Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark

City Hall

Copenhagen City Hall is the headquarters of the municipal council as well as the Lord mayor of the Copenhagen Municipality. The current building was inaugurated in 1905. It was designed by the architect Martin Nyrop in the National Romantic style but with inspiration from the Siena City Hall. It is dominated by its richly ornamented front, the gilded statue of Absalon just above the balcony and the tall, slim clock tower. ...
Founded: 1893-1905 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Charlottenborg Palace

Charlottenborg Palace is a large mansion originally built as a residence for Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve. It has served as the base of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts since its foundation in 1754. Several other institutions of the Danish art world are also based at Charlottenborg, which today also serves as an exhibition space for art exhibitions, which is called Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The site was donated b ...
Founded: 1672 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace is the seat of 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. The palace is thus the house of Denmark's three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only building in th ...
Founded: 1733 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Amalienborg

Amalienborg is the winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg"s founder, King Frederick V. Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal ...
Founded: 1750-1760 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Yellow Mansion

The Yellow Palace (Det Gule Palæ), or Bergum"s Mansion, is considered the first example of Neoclassical architecture in Copenhagen. When Frederiksstaden was laid around 1748, it was envisioned as a uniform Rococo district. All new buildings had to comply with certain guidelines stipulated by Nicolai Eigtved, the district"s masterplanner. After Eigtved"s death in 1754 they were in principle upheld but ...
Founded: 1758-1764 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederiksborg Palace

Frederiksborg Palace was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV and is now a museum of national history. The current edifice replaced a previous castle erected by Frederick II and is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia. The palace is located on three small islands in the middle of Palace Lake (Slotsøen) and is adjoined by a large formal garden in the Baroque style. The oldest parts of the castle date ...
Founded: 1560-1620 | Location: Hillerød, Denmark

Old City Hall

The Old City Hall at Gammeltorv Aalborg was built in 1762 and served as city hall until 1912. Today it is only used for ceremonial and representative purposes. The city hall was built by master builder Daniel Popp, who had moved to Aalborg from Copenhagen, and was modelled on Johan Conrad Ernst"s City Hall there, which was later completely destroyed in the Copenhagen Fire of 1795. This was a specific requirement from ...
Founded: 1757-1762 | Location: Ålborg, Denmark

Roskilde Palace

Roskilde Mansion replaced a bishop"s palace which had stood at the site since the Middle Ages. Commissioned by King Christian VI, the new building was constructed to provide a residence for the royal family when they passed through the city or attended royal funerals and other ceremonies in Roskilde Cathedral. Lauritz de Thurah who had recently been engaged as royal master builder, was charged with its design in 1733 ...
Founded: 1733-1736 | Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Old Town Hall

The old Town Hall of Ribe was built before 1496, and has been used as the town’s city hall from 1708 until 2007, when the last town councillor meeting was held. On the walls in old Commoner’s hall hang a collection of portraits of vassals and councillors from 1600-1900. The former debtor’s prison has been converted to a museum about the laws and statutes in Ribe. Stories are told about town halls, town g ...
Founded: 1496 | Location: Ribe, Denmark

Frederiksberg Palace

Frederiksberg Palace is a Baroque residence and should not be confused with Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød. As crown prince, Frederick IV had broadened his education by travelling in Europe. He was particularly impressed by the architecture in Italyand, on his return to Denmark, asked his father, Christian V, for permission to build a summer palace on Solbjerg as the hill in Valby was then known. The original building ...
Founded: 1703 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Gråsten Palace

The first Gråsten Palace was a small hunting lodge built in the middle of the 1500s. After it burned down in 1603, a new palace was built approximately where the south wing of the current palace is located. Chancellor Count Frederik Ahlefeldt, who was the owner of Gråsten Palace from 1662-1682, and his son built a huge baroque palace shortly before the beginning of the 1700’s. It, too, burned down in 175 ...
Founded: 1759 | Location: Gråsten, Denmark

Hermitage Palace

In 1694, Christian V built a two-story timber frame house in the Deer Park north of Copenhagen. In 1734, that building was demolished, and in the period 1734-1736, royal architect Lauritz de Thurah built the existing hunting seat on the hilltop in the middle of the plain. The palace is an distinguished example of de Thurah’s architectural skills and one of the late Baroque’s best works in Denmark. The ground- ...
Founded: 1734-1736 | Location: Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Schackenborg Castle

Schackenborg Castle is the private residence of Prince Joachim of Denmark, the 2nd son of the present Danish monarch. One of the Northern Europe’s most beautiful village street from the beginning of the 1700s leads to Møgeltønderhus, better known as Schackenborg Palace. Møgeltønderhus was the castle for the bishops of Ribe. It served as protection against the influx of Frisian culture fro ...
Founded: 1661 | Location: Tønder, Denmark

Fredensborg Palace

Fredensborg Palace was built as a hunting seat for King Frederik IV by the architect J.C. Krieger. Construction began in 1719. The main building was first used in 1722 and the chapel in 1726. It was rebuilt and expanded during the reigns of King Christian VI and of King Frederik V and his Queen, Juliane Marie, by the architects N.Eigtved, L. de Thurah and C.F. Harsdorff. After Queen Juliane Marie’s death in 1796, the p ...
Founded: 1719 | Location: Fredensborg, Denmark

Marselisborg Palace

In 1661, a debt-ridden King Frederik III had to hand over to one of his creditors, the Dutch merchant Gabriel Marselis, one of the crown properties in Jutland-an estate called Havreballegaard. Two of the merchant’s sons moved to Denmark and settled in the Aarhus area. One son, Constantin Marselis, later got Havreballegaard raised to the status of a baronetcy called Marselisborg. He died childless and entrusted the baron ...
Founded: 1899-1902 | Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Hvidøre House

Hvidøre House is a former country house. It is most known for serving as the home of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, who was the daughter of King Christian IX after she was exiled by the Russian Revolution in 1917. At the beginning of the 16th century, King John of Denmark built a royal seat at Hvidøre, guarding the only landing place to the north of Copenhagen. King Christian II used it for his ...
Founded: 1871 | Location: Klampenborg, Denmark

Augustenborg Palace

Augustenborg Palace owes its name to Duchess Auguste (1633–1701). Augustenborg gave its name to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, the last member of which was Duke Christian August II (1798–1869). The original half-timbered manor house was built in 1660-1664 by Ernest Günther, the first Duke of Augustenborg, after he bought the village of Stavensbøl and demolished it for the land. The one-sto ...
Founded: 1733 | Location: Augustenborg, Denmark

Bregentved Manor

The first known reference to Bregentved is from 1319 when King Eric VI of Denmark passed the estate to Roskilde Abbey. From the end of the 14th century the property was owned by a succession of aristocratic families, including that of Krognos in the 16th century, until 1718 when it was acquired