Royal Danish residences – book review

The book on the Danish Royal Family’s residences, through 1000 years was written by Niels Peter Stilling in 2003, and published on Politiken.

The book covers today’s residences, and the residences of the past. And where some of them might be covered on the royal house’s webpages, such as the official winter residence, Amalienborg, information on some of the others might be more scarce.

There is Frydenlund castle, today in private hands, but once the hideaway of bigamous Frederik IV and his second wife Anna Sophie Reventlow. The property had originally housed a hunting lodge of Christian V, but that had been taken over of by the Reventlow family, until Frederik IV kidnapped Anna Sophie. Suddenly, Frydenlund reverted to the crown, and Frederik tore down the hunting lodge and built a pleasure palace. It was sold in 1793. According to the book, it is today owned by Haldor Topsøe.

Another interesting castle description is Valdemar Atterdag’s Gurre Castle. It was first mentioned in literary sources in 1361, but was much much older. Gurre was central to the affairs of the realm, but began losing its influence in the 1400s, and is today just ruins, albeit fascinating such.

When I was very young, we visited the Danish town of Gram. I remember the lovely gardens there – it is where I was equipped with my first camera and told to not just take pictures of the flowers – but I didn’t remember anything about a royal palace. Surprise – the gardens were, according to this book, the palace gardens – and there was an actual former palace there… owned by the Valdemar kings. Not to mention, Hans Schack – an owner, and the man who gave the manor its name, of Schackenborg, also briefly owned Gram Castle. All the things you miss when you have a camera to occupy you. 😉

The book covers about 75 royal residences, both former and current, all over Denmark. Unfortunately, it is in Danish, because it is a deeply informative and fascinating work on the royal Danish residences. And, if you’re interested in the Danish royals, and read Danish, probably a must have.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.