Forgotten Giants – Ishøj, Denmark - Atlas Obscura

Forgotten Giants

Ishøj, Denmark

Six beautiful wooden giants are hidden around Copenhagen. 


Hiding giants is a tall order, but Thomas Dambo has managed to hide six in the area around Copenhagen.

Dambo is an artist who specializes in reclaimed and recycled materials, and the Forgotten Giants are no exception to this method, created from scrap wood collected from old, demolished buildings and felled trees. The sculptures were deliberately placed off the beaten track, and each is accompanied by a poem engraved on a nearby stone that gives hints about where it is hidden.

There is also a “treasure map” of the area on which an “X” marks the spot where each giant can be found. Part of the point of the public artwork is to get people out and exploring, especially to beautiful places they don’t normally go. Dambo also hopes his scrap wood giants will encourage people to recycle.

Each giant is named after one of the volunteers who helped build it, and every one has an extra function. Sleeping Louis, named after one of Dambo’s former assistants, references homeless people found sleeping in the area where Louis now lies. Louis provides shelter for the homeless; the giant structure can be entered through his gaping mouth.

Another giant, Hill Top Trine, has hands that double as an overlook for visitors to climb into and enjoy the same view she does. Thomas On The Mountain (not named after Dambo himself, but an intern of the same name) has legs long enough for a lot of people to sit and relax, like the giant himself. Teddy Friendly, named after a friendly teacher, extends his arm to help people cross a nearby stream, while Oscar Under the Bridge helps hold up the bridge over Lille Vejlesø. Appropriately, scrap wood from an old water mill was used to make him. He was named after an artist from Chile. Finally, Little Tilde, who looks across a small lake, has 28 built-in birdhouses.

Know Before You Go

The coordinates are for Oscar Under the Bridge. The rest of the giants are in the surrounding area. A map showing the locations of the other five giants can be found on Thomas Dambo's website.

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