Elephant Tower, Carlsberg

The Elephant Gate (Danish: Elefantporten), also referred to as the Elephant Tower (Danish: Elefanttårnet), is the most famous landmark of the Carlsberg area, the original brewery site of the Carlsberg Breweries, which is now under redevelopment as a new neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Denmark. It takes its name from four large granite elephants which flank the gate, standing back to back, carrying a small tower on their backs.

Elephant Gate from the courtyard side
The Elephant Tower
General information
Architectural styleHistoricism
Town or cityCopenhagen
Coordinates55.6673°N 12.5323°E / 55.6673; 12.5323
ClientCarl Jacobsen
Design and construction
ArchitectVilhelm Dahlerup


Completed in 1901, the Elephant Gate was built at the same time as the Ny Carlsberg Brewhouse. Together with the original Ny Carlsberg building and the Dipylon, they completed the main Ny Carlsberg complex around a central courtyard.

The new Elephant Gate made the entrance to the brewery from the Valby side, complementing the Dipylon which marked the entrance coming from the city.

The architect was Vilhelm Dahlerup who also designed the previous stages but not the new brewhouse which was designed by Vilhelm Klein.

The space above the gate originally served as a water tower and herb silo.


Typically of Ny Carlsberg's architecture, as well as of Vilhelm Dahlerup's work in general, the Elephant Gate is built to a colourful Historicist design which freely relies on inspiration from different periods and cultures.

The elephants

The elephant feature, which was Carl Jacobsen's own idea, was inspired by Bernini's obelisk-carrying elephant on Piazza della Minerva in Rome.[1] The four elephants were created by the sculptor Hans Peder Pedersen-Dan based on a sketch by Dahlerup.

The spire

The upper tower, which has a floor area of only 115 square metres, is built in red, ornamental brick. It has tall, round-arched windows and is topped by a copper-clad onion dome.

See also


Category:Arches and vaults in Denmark

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