Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerod, Denmark
Frederiksborg Castle is sometimes known as the Versailles of Scandinavia. It was intended by its proponent, King Christian IV to be a bold and lavish symbol of the dominant position that Denmark had assumed in Scandinavia and as far south as Germany in the 17th century.
Rick Steves HD Video Tour of the Castle
The informative two and one half-minute YouTube video below gives a historical context and many views inside and outside the castle.
The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 1560 structure built by Frederick II. Although he remains its namesake, most of the current palace was instead constructed by Christian IV between 1602 and 1620. He employed the Flemish architects Hans and Lorenz van Steenwinckel and the castle follows the Dutch style employed by Christian IV for his new buildings in Copenhagen.
After Christian IV’s death in 1648, the palace was used mainly for ceremonial events. It was the scene of the following anointments:
- 1671: Christian V and Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel
- 1700: Frederick IV and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
- 1721: Anna Sophia, consort of Frederick IV
- 1731: Christian VI and Sophia Magdalena of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
- 1747: Frederick V and Louise of Great Britain
- 1752: Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, consort of Frederick V
- 1815: Frederick VI and Marie of Hesse-Kassel
- 1840: Christian VIII and Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein
The church has also been used as the knight’s chapel for the Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog since 1693; housed the Danish royal family’s art collection, notably works on the life of Jesus by Danish painter Carl Heinrich Bloch; and was the site of the 1720 Treaty of Frederiksborg.
In the 1850s, the palace was again used as a residence by King Frederick VII. While he was in residence on the evening of December 16, 1859, a fire destroyed a large part of the main palace’s interior. Reconstruction was funded by public subscription, with large contributions from the king and state, as well as the prominent philanthropist J. C. Jacobsen of the Carlsberg Brewery. Jacobsen also funded the museum of national history that now occupies Frederiksborg.
The Palace Church
The Palace Church or Chapel of Orders serves as a local church today and is a part of the museum on the premises. The coats-of-arms of recipients of the Order of the Elephant and of the Dannebrog are displayed on the walls of the church.
The Museum of National History
The museum houses an important collection of portraits and historical paintings.
Countess of Frederiksborg
Alexandra Christina Manley was created Countess of Frederiksborg (Grevinde af Frederiksborg) by Queen Margrethe II on April 16th, 2005, eight days after her divorce from Prince Joachim. The title refers to her marriage to the prince which took place in the Palace Church
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