cements its vision of ongoing innovation. The Russian city is inspired by the building style of the Czarist days with opulent onion domes, towers and precious carillons. Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral, visitors can board a miniature version of the Trans-Siberian railway which will take them through Russian landscapes featuring pixies, angelic choirs and extravagant Fabergé eggs. St

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. Basil’s Cathedral celebrates its 450th anniversary this year, and visitors can see a copy in Tivoli.

Tivoli, Russian Christmas Village small hut

Tivoli, Russian Christmas Village small hut

Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen says:

“Events create unique experiences and attract tourists, and with the new Tivoli initiative the tourists get even more good reasons to visit Copenhagen in the wintertime. In later years more and more Christmas cruises have visited Copenhagen and for the cruise-passengers Tivoli is high on the list – and even more so with the new Christmas attraction. Many partners in Copenhagen co-operate to attract more visitors during the cold winter months, and the new Tivoli initiative shows the openness and innovation that Copenhagen is known for in creating events – such as the UCI Road World Championships taking place in the heart of Copenhagen at the moment”.

Lise Lyck, head of the Center for Tourism and Cultural Management at the Copenhagen Business School, says about Tivoli’s new initiative: “Christmas is a family celebration where traditions are passed on from one generation to the next. Santa Claus, pixies, the Christmas tree, Christmas food, red colours and Christmas candles are integral parts of Christmas in Denmark. So creating and enriching its visitors with the experience of a foreign Christmas tradition is a bold and innovative step by Tivoli. If it is to be a success, the experience must be exciting, attractive, unique and give Tivoli’s visitors a valuable experience, i.e. it must comprise learning, entertainment, aesthetics and feed the imagination. It must appeal to the senses and invite active participation.”

Two years in the making

The Russian city has been two years in the making with Tivoli’s architects, set designers and gardeners drawing, travelling, developing new ideas and thinking out of the box. This means that the traditional Christmas tree at the fountain in front of the Concert Hall will be moved to the Russian city where it will rise as an iconic tower enveloped in thousands of lights. New stalls with towers and onion domes decorated with an abundance of ice crystals and spruce branches will be erected, creating a very special atmosphere in the Gardens. As usual, the Gardens will also be decorated with lots of lights, thousands of Christmas baubles and spruce trees.

Tivoli gets a new Santa Claus

In 2011, the traditional Santa Claus will be replaced by his Russian counterpart, Father Frost, who 

will enter the sleigh on the Open Air Stage in bluish, frosty colours. He is very like our own red 

Santa Claus and is regarded as the Russian version of the Western Santa Claus. He handles the 

heavy job of distributing gifts with the help of his lovely little grandchild, ”Snegurochka”, or the 

Snow Maiden. They present gifts and both take care of the animals of the woods during the cold 

season. Now Father Frost will be part of the Christmas experience in Tivoli.

Tivoli in brief

Since Georg Carstensen opened the gates of Tivoli in Copenhagen to visitors in 1843, the Gardens 

have become a top amusement park featuring the Tivoli Boys Guard, 26 rides, playgrounds, 

booths, restaurants, special days and concerts. At 167 years of age, Tivoli is among the world’s 

oldest amusement parks, and its traditions and constant improvements make it a popular 

excursion spot for many visitors. Tivoli has about 4 million visitors every year, and 2010 saw the 

opening of the Tivoli Hotel, the first theme hotel in Copenhagen.

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