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The arc of lights by the Alley

The Merry Corner is reserved for rides and games. Until about 1920, this was a festival ground with varying themes, such as The Old Market Town.

In The Alley (1952, Simon Henningsen and Erik Nordgreen), old shop signs, ship names, and so on help create a cosy, evocative, yet chaotic atmosphere. Notice Halfdan Rasmussen's verse on old baking trays. Traditional fun includes shooting galleries, ball throwing and other games.

Worth knowing

  1. THE MERRY CORNER

    The Merry Corner in Tivoli is located on the corner of Bernstorffsgade and Tietgensgade, and was thus not included in the original Tivoli grounds. It was incorporated into Tivoli in connection with the relocation of Bernstorffsgade (1908). 

    The name, The Merry Corner, was used from 1920. Previously, the Party Venue was here. This was where large backdrops were erected, which remained standing for a year or two and were used for the Dance Hall. 

    In Tivoli's overall ground plan, the area at the very back of the Gardens is the entertainment zone, and The Merry Corner is included in this. Thus, the area has often changed scenography, and the composition of rides and activities have been replaced over the years. The most recent scenography from 2013 is inspired by the astronomer Tycho Brahe and his time. 

    From 1915-2013 the Villa was located on the corner of Bernstorffsgade and Tietgensgade. It was originally the official residence of Tivoli's Inspector (operations manager), but has been used as offices for decades. 

    The ATM Hall was originally founded in 1931, and was extended in 2003 with the building next to the Bumper Cars. The ride called The Blue Wagon (1935) was previously located here, as was the ride called Door No. 13, from 1997-2002.

  2. CELEBRATION ARRANGEMENTS AND CARAVANS

    EXOTIC PARTIES

    From the 1870s until 1931, Tivoli's celebration arrangements were an annual attraction. A celebration arrangement was a large backdrop, which was erected either inside the Arena Theatre or in the open, typically on the corner of Bernstorffsgade/Tietgensgade. 
    In the beginning, the themes were exotic: Italian Feast (1871), The Blue Grotto (1894 and 1914), Baghdad (1907). Towards the end of the period, the themes became more nostalgic: The Old Market Town (1914 and 1915), The Fishing Village (1934). 
    Visitors paid an entry fee to the celebration arrangement, where they could dance and enjoy a drink.

    LIVING EXHIBITION

    Around the year 1900, caravans, or ethnographic exhibitions, were also common. As a mixture between entertainment and education, groups of people from foreign countries were organised to settle down in Tivoli and live there in the same manner as they did in their own country. Tivoli's guests could then visit the area for an entry fee, and learn something about the foreigners' clothing and way of life. In addition to living in Tivoli, the foreigners also performed more artistically inclined routines. 
    Tivoli has had caravans with Nubians, Senegambians, Mahdi fighters, Bedouins, Chinese, Southern Indians, Persians and Samoans. Throughout Europe, it was very common to exhibit foreign people in this manner. There were impresarios who specialised in the dissemination of the troupes to zoological gardens and amusement parks, and one could read informative articles in the newspaper about the people and their habits and way of living.

    VICTOR IN THE CAGE

    One story that has become widely known in Denmark is the story of Victor Cornelins. Victor came to Denmark as a child from the Danish West Indies, in connection with an exhibition about the Danish colonies. Victor was a curious child, who very much wanted to visit the other exhibits. Thus, he was often missing from the Danish West-Indies exhibit, and eventually they locked him into the exhibit. For the little boy, as well as for all the visitors, it looked like they were trying to cage him. Victor remained in Denmark, where he had a career within the school system in Nakskov.

  3. Rides

    THE FIRST RIDES

    In the year 1843, there were only two rides running in Tivoli. The two rides were a horse-drawn carousel, where the wagons resembled train carriages. Since it took another four years until the railway came to Copenhagen, this ride was a new and exciting experience. The other ride was a roller coaster. A winding track ran to the ground from two high, parallel towers. The visitors sat in pairs in the small carriages, which raced towards the ground from a second-storey level within seven seconds. It was a terrifying and intoxicating experience! 

