About Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg Castle – sometimes known as Frederiksborg Slot in Danish – in Northwest Zealand, Denmark, was originally built in 1560 by Frederik II and expanded by Christian IV.
History of Frederiksborg Castle
The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 16th century – Frederiksborg was the first Danish castle to have been built inland, and one of the first royal castles to have been built purely for pleasure and recreation rather than defence.
Much of the castle was rebuilt in the 17th century for King Christian IV in a Renaissance style, making Frederiksborg the largest Renaissance building in Scandinavia. The highlight of the remaining 17th century parts is the magnificent marble Slotskirken, where monarchs were crowned between 1671 and 1840.
In 1859, a major fire tore through Frederiksborg whilst King Frederick VII was in residence – it being the depths of winter, the lake was frozen and so little water was nearby with which to douse the flames. Serious damage was done, but remnants of the interior and over 300 paintings were saved. Restoration was funded by both king and state, as well as J. C. Jacobsen of Carlsberg Brewery.
Following these works, the castle was turned into Denmark’s National History Museum, which is visible today on the 1st and 2nd floors of the castle.
Frederiksborg Castle today
Frederiksborg is a lot to take in in one session – it’s expansive and intricate and you’re best off simply seeing what interests you and what you can manage – expect your visit to take at least half a day if you’re planning to wander the gardens too.
Slotshaven is a formal baroque garden just north of the castle, Indelukket is an 18th/19th century Romantic garden and landscape and Lille Dyrehave is a wood planted in the early 19th century for oak, used primarily in boat building in order to rebuild the Danish navy. They make a very pleasant afternoon stroll.
\The castle is open year round, although with much shorter hours between November and March. Be sure to pick up an audio guide (included in the ticket price) when you arrive.
Getting to Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg is about 40 minutes north of Copenhagen – it’s an easy drive via Route 16, or via public transport, you can hop on train A from Copenhagen Central Station to Hillerød: from there it’s only a 15 minute walk to the castle.
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