Brønnums House

May 31, 2016

Bournonville

Brønnum House (Danish: Brønnums Hus) is a listed building located next to the Royal Danish Theatre on Kongens Nytorv in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It was one of the first buildings that was completed in connection with the redevelopment of the former Gammelholm naval dockyards. The building is now owned by Karberghus. It has been converted into serviced offices and the ground floor is home to a high-end cocktail bar.

Brønnum House was the first residential building to be completed when the former naval dockyards at Gammelholm came under redevelopment in the 1860s. It was designed by Ferdinand Wilhelm Jensen and built 1865-1866. The building was purchased by the broker Martin R. Henriques and the tobacco manufacturer Bernhard Hirschsprung who both lived in the building with their families for many years.

Henriques and his wife Terese (née Abrahamson) lived on the first floor until their deaths in 1912 and 1882. The couple were close friends of the writer Hans Christian Andersen to whom they had been introduced by ballet master August Bournonville. Martin R Henriques’ sister Dorothea Melchior (1823-1885) and her husband Moritz G. Melchior were also among Andersen’s closest friends. Other prominent cultural figures visited their home, including August Bournonville and the composers Niels W. Gade, J. P. E. Hartmann and Edvard Grieg.

Hirschsprung lived with his family on the second floor. Together with his brother, Heinrich Hirschsprung, Bernhard Hirschsprung had taken over his father’s tobacco company A.M. Hirschsprung & Sønner in 1959. In 1870, the company completed a new factory a little down the street, on the corner of Tordenskjoldsgade and Geibergsgade.

For more than 125 years, the ground floor contained Café Brønnum, an establishment popular with actors from the Royal Theatre as well as other artists. The premises later contained the ticket office of the theatre.