“Concrete jungle” is used to describe cities around the world, and Copenhagen, Denmark is no exception — even though “small concrete jungle” would probably be more accurate.

Due to the city’s vast parks, water systems, and environmentally friendly areas, Copenhagen is still a city, but with many different places.

One place that tourists particularly enjoy is the Botanical Gardens.

A pathway in the outdoor section of the Botanical Gardens. People walk throughout the gardens because it is open to the public during the day. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)
One of the ponds in the outdoor section of the Botanical Gardens. Benches line the edge of the ponds where people can sit. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)

This is a nice, little, beautiful escape.” 

– Caitlin New 

 

The fact that the gardens are a popular “escape” is easy to understand when the benefits are learned. Some of these benefits include free areas, ponds (which have birds and fish), greenhouses, the opportunity to watch locals picnic, and an indoor section that you buy tickets for. 

The view from the top of the Palm House, a house in the indoor gardens. The Palm House is the biggest house in the indoor section. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)

If all those benefits are not enough to convince a visit to the Botanical Gardens, this one might. A ticket for the indoor section includes an entrance into a fairy tale. 

To be clear, fairy tales and butterfly houses are interchangeable in this article.

A Love for Butterflies

Caitlin New, a tourist from the U.S., originally visited the Botanical Gardens when the indoor section was closed. She was so excited when she learned the indoor section and Butterfly House that she returned the following day to buy a ticket. 

“It’s a big hit — everybody asks ‘where’s the butterflies, where’s the butterflies,’” Torsten Myhre Jensen, the person who takes care of the butterflies, said. “People like this extra experience with living things.”

Butterflies hang in the container where they emerge from their chrysalis. This container is open for viewing. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)

Each week, Jensen orders around 200 butterflies. Most of the butterflies will die after three weeks of living, so Jensen’s weekly order is necessary to keep the house stocked with around 600 butterflies. 

It is true that insects are not everyone’s forte. The butterflies in the Butterfly House, however, are far from the creepy crawlers people usually fear. They come in a variety of vibrant colors and sizes, so there is one for everyone to enjoy.

Different butterflies throughout the Butterfly House resting on plants. The Butterfly House is filled with various plants that the butterflies and people can enjoy. (Photos/Ruby Truscott)

Inside the House

The butterflies are everywhere. They eat fresh fruit and nectar that Jensen prepares each day, rest on the various plants around, and fly from room to room.

Butterflies on the hanging food and flowers. The food includes fruit and nectar that is prepared daily. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)

Sometimes, they even land on someone’s clothing or bag. 

While taking home a new pet butterfly sounds exciting, the house rules are clear about the need to check your person before you walk out. If a butterfly goes unseen, don’t worry, there are plastic sheets that you must walk through to get to the exit that will stop any escape artists.

A Magical Experience

The Butterfly House consists of three combined greenhouses so it is not huge. As a first time visitor, New noticed the size of the house but also recognized that keeping up with a large butterfly house requires an extensive amount of butterflies. 

Despite the smaller size of the Butterfly House, it would be difficult to be underwhelmed after a visit. The fact that glass winged butterflies can be spotted alone prevents any disappointment. 

Glass winged butterfly resting on a plant. These butterflies can be hard to spot in the Butterfly House because their wings are transparent. (Photo/Ruby Truscott)

A visit to the Butterfly House is a visit into another world. It is difficult not to feel magic spread by hundreds of colored and transparent wings. Clearly, I step into a fairy tale when I enter the Butterfly House- it may be different for you. Regardless of what you might associate this Butterfly House with, it is a must visit escape in the “Concrete Jungle” of Copenhagen.

Ruby Truscott is a senior majoring in psychology and music in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia.

 

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