Time off to feed the mind and spirit
21.08.2016 21 °C
This entry will document a day trip to Frederiksborg Castle, the castle is the largest Renaissance residence in Scandinavia and is situated at the northern end of Copenhagen, at Hillerod. This is an interesting castle due to several aspect. It was the first Danish castle to be built inland. All previous castles had been on the coast or close to ports as the sea had traditionally been the principal means of travel. This was especially true in Scandinavian regions. In the formative years of communities up north where turmoils were frequent, castles are necessary defenses to safeguard the king and to offer protection for the subjects. Frederiksborg was built in a more peaceful era and was also the first to be built for purely recreational purposes rather than for defense in the country. Today, this well maintained castle also served as the Danish museum of natural history. Coupled with the castle's state room, this type of visit is particularly appealing to me.
The castle looks really well maintained from afar (and can be a really nice postcard picture).
To get to Hillerod, look for the S-train system-Line A in central Copenhagen, Hillerod station is the north end of that line. The train leaves every 10 minutes during weekdays, and every 20 minutes in the evening and on weekends. The Journey between Hillerod and Copenhagen central station takes 40 minutes. Alternatively, take the Line 600S bus, you will be able to gain access to the world heritage site Roskilde Cathedral, and the Viking Ship museum along the way.
This is a picture of the S train system.
From the train station, it will be about 15 minutes of walking to get to the castle. I thought that the signs are not very clear and I ended up walking on a longer route. If you think you are lost, ask for directions.
Some snapshots on the way
If you see the castle, you are on the right track
There is a pleasant lakeside trail where you can meet ducks
And those trails lead to nice houses
Eventually, the path will change into a more medieval walkway
And buildings start becoming more medieval as well
This is the main entrance where you can see the chapel wing and the belfry.
Close up of the fountain
This current fountain is actually a copy of the original which was dismantled by the Swedish troops in 1659 and taken to Sweden for war reparations following the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The central figure, Neptune, represents the Danish King. Thirty years prior to this event, the original fountain was supposed to symbolize Denmark's position as a leading Nordic power in the early 17th century. How quickly the fortune of a prosperous nation rise and then fall.
Entrance to the museum/castle interior
To start things off, the first room one will see is "the rose". This room was initially called the Knight's Room and it was a dining room for the king and the people of the court. It has a simple elegance to it.
The next highlight is the chapel. It is the best preserved part of the Renaissance complex within the castle. This is due to the chapel having largely escaped damage in the 1859 fire. The chapel extends along the entire length of the west wing with a long nave and a two-storey gallery.
The richly decorated six-vaulted stucco ceiling is borne by pillars rising from the galleries.
Those pillars bear frescos of biblical figures
The most significant artifact inside the chapel is actually the organ. It is actually the oldest organ in Denmark, it has 1,001 wooden pipes. They have also managed to preserve its original manually driven blower. They have also kept a good number of coats of arms displayed on the wall. Each of them steeped in history.
From the chapel, one can access the Valdemar Room which houses the history of Denmark from the 12th to the 17th century in a series of commissioned historical paintings.
There is also a well presented family tree
And an artistically crowded ceiling
Next stop is the great hall which I think my photo failed to do it justice. This hall is situated above the chapel and extends through the west wing of the building. It is however, destroyed by the aforementioned fire in 1859. Thankfully, it was then almost fully restored in 1880 thanks to architectural paintings and preserved segments of the ornate gilded ceiling.
The large chandelier in the centre of the room is the work of Carl Brummer.
Original tapestries on the walls were lost in the fire, they have managed to recover those drawings depicting important events in the life of Christian IV from Karel van Mander's sketches.
One of the items in the collection caught my attention. It is a beautiful astronomical clock.
It shows a Copernican solar system, with clockwork inside the sphere and within a wooden base. The sphere on the outside shows fixed zodiac pictures, and the frame within shows the celestial equator. This is a clock that does not tell time as we know time to be.
Look at the intricate details of this clock (hand craft skill is amazing in that era), it is a good marriage between the arts and science
If you are a fan of advanced astronomical clock, there is another one on display at Copenhagen City Hall. It is known as the Verdensur and is much more complicated than this one.
After walking around the museum/castle. The garden is a pleasant place to be in and idle your time away in the afternoon if you are on a relaxed vacation. The bed in the castle also looks to be an interesting alternative of idling your afternoon away if no one catches you.
That's all for this entry. Until next time.