Frederiksborg Castle is one of Denmark’s most famous and breathtaking castles, situated on three islands surrounded by a lake and beautiful gardens. It was built by King Christian IV (yeah, that’s the king who built most of the cool things in Denmark) in the early decades of the 17th century. Initially, it was his dad – Frederik II that acquired the land and built a castle. But then Christian IV came, demolished the old castle, and built what is now the largest Renaissance complex in Scandinavia.
Interestingly, after a massive fire in 1859, Carlsberg Breweries’ owner – J. C. Jacobsen, rebuilt and renovated the castle to what we can see today. Since 1878, Frederiksborg Castle is a National History Museum with many impressive paintings, pieces of furniture, and sculptures showing over 500 years of Danish history. As I am not really an art person, I focused more on the grand ceilings, the Castle Chapel, and the surrounding gardens than all the paintings. Don’t misunderstand; paintings are marvelous; it is just not my thing 🙂
The Chapel itself is a fantastic and must-see masterpiece that survived the fire of 1859 virtually unscathed and now showcases decorations from the time of Christian IV! To this day, Kings and Queens of Denmark are crowned in the Chapel.
If you are a music fan, check out the recital on the historical organs from 1610! It used to happen every Thursday at 13.30 before Corona, but who knows how it will be after ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you want to know more of a detailed history of the Castle, check out this page.
After visiting the museum, head outside to stroll through the stunning Baroque Garden with perfectly straight symmetrical hedges and tarrases. Worth seeing are hedges depicting four royal monograms located at the bottom level. They represent monarchs who have played a role in the gardens’ history. The symmetrical garden was created by J. C. Krieger in 1725, and with a flow of time, it changed. However, the original design you see today was restored in 1996 by Margrethe II. While walking around, don’t miss the romantic English-style Garden on the side with the small Bath House Castle (Badstueslot) and lakes tucked among the shrubberies and meandering paths. Check out a Louise’s Island (Louises Ø) – a small island in the Ødam Pond (Ødammen), where Frederik VII built a miniature version of a Norwegian manor as a place for him and the Queen.
If you are interested in the Baroque gardens’ history, look for six signs with a telephone number. You can call it to get the background about the history, design, and planting. It is also possible to book a guided tour; check out this site for more details.
And if you are looking for more adventure nearby, why not take a stroll through charming old streets of Hillerød or venture into Store Dyrehave – a forest that used to be Par force hunting grounds, now a UNESCO Heritage Site, created by King Christian IV close to his impressive castle.
How to get to Frederiksborg Castle from Copenhagen
Frederiksborg Castle is located only 40 minutes from downtown Copenhagen and is easily reachable by S-train (line A) to Hillerød Station.