Øksnehallen – a heritage venue in Copenhagen

Øksnehallen literally means “Ox hall” and was originally the central cattle market in the city’s brownstone abattoir. Chief city architect Ludvig Fenger was commissioned in 1899 to build the hall and drew inspiration from cattle markets in Germany. In 1901, Øksnehallen was completed and had space for 1600 cattle. However, with the construction of the adjacent Hvide Kødby (the white meatpacking district) in 1934, it was just a matter of time before Øksnehallen had to shut down its activities. The hall became a freight centre for the next many years.

In 1984, sections of the old meat market were heritage listed and the first plans to transform Øksnehallen into a facility for cultural and leisure activities started to take shape.

A respectful restoration of the facility was undertaken in 1993, and during the activities of Copenhagen’s tenure as European Capital of Culture in 1996, Øksnehallen was presented to the public in its new form as one of Copenhagen’s most magnificent – and largest – exhibition and conference halls. In 1997, the building was given its current purpose.