cafe EUROPA 1989
The fall of the wall
- A united Europe
More than a dozen years ago, Cafe EUROPA opened in 1989. The years that have passed have been filled with exciting challenges of running a opinionated cafe of international standard in the heart of Copenhagen, at Amagertorv, the navel of the world – according to Søren Kierkegaard. Nevertheless, it feels like only a moment has passed since we started.
In the 20 years, the world around us has changed – immensely. Back then, no one would have believed that the Iron Curtain would fall by the end of 1989. But things change, and the unthinkable happens. Who would have thought that Obama, an African American, would become the President of the United States?
Granted, we are not fortune tellers, but on the other hand, it has been crucial and obvious for us to stay in touch with the times. The name Nørgaard has been inseparably associated with fashion for more than two generations. My family and I have always had an insatiable interest in the spirit of the times, trends, zeitgeist – in general, everything that moves in politics and economics, as well as in fashion, art, culture, and food. And for us, fashion and restaurant management go hand in hand.
In 1989, my father and mother, Jørgen and Ellen, my older brother, Mads, and I took a step in a new direction: We wanted to run a café. It was quite a leap.
When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, the meaning of the name Europe took on a whole new significance. As Willy Brandt said, “Now what belongs together is growing together.” East and West were reunited. Now Europe also meant a free Europe – a Europe that was larger than the Common Market. Borders became open. And our cafe took its name after the EUROPA that stretches – as seen on the beautiful map on the end wall of the cafe – from Sicily to North Cape and from Gibraltar to the Urals.
We wanted to bring the best from European cafe cultures: the traditional French cafe, Vienna’s and Budapest’s cake houses, the Italian coffee menus, and the culinary inspiration from Spanish tapas, Greek yogurt dishes, herring, porridge, and open-faced sandwiches – yes, from the entire diverse European cuisine.
In the summer of 1993, the Ministry of the Environment moved to Højbro Plads 4. They became our first cafeteria client, even back then with 100% organic ingredients. EUROPA Kantiner operates cafeteria facilities for private and public institutions.
Our Coffee Roastery is located in Gellerup, Aarhus. EUROPA is self-sufficient in sustainable coffee and tea for our cafes and our cafeterias. In Jægergårdsgade, Aarhus, you will find EUROPA’s first coffee and tea shop.
Cafe EUROPA 1989 strives for high-quality ingredients, and we carefully select suppliers based on their approach to the raw materials and the craftsmanship involved.
We consciously work towards incorporating more organic and Danish-produced goods into our kitchen. To achieve the quality and taste we desire, we develop our own recipes and make many of our items from scratch.
We are also inspired by the European cafe culture and the diverse European cuisine in our menu.
All of this is done to make a positive difference.
Explore the secret behind our authentic flavor experience.
Dive into our Cafe EUROPA 1989 book, where you can read about why the cafe emerged right there in 1989. Why we are located exactly where we are – in the heart of Copenhagen. The book also unfolds our European-inspired culinary universe, allowing you to explore our most beloved dishes throughout time and try your hand at making them at home.
Europa - the wall
At Cafe EUROPA 1989, we have a wall adorned with photographs of non-living, significant European personalities from the 20th century. Below, you can read more about these intriguing individuals.
They all have one thing in common: they have made a positive difference.
Polish statesman and leader. Waged war against the Soviets after the First World War. Died as an autocrat in Poland
Italian film director. Celebrated for his realistic and modernist works, such as La Strada and The Sweet Life.
Faroese writer and artist. Wrote about the struggle between the old and the new, as embodied by a motley assortment of characters, in a language full of poetic vitality, as can be seen, for example, in his novel, The Lost Musicians.
Czech playwright and politician. Leader of the outlawed underground civic initiative group, Charta 77, in Czechoslovakia, which opened the curtain for the Velvet Revolution. Thus fell the Communist regime. Democracy was introduced in Czechoslovakia in 1989, at which time Havel was chosen, initially by a unanimous vote of the Federal Assembly, to serve as president.
Spanish film director. Known for his Surrealist films, which combine politics with humour, starting all the way back with An Andalusian Dog and, later, Viridiana and continuing up through The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
Danish painter and professor. His approach to abstract art took shape during the many years he spent in France. From the middle of the 1960s, he also worked as a teacher at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts and he fell under the influence of Indian philosophy. Site-specific decorations in the public space include works found at Aarhus University and at the Østre Landsret court of law in Copenhagen.