    Today we would hardly be content with such a ride. Technological advancements have made it possible to create wilder, higher and faster rides. Amusement parks around the world compete for the wildest rides, because if they can supply the rush, then the visitors will come. 

    Tivoli's running rides are a mixture of wild and calm. Some of the rides have become iconic to Tivoli, and we take good care of them, while other rides are continuously replaced by newer and more modern machines.

    ICONIC RIDES

    Among the iconic rides are the Roller Coaster from 1914, the Ferris Wheel from 1943 and the Vintage Cars from 1959. For many Danes, these rides are an indispensable part of Tivoli, and we have fond memories of the rides we had on them. 

    Calm rides 
    Rides such as the Flying Trunk (1993), Line 8 (1969), and the Classic Carousel (1900) are so calm and peaceful that even small children can enjoy them. As the children grow older, they muster up the courage to try the Camel Trail, the Temple Tower and the Mine. 

    Wild rides 
    The wild rides are popular, and new ones are constantly being created so that Tivoli's visitors can get the rush they are looking for. Aquila (2013), Vertigo (2009), and the Demon (2004) are among Tivoli's wildest, where one rides upside down at high speeds. For some, The Star Flyer (2006) and the Golden Tower (1999) are even greater challenges due to their height.

  4. THE ALLEY

    The narrow street called The Alley, alongside the Roller Coaster, was created in 1952. The area was designed by the set designer Erik Nordgreen and Tivoli's chief architect, Simon Henningsen. Stalls with games, arts and crafts, etc. were established in the side of the Roller Coaster, while Smugkroen was established in the bottom level of the yellow house and stalls were set up on the opposite side of The Alley, where a bowling alley had previously been situated. One of the activities was a Flea Circus, which was located in The Alley from 1952-1965. When the Flea Circus closed, the Mouse Village was placed there instead. It closed in 1974. 

    The Alley's design is a fantasy based on a Danish market town. Old-fashioned shop signs - the baker's pretzel, the boot, the glove, the hat, etc. - adorn the facades together with carousel horses, umbrellas and a lot of name boards from old fishing boats. Space has also been made on the Roller Coaster Mountain's face for various painted pictures. 

    Around The Alley, e.g. in the Biergarten's outdoor seating area, there are old baking trays with verses on them by Halfdan Rasmussen.

  5. FLEA CIRCUS

    The flea circus belongs to the market entertainment category and was popular for many hundreds of years. There was a flea circus in Tivoli from 1952, when The Alley in Tivoli opened, until 1965. This is where Else and Willy Torp presented “the world's smallest performers”, human fleas that walked the tightrope, played football and pushed prams. The circus ring was a felt-covered table, and they had gone to great lengths with the props. The small carriages were nicely adorned with metal and enamel, so that there was something to look at if one could not see the small performers. 

    One might be led to think that there were no fleas at all, and that the whole thing was just an act, but that was not the case. There were fleas, and they were bound with a harness consisting of thin platinum wire. In that way, one could avoid that they jumped too far – and in this way they were also easier to get hold of when they were due to perform. In a film from 1966 about flea circuses, one can also see how Willy Torp feeds the fleas on his arm, as they survive by ingesting his blood. 

    Still today, there are flea circuses performing in Europe, for example in Germany. The props from Tivoli's Flea Circus can be seen at the Circus Museum in Hvidovre.

  6. VAFFELBAGERIET (THE WAFFLE BAKERY)

    Tivoli's waffle bakery, situated in The Merry Corner, was established in 1906. The current facade is from 1908, but the interior of the house has been remodelled several times in order to accommodate modern amenities. The facade was designed by Knud Arne Petersen, Tivoli director at the time, who was also an architect. 

    Vaffelbageriet has been run by the same family all these years. The fourth generation is currently being groomed to take over the business. 

    Vaffelbageriet's ice-cream is home-made, and the waffles are baked in the shop. In 2009, National Geographic's book Food Journeys of a Lifetime was published. In this book, Vaffelbageriet was listed as one of the 10 places in the world where one should eat an ice-cream.

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