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A House Full of Stories

As you explore our premises, you quickly realise how easily you can get lost in the labyrinth of spaces. As you move up and then down stairs and steps, round corners and out of cul de sacs it is evident that the shop consists of several individual buildings.

Four different buildings no less. You can probably tell from our adress, Fiolstræde 34-36, that there would be two houses - while the two attached backbuildings in the yard takes it up to four.

Fiolstræde and the the latin quarter ("Latinerkvarteret") was severely hit by the large fire which followed the bombardment by the English during the Second Battle of Copenhagen in connection with the Napoleonic Wars in September 1807; a great many houses burned down and Fiolstræde was almost completely laid to waste. One of our backbuildings survived partly.

The two street houses (Fiolstræde 34 and 36) are typical for the period of reconstruction - the rules for building were more easily bent, though at the same time the Chief Building Director of Copenhagen, the architect C.F. Hansen, made sure that a certain level of style and uniformness was applied. The two buildings are both erected by chief mason Poul Egerod; number 34 in 1810-11 and number 36 in 1812-16.

Behind number 36 a small backhouse was reconstructed from the charred remains and this is where you can now browse our topographical books. When we removed old shelving from the former tenants - indeed also an antiquarian bookstore - we found soot on the lower parts of the walls, the old remains from the fire.

In the late 1980'es the buildings and yard was renovated by the studio of renowned Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen. A new backhouse was added against the old one, some smaller buildings torn down and the backyard garden was created. The new building is where you find our oldest and most valuable books.

During the renovation traces of an old cemetary was found, this was an extra plot created in connection with the plague hitting Copenhagen in 1711 and since closed.

There are many good stories to find in the buildings - both the ones in the books and the ones that live in the walls!

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