Polish film director. Renowned for his ten short films comprising The Decalogue, created for Polish television, and the Three Colours film-trilogy (Blue, White and Red).
Danish artist. Introduced surrealism in Denmark with his provocative paintings and objects. In 1937, the police confiscated works by Freddie, declaring them to be pornographic.
German statesman and leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party. Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. Worked to promote Ostpolitik, West Germany’s policy of Détente in relation to the Eastern Bloc.
Latvian politician. Played a prominent and dramatic role in the nation’s politics up through the 1930s and held, at certain times, authoritarian and virtually dictatorial power. After the Russian annexation of Latvia in 1940, Ulmanis was deported to Russia; he died there while being moved from one prison to another.
French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, social theorist and feminist. Known for her groundbreaking gender-examining treatise, The Second Sex. Also wrote the roman á clef, The Mandarins, from 1954, which focused on the leftist political environment of which she was a part.
Russian-French-American composer. Was the front figure in the neo-classical movement. In his late works, he turned to twelve-tone technique and accordingly squared his accounts with this approach, as can be heard in music he composed for traditional ballets (for example, Agon, from 1954-57).
Austrian author. Wrote the revolutionizing novel, The Man Without Qualities, which depicts the world in decline.
fictive British intelligence officer. Known from Ian Fleming’s filmed novels, some of these featuring Sean Connery (born 1930) in the role of Agent 007.
Spanish cellist and conductor. Considered to be an innovative trailblazer for modern ways of playing the cello.
Dutch painter. Developed a geometric style that programmatically avoided all naturalism and expressionism. Served as an inspiration for contemporary design and functionalism.
Danish atomic and quantum-mechanic physicist. Received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Against the backdrop of the impending threat of nuclear weapons, he was a proponent of openness between the Great Powers. Was awarded The Order of the Elephant in 1947.
Irish author. Has written two epoch-making modern novels, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. His experiments with the novel have exerted a great deal of influence on modern prose.
Spanish painter and sculptor. An eminent representative of abstract surrealism, as can be clearly seen in one of his central works, Harlequin’s Carnival.
French fashion designer. During the period between the two world wars, opened up and built her own fashion house in Paris. As one of the first fashion designers to do so, she allied herself with mass culture and manufactured accessories like costume jewellery. The name, Chanel, is also familiar to everybody in its connection with perfume.
German poet, playwright and theatre director. Based his politically charged theatrical pieces on Marxist foundations and considered theatre to be a platform for class analysis and revolutionary instruction. Among his major works, Life of Galileo and Mother Courage and Her Children can be mentioned. Lived in exile during the 1930s, first in Denmark and later in the United States. Ended his days as a theatre director in Berlin.
Czechoslovakian politician. Fought a valiant battle, albeit in vain, to liberalize and reform the Communist system during the spring of 1968, an effort that was eventually crushed by the forces of the Warsaw Pact during August of that year. Played an important role in the Velvet Revolution in 1989, together with Václav Havel. His political objectives have been labelled ʻsocialism with a human faceʻ.
West Germany’s first Chancellor. His decidedly pro-Western stance contributed to West Germany’s becoming a member of NATO in 1955.
French writer and philosopher. The founder of existentialism. Was, with his novels, theatrical plays and polemic commentaries, a leading figure among the intellectual leftists in France after the Second World War. Refused, in 1964, to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Austro-Hungarian and Czechoslovak philosopher, sociologist and president. In 1918, played an important role, as head of state, in consolidating Czechoslovakia into a parliamentary democratic republic.
erman-born theoretical physicist. Is the father of the so-called theory of relativity, which fundamentally altered natural science’s view of the smallest units of matter. His findings were fundamental to the development of the atomic bomb. After the Second World War, Einstein’s convictions led him to declare that he was a pacifist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
Swedish author. World famous both for her fairytale-like and her realistic stories, within which humour and earnestness are combined. All the world’s children can find both dreams and sources of strength in her main characters, especially Pippi Longstocking; Emil of Lönneberga; and Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter.
Swedish man of letters. Among other works, it was especially his plays, Miss Julie and A Dream Play that helped to advance modern drama, with all their uncompromising analysis of traditional gender roles.
Finnish composer. Known for his late Romantic orchestral works, including the symphonic poem, Finlandia.
