The trophy of world’s oldest amusement park definitely goes to The Animal Hill or Dyrehavsbakken, otherwise known as The Hill. Located in Northern Copenhagen, Klampenborg, Denmark, this park is as old as more than four centuries; the amusement park was built in 1538 and is the only one of its age surviving in the world.Spread over an area of 75,000 square meters the park affirms the presence of about a hundred and fifty alluring activities for the tourists. The Guinness book of records tag the park with the not only the oldest but the second most popular parks in Denmark after Tivoli Gardens.
Dyrehave is the name of a natural spring discovered by Kirsten Pill in 1538, amongst a huge forest, hence the name Dyrehavsbakken. Fed up with the poor water quality, the locals visited the area frequently and believed that the water from the spring had miraculous healing properties, which got enhanced during springs. For certain tenure, the park was not allowed to be accessed by the public and remained a hunting ground for the royals. King Federick III set up an animal park in the area close to the spring, which was later extended to four times of its size by Christian V.
The park thrived when opened for the public and nothing could stop its popularity, which Dyrehavsbakken still holds a record for. The park continued to flourish even during war days under Napolean. Easier accessibility by railways and roadways improved the number of tourists to the area, so did the maintenance such as garbage collection, electricity provisions, water supply, etc. by an association “Dyrehavsbakken tent owners”. With the passage of time, entertainment options in the park continued to bloom.
Dyrehavsbakken claims for thirty three rides, six roller coasters and a water ride as well. One of the roller coasters named Rutschebanen was built in 1932 and is the oldest existing roller coaster in the world. There are numerous rides suitable for people from all ages. The Gaming hals, seven in number, have games of carnival-style. There are platforms for dancing and a number of slot machines too. Thepark has a live music hall, where tourists can have an amazing time. Pjerott the clown is the park’s mascot and the kids love to see him perform. A live circus performance, Circus Revue revives the kid in the people. Countless bars and restaurants serve dishes from street-style food like hotdogs, ham burgers, cotton candy, popovers, to famous international cuisine, buffet options and of course drinks to chill.
Dryehavsbakken is accessible only for a period from the end of the March till August. The entry into the amusement park is free, but the rides are not. So, next time a visit to Europe, alone, for a honeymoon or with family, definitely demands a trip to Denmark, to visit this old yet classy park. The experience would definitely be a life time experience. Discover the playful child inside you, the amusement park would help too.