Sankt Hans Square
About Sankt Hans Square
This used to be a market place for cattle farmers, where they would sell the cattle to the Copenhagen butchers. The square takes its name from the church located at the square “Sankt Johannes Kirke” which translates to “Saint Johns Church”. Saint John was saint of the shepherds, a fitting name for a church placed next to the cattle market. Before 1853 no buildings were allowed here since they were not protected by the fortifications around the city. In case of attacks on the city the King did not want to provide the enemy with buildings to hide behind. Only smaller buildings were allowed. Eventually, Copenhagen’s bastioned fortifications were decommissioned both because the city was growing and needed more space and because the British bombardment in 1807 during the Battle of Copenhagen showed they had become outdated. In 1861, the Church was constructed as the first church outside the fortifications. In 1896 there was about 4.000 subscribers of private telephones in Copenhagen. The kiosks where therefore created in 1896 so that people without telephones could make calls and people with subscriptions could call the kiosk and leave a message for people without subscriptions. A young boy would then take the message from the kiosk and deliver it to the address of the recipient. The kiosks were staffed with a “kiosk lady” (only women had these jobs) that you would pay per call. The kiosks were open from 7:00 in the morning until 23:00 in the evening. The kiosk here at Sankt Hans Torv was created in 1928, but stopped functioning as a telephone kiosk. Because they were so beautiful, many are still in use now as Cafées. Today, Sankt Hans Torv is known for its thriving café scene.