Danish composer. Was a key figure in twentieth century Danish classical music. Among a host of compositions, Nielsen wrote the operas Saul and David and Masquerade as well as a number of symphonies. His many melodies for Danish songs – such as Jens Vejmand – are still being played and heard to this very day in Denmark.
Nineteenth century Danish man of letters, who garnered the world’s attention and affection for his renewal of the fairytale genre. Moreover, the author of many novels, theatrical plays and poems.
Spanish artist. Regarded by many to be the greatest painter of his time. Has been the progenitor for a number of “-isms”, from the days of his early youth’s naturalism and on through cubism, neoclassicism and surrealism. One manifestation of the last can be seen in his monumental protest painting, Guernica, created in response to the German and Italian bombardment of a village in the Basque region of Spain during the Spanish Civil War.
German writer. In his grandly conceived epic novels, he portrays the internal decline of the bourgeoisie and delineates tragic and comic artist lives. To the former group belong Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain, while Doctor Faustus and Felix Krull belong to the latter. Under the influence of the psychologist C.G. Jung’s ideas, he also penned a monumental four-part Biblical-mythological novel, Joseph and His Brothers. Was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929.
Danish film director. Revolutionary filmmaker, who created works like Day of Wrath and The Word, which conveyed religious themes revolving around sin, guilt and mercy.
French freedom fighter and politician. During World War II, de Gaulle led, from London, the Free French Forces. President of France, 1959-69.
Russian painter. One of the founders of abstract painting, which he eventually came to pursue and cultivate with what were – at one and the same time – colourful and refined non-figurative works of art.
Greek-American soprano. Especially in the 1950s, “La Callas” was the internationally-renowned soprano nonpareil. Contributed toward reawakening music aficionados’ interest in early Italian romantic opera. Was married for some time to the prominent Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis.
The Duchess of Windsor. Married to the Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), who had previously been England’s King Edward VIII and eventually abdicated his throne in order to wed her.
Austrian neurologist. The founder of psychoanalysis, he also formulated the concept of the unconscious within the human psyche. Assigned a central role to the sexual drive.
Danish actress. One of European cinema’s great silent film stars, who played leading roles in classics like Hamlet and Joyless Street. Appeared in some films with a young Danish actor Poul Reumert.
Czech author, writing and speaking in German. The founder of a modernist vision of a world affected by an onslaught of meaninglessness. One of his principal works, The Trial, tells of a life that strays into an enigma-filled bureaucracy riddled with guilt. Exerted a powerful influence on others, like the Danish author Villy Sørensen.
French author. Penned the monumental series of novels, In Search of Lost Time (translated also as Remembrance of Things Past), which was truly groundbreaking within the genre of the novel by virtue of its dissolving transitions.
Soviet cosmonaut. Became, in 1961, the first human being in outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit around the Earth.
Norwegian painter and printmaker. One of the pioneers of Expressionism. Two of his most famous paintings, Puberty and The Scream, bear the tell-tale signs of illness, loneliness and anxiety.
Was constructed so as to run transversely through the partitioned city of Berlin by the German Democratic Republic, for the purpose of stopping the rampant flight from the republic that had gotten out of control and was threatening to drain East Germany of its well-educated citizens. In the course of time, a large number of refugees were killed at the wall as they attempted to cross over to the West.
Born Marie Magdalene Dietrich, German actress and singer. Played the leading role in The Blue Angel in 1930.
French singer. World renowned, especially on account of her rendition of the song, Non, je ne regrette rien.
Norwegian Polar explorer. Crossed Greenland’s interior icecap in 1888. Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of prisoners of war in the wake of the First World War.
More popularly known as Madame Curie, Polish-French physicist. Received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for her discovery of the radioactive elements polonium and radium.
Swiss sculptor and painter. Known for his distinctive, tall and lean human figures.
British statesman. Was a leading figure in the United Kingdom’s and the Allied struggle against Germany during World War II. Was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.
Norwegian author. Known for his innovative and passionate novels, Hunger and Growth of the Soil. His fascination with Nazism, which eventually resulted – after the war – in a trial, is treated in his novel, On Overgrown Paths, which was published in 1949.
Swiss-French architect. Groundbreaking work in the fields of modern architecture and urban planning. His main achievement was the propagation of open liquid spatial effects. He broke away from conventional facade symmetry and often made use of reinforced concrete as the material of choice.
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