Hotel Bristol (Copenhagen)

Hotel Bristol, also known as Absalons Gaard after a later owner, is a former hotel located on the City Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hotel Bristol
The tower of Hotel Bristol
General information
Architectural styleHistoricism
LocationCity Hall Square, Copenhagen
Construction started1901
Height50 m (160 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectVilhelm Fischer


As a hotel

Hotel Bristol was built in two stages. The first two wings, along the City Hall Square and Frederiksberggade, were designed by the architect Vilhelm Fischer, who won an architectural competition, and built from 1901 to 1902 as Hotel Bristol. In 1932, a third wing, designed by Waldemar Schmidt, was built along Vestergade.[1]

The Hotel Bristol closed in 1917 after a bankruptcy caused by a fire.

Later occupants

After the closure, the building became the new headquarters of Absalon, an insurance company founded in 1909, and changed its name to Absalons Gård (en. House of Absalon). Later the newspaper Aktuelt was based there.


The three-wing building is constructed in red brick with granite rustication on the ground storey. The most distinctive feature of the building is its tower which stands 50 metres tall and is capped by a copper roof.[1]

Trotsky and Hotel Bristol

Hotel Bristol provided Leon Trotsky with an alibi following his 1936 Show Trial. Trotsky was accused of plotting against Joseph Stalin at the cafe of the Bristol in Copenhagen where E. S Golzman confessed to meeting both him and his son Sergei Sedov. Danish newspapers could afterwards report that the hotel had been closed since the fire in 1917.[2] The details have been laid out in 'Leon Trotsky and the Hotel Bristol That Never Was', chapter 9, in High Times at the Hotel Bristol,[3] a book about incidents at Hotel Bristols around the world.[4]

Other incidents

  • The internationally renowned Danish actor Valdemar Psilander died in the hotel while he stayed there as a guest in 1917.[1]


  1. "Rådhuspladsen 45-47 / Vestergade 37 / Frederiksberggade 40". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  2. "Moskvaprocesserne". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  3. "Trotsky and the Copenhagen Bristol". Hotel Bristol News. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  4. "High Times at the Hotel Bristol". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
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