Sunday, August 14, 2011

Some Danish Castles and Palaces

Happy Monday!(I think)

After a bit of a delay I'm back with another post on our recent Baltic vacation. We have so many photos and visited so many places, it's really hard to decide how to present them in blog post format. I could write pages about all the places we visited.

For today I've decided to cover a few of the Danish castles or 'slots' and palaces we had the pleasure of seeing.

First is Christiansborg located on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen.It is the seat of the Folketing (the Danish parliament), the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the palace chapel and the royal stables.

This palace is the house of Denmark's three supreme powers; the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country's branches of government.

It was used until 1794 as the principal residence of the Danish king and after 1849 used as the seat of parliament.

A highlight of this visit was seeing the ruins under the current Christianborg(the 5th structure in this location)revealing some of the limits and stone of the original structure built here dating back to 1167.

About 1 hour train ride north of Copenhagen is Kronborg Slot.

Kronborg is a star fortress situated near the town of Helsingør (immortalized as Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet.) Kronborg acquired its current name in 1585 when it was rebuilt by Frederick II into a magnificent Renaissance castle, unique in its appearance and size throughout Europe.

The castle was for centuries one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list in 2000.

In 1629 much of the castle burned with only the Chapel spared due to the strength of its arches.

Christian IV put great efforts into restoring the castle and by 1639 the exterior was once again magnificent but the interior never fully regained its former glory.

Rosenborg is a renaissance castle now located in the centre of Copenhagen. It is said to have been Christian IV's favourite castle.

It was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is another example of Christian IV's many architectural projects. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style and was expanded several times, finally evolving into its present structure by 1624.

This castle was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710. After the reign of Frederik IV, Rosenborg was used as a royal residence only twice, and both these times were during emergencies.

It contains an amazing exhibition of the Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia.

A highlight of this castle were the interior elaborate ceilings very similar to those seen at Frederiksborg. Frederiksborg will be covered in a separate post and I'll share details on the ceilings then.

The Royal Guard march daily from Rosenborg Castle to the present Royal residence Amalienborg Palace when the Guards exercise the ceremonial changing of the guards at 12:00.

Not sure what this guard thought of me having my photo taken with him.

Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family.It consists of four identical palaces around an octagonal courtyard (Amalienborg Slotsplads).In the center of the square is an equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V but it was being restored while we were there and was mostly covered by scaffolding.

Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families however when Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794 the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces. We were able to take advantage of an interior tour of the current guest palace extensively restored by the current Queen however we were not able to take interior photos.

I hope you've enjoyed this synopsis of some of the castles/palaces we visisted. If like me, you're interested in keeping the many King Christian's and Frederik's straight, click here for the family tree.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour....amazing variety of castles to see...that shot with the soldier is'd pass inspection just for standing up so straight...I'm sure he was impressed!!
Brenda in Kit

Rosemary said...

Amazing palaces. Would so like to see the ruins from long past. You should have saluted the soldier......LOL

Avril Tanner said...

Very cool pics!!!

Deanna said...

Kewl pics girl, love the one of you standing next to the guard! LOL

Jeannie said...

I am amazed at how much you know about the places you travel to ... and you remember the names of places. Personally, I think you should have stood a little closer to the guard. :-)