Collegium Domus Regiæ, King Christian’s Red Court or just Regensen; our beloved home that goes by many names.
The story of Regensen dates back to 1569, even though the college itself had not yet been built at that time. Due to a lack of theologists in the reformed Denmark, King Frederik II established the Kommunitet foundation, with the purpose of supporting 100 talented and economically disadvantaged (male) students at the University of Copenhagen. It is Denmark’s oldest student grant and it initially functioned by providing students with daily meals. In 1623, King Christian IV extended the resources of the Royal House to the Kommunitet foundation, by lending them money to buy property in the heart of Copenhagen, which would ultimately be used to build Regensen. Thus, when the construction of Regensen was finalised in 1624, the Kommunitet grant was used to cover daily meals and housing costs of the 100 students it was supporting.
The original grant lasted up until 1736, when the provision of daily meals was replaced by food allowances to the students living at Regensen.
The college has always been a self-owned institution, despite the overall operations having been managed by the University of Copenhagen, with particular influence from the Faculty of Theology. The university’s most important task at the time was to educate ministers, a function which was supported by Regensen. In 1848, the management and finances of Regensen were handed over to a manager selected by the University of Copenhagen’s Konsistorie, making up the university’s most vital organ. In 1983, the management of the Kommunitet foundation was finally handed over to the University of Copenhagen’s 1983 College Collaboration, consisting of four of the old colleges located in Copenhagen. Up until this day, Elers, Borchen, Valkendorf and Regensen continue to be owned by the 1983 College Collaboration.
Regensen originally housed its 100 residents in two buildings, which were connected by a church wing that ran through Købmagergade. Regensen’s church acted as a parish until the Trinitatis Church was built in 1656. Large parts of Regensen burned down in Copenhagen’s Fire of 1728, the largest fire in the history of Copenhagen, where 28% of the city was destroyed and 20% of the people were left homeless. Only the part of Regensen between Købmagergade and the gate to Store Kannikestræde managed to survive the fire. Regensen was left more or less intact after Britain’s bombing of Copenhagen in 1807. The same could not be said for the University of Copenhagen’s Great Hall, which is why many of the University’s official ceremonial events started taking place at Regensen’s Church.
In 1907, Regensen made a special deal with the Municipality of Copenhagen regarding the removal of the lower part of its church wing in order to give way for a covered passageway on Købmagergade, opposite the Round Tower. At the time, cars driving by in the area were very common, and the purpose of the passageway was to decrease the many traffic accidents which were taking place in Copenhagen’s Inner City. Today, cars are not allowed to drive on Købmagergade at all. In addition to the passageway, the Municipality of Copenhagen financed the building of the fourth wing of Regensen, known as the Barracks. Building the Barracks meant that students living at Regensen no longer needed two students to live in one room - or in the case of the double rooms, four people. The increased privacy did not, however, lead to a more free romantic life, as the ban against having guests stay over, such as women, continued up until 1963. It was only in 1971 that women were allowed to live at Regensen. Today, Regensen has an equal gender distribution.
Regensen has a strong institution of student driven societies. Some suggest that the tradition of establishing societies, in true rebellious Regensen spirit, resulted from King Frederik XI’s ban on creating societies in 1820. The first society created at Regensen remains active and is known as 'Vækkerforeningen af 1832' but commonly goes under the name 'Gamle' (the Old One). It was established in 1832 with the intention of ensuring that students would wake up in time for the morning devotional at 6 am. Gamle introduced fines for those who had been awoken but still did not show up. The fines accumulated quickly, and the society eventually started using the money collected from the fines to host big parties.
The societies at Regensen can be described as being similar to Hogwarts houses. They have an ever shifting nature and the identity of the societies often change in accordance with the students living there at the time. For instance, while the society called Gamle has persisted for the last 187 years, Regensen has seen many societies disintegrate due to having too many members or indeed too few joining them. Sometimes new societies are made, but old societies can also be revived. Today, there are a total of eight societies at Regensen and even though they are constantly evolving, they remain the foundation for much of the social life at Regensen, including weekly meal clubs and frequent parties.
Rasmus Malling-Hansen (1835-1890), priest, principal, and inventorViggo Hørup (1841-1902), politician, journalist, and co-founder of the newspaper PolitikenHugo Hørring (1842-1909), head of a ministry department and prime ministerErnst von der Recke (1848-1933), poet and philologistNiels Finsen (1860-1904), medic and Nobel Price winnerVilhelm Buhl (1881-1954), prime minister (Social Democratic Party)Carl Roos (1884-1962), germanist, professor, and dr. phil.Otto Andrup (1885-1953), mag. art. and museum directorHartvig Frisch (1893-1950), professor and minister of education (Social Democratic Party)Tage Kemp (1896-1964), doctor and biologistJulius Bomholt (1896-1969), folk high school principal and minister (Social Democratic Party)Kaj Barr (1896-1970), iranist, professor and dr. phil. h.c.Kaj Munk (1898-1944), priest and poetKnud Hansen (1898-1996), folk high school-ist, and dr. theol. h. c.Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen (1900-38), historian and writerRegin Prenter (1907-90), theologist, professor and dr. theol.Jens Otto Krag (1914-78), prime minister (Social Democratic Party)K. B. Andersen (1914-83), head of Parliament and minister (Social Democratic Party)Knud Togeby (1918-74), literary critic, professor and dr. phil.Simon Spies (1921-1984), travel kingSøren Villiam Hoff (1922 - 2018), WWII resistance fighter and writer of hymnsErik Amdrup (1923-1998), surgeon and authorMogens Glistrup (1926-2008), politician and lawyerJohn Idorn (1933 - 2004), journalist and writerHenrik Bjelke (1937 - 1993), writerNiels Oluf Kyed (1937-2018), lawyer, board chairman and treasurer (Venstre)Thorkild Grosbøll (1948 - 2020), priest and debatistJarl Frijs-Madsen (f. 1965), ambassadorHenrik Marstal (f. 1966), musician, writer and debatistSørine Gotfredsen (f. 1967), priest, writer and debatistIben Thranholm (f. 1969), writer and debatistMichael Thouber (f. 1971), CEO of Kunsthal CharlottenborgLasse Bo Handberg (f. 1972), dramatist and artistic managerMaria Gadegaard (f. 1974), CEO of Gl. HoltegaardIda Auken (f. 1978), politicianAnna Mee Allerslev (f. 1984), mayor of CopenhagenAnna Lidell (f. 1987), chair of DJBFA / Composers and songwritersRakel Haslund-Gjerrild (f. 1988), writerAki-Matilda Høegh-Dam (f. 1996), member of parliament (representing Greenland)