The ships on Holmen is Denmark’s oldest Cold War museum, located on the beautiful Nyholm in the middle of Copenhagen. Nyholm has for 400 years been the focal point of the country’s fleet and has, from the early construction, grown as the Danish Navy was expanded. Today, Nyholm has only a few military institutions and activities left, but still tells the story of the navy through the many beautiful old buildings and facilities that remain in the area. For all Danes, Mastekranen is probably the most distinctive building in the area and quite naturally what many associate with Holmen. However, the mast crane is only one of many beautiful architectural landmarks, in an area that exudes history. At the far end of Nyholm, where the Kingdom Flag is waving from the Sixtus Battery, you will find the Elephant. The elephant is the name of the quay where the frigate Peder Skram is moored and from where you can start your trip at the museum Skibene on Holmen. The quay has the funny name because it was built on top of the sunken liner Elephant many, many years ago.
The ships on Holmen cover no less than 3 of the most important units that the Danish navy had at its disposal when the Cold War was at its hottest. In addition to the frigate, the museum has the submarine Sælen, the torpedo missile boat Sehested and not least, the museum has the opportunity to display the Mast Crane.
The frigate Peder Skram was the navy’s largest ship and designated as a command ship, which is why emphasis is placed on a comprehensive communication setup, combined with a for that time advanced operations room - the center for all information. In addition to its extensive reinforcement, the ship is also a magnificent example of contemporary engineering, not least thanks to its pioneering propulsion system, which combined the use of diesel engines and gas turbines. All something that guests can visit on the nearest team. The ship was built in Elsinore.
Despite its small size, the torpedo missile boat was a powerful and not least a fast opponent, which was highly respected by our former enemies. Get an insight into how to compress complex weapon systems fits in a very small area. And yet manages to leave room for the crew of 25 men. The ship was built in Frederikshavn. But just as speed and endurance were important, it was also important to be able to operate close to the enemy without being seen and heard. And here the submarine is definitely in a class of its own! With its black color, the submarine Sælen is the closest you get to a Ninja at sea. Silent and hidden beneath the surface of the sea, the Seal operated close to the enemy, gathering intelligence always ready to attack with its torpedoes. The ship’s crew often stayed for several weeks in the cramped surroundings where they shared the berths, could not swim and had to be more than normally socially inclined to be able to work together so closely for such a long time. The ship was built in Germany for the Norwegian navy. The Danish Navy bought it in 1990.
All the ships are open to the public and almost everything can be touched. Visit the operating room at Peder Skram, feel the claustrophobic conditions for the crew at Sælen, experience how to pack massive weapon systems into a small unit like Sehested. All the while the tale of the Cold War constantly reminds you of the pressure the crews work under every day. Then end with a trip in the Mast Crane, where on each floor there are exhibitions that tell about the time when the fleet was still young and seamanship was just as important as gunpowder and bullets. At the top of Mastekranen we serve Copenhagen’s undisputed best view. Here is a view of the whole of old Copenhagen, Amager and in good weather a look at Sweden.
The whole experience is spiced with empathetic stories from our dedicated guides, who almost all served in the Armed Forces during the Cold War. In addition to their own experience, they have an in-depth knowledge and insight into the ships and all their systems. You should be welcome on board, but set aside plenty of time. There is a lot to look at and not least to touch. Let the children control one of the frigate’s cannons, or how about seeing how the admiral slept on board?
We have the experiences and are not stingy about sharing them with others - Welcome aboard!
Skibene på Holmen
Opening hours 2021:
Please check www.skibenepaaholmen.dk/aabningstider-og-priser. Opening hours might changed because of Covid-19.
Elefanten • 1439 København
Phone: +45 32 57 13 16
Gps: 55.68885263477827, 12.604343412569001
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