Frederiksborg Castle

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Frederiksborg Castle from the southeast
Frederiksborg Castle in December 2002 (video)

Frederiksborg Castle ( Danish Frederiksborg Slot ) is a moated castle in Hillerød on the Danish island of Zealand . It is considered the largest and most important building of the Nordic Renaissance and is now home to the Danish National History Museum .


The later Frederiksborg Castle dates back to a medieval estate that was first mentioned in writing in 1275. In 1560, the Danish King Frederick II bought the former Hillerødsholm mansion and the adjoining lands. He had the manor house expanded into a hunting seat, a new building had not yet been carried out at that time, and a portal originally worked for Frederiksborg was donated to Voergaard Castle in Jutland . Frederick II liked to stay on Hillerød. His son, who later became King Christian IV , was born there in 1577.

Today's palace was built under Christian IV. He is considered one of the most enthusiastic princes of his time in Northern Europe: the income from the Sundzoll provided him with extensive financial resources, which also made it possible to build the castles of Glückstadt , Rosenborg and Halmstad . The king had his largest castle built in Hillerød. He had the old hunting seat removed there and the builder Hans van Steenwinkel built the new castle on three small islands in the Frederiksborgsee with the name of his father .

View into the castle chapel

Since Christian V , all Danish kings of the House of Oldenburg (with the exception of Christian VII ) have been anointed in the Frederiksborg Palace Chapel. The weddings of the royal family usually take place there as well. The coats of arms of the carriers of the Dannebrog Order and the Elephant Order can be seen along the galleries . The ebony, ivory and silver organ by Esaias Compenius from 1610 is also unique .

In 1720, the Great Northern War ended in the great hall of the castle with the Peace of Frederiksborg between Denmark and Sweden . On the night of December 16-17, 1859, a fire broke out in the castle and destroyed the furnishings in the main building. After the major fire, Frederiksborg was completely restored with the financial support of the Danish industrialist Jacob Christian Jacobsen according to plans by the architect Ferdinand Meldahl . In 1878 Carl Jacobson succeeded in setting up a National History Museum. Paintings and furnishings from all eras, collected from castles and mansions across Denmark, are on display in around 60 rooms.


The castle is located in a sequence of three islands on the western edge of the castle lake. On the city side of the lock range is defined by a turreted and walls Vorburg protected, on which the average island with the outer courtyard, the Kastellanhaus and the Neptunbrunnen follows. On the last island is the actual castle, the walls of which rise straight out of the water.

The floor plan of the three-wing complex is horseshoe-shaped, the wings are built around a courtyard decorated with arcades . The central king wing with its courtyard-side stairs and the garden-side residential towers forms the center of the castle. The north-western wing - characterized by the largest tower of the castle - houses the chapel. The opposite wing is known as the Princess Wing.

The castle is built entirely of brick and richly decorated in the style of the Nordic Renaissance with cornices, ornamental gables and figural decorations made of sandstone.

The baroque garden by Johan Cornelius Krieger with broderie parterre and cascade was created from 1720 to 1725 axially to the north facade of the castle, it was reconstructed from 1993 to 1996 according to old templates.

Frederiksborg Castle in Literature

The castle is mentioned more than just casually in the novel Unwiederbringlich of Theodor Fontane (1891). The action in the castle takes place at the time of the great fire in 1859. Two of the main characters in the novel find rescue by fleeing to the roof of the castle.


See also

List of castles, chateaus and fortresses in Denmark


Web links

Commons : Frederiksborg Castle  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 55 ° 56 ′ 6 ″  N , 12 ° 18 ′ 3 ″  E