A landau from Copenhagen
The first landau came from Copenhagen in 1875. He was always mentioning the landaus in letters to family and friends. Bjørnson wanted to be known by this marvellous carriage.
King Haakon, Queen Maud and the little Crown Prince Olav were travelling to Trondhjem for the King’s coronation in the summer of 1906. They arrived at Lillehammer railway station on 13 June and were collected by a landau with its canopy down. It was Bjørnson who lent his beautiful carriage with the coachman Peter Smedhus and two horses to the King.
The exterior of the landau is black with simple decorations of gold and cobalt blue. The interior is upholstered in blue and black with exclusive details. The doors have sliding windows of polished glass, and on the outside you find the poet’s monogram BB.
A landau is an exclusive horse drawn carriage that got its name from the town where production started in the middle of the 1700s, Landau in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. It was elegant, comfortable with technical advantages like good springs and steering mechanism. Two seats opposite each other gave room for four persons, and the canopy covering the carriage could be opened in the middle and folded down both at the front and back. Thus the master and mistress could be seated for all to see.
The coupé was smaller, but still a carriage of the best kind. The name of the carriage comes from the verb “couper” which means to slice off. This is seen by the truncated shape of the passenger carriage. There was room for two passengers; it was an enclosed carriage with doors and windows that could be lowered. It had a coachman and was often pulled by two horses. Runners could be fitted for snowy road conditions.
The inside of the carriage was blue, with upholstered seats, upholstered walls and doors and a blue patterned carpet on the floor.