Set on three islands surrounded by a fairytale-like lake and beautiful gardens in Denmark, Frederiksborg Castle is one of the most magnificent castles in the world and the largest Renaissance complex in Scandinavia. Once the residence of Danish royalty, Frederiksborg Castle is now home to the Danish National History Museum.
Originally, Frederiksborg was a hunting lodge, acquired in 1560 by King Frederik II in Hillerod, north of Copenhagen. Between 1600 and 1620, Frederik’s son, Christian IV, transformed the property into an elegant Renaissance royal palace, which became a royal residence until the next century. Christian IV commissioned sumptuous decorative elements such as the Neptune Fountain and the Marble Gallery to display his status as a powerful and wealthy European monarch.
As the castle was being built, Christian IV resided in an Italian-style pleasure palace across the lake, known as “Sparepenge” (“Savings”), which was replaced by a symmetrical Baroque garden in 1720. The English-style garden is also noteworthy for its design, which is meant to convey the beauty of nature with its bucolic lakes and shrubbery.
In the mid-19th century, King Frederik VII moved in; he renovated and installed fireplaces and stoves, which caused a major fire in 1859 that burned large parts of the interior. Miraculously, the chapel and the Audience Chamber survived the fire.
In 1878, the founder of Carlsberg beer, J.C. Jacobsen, reconstructed the castle and transformed it into a museum, which today features artifacts from over 500 years of Danish history, including portraits, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative art.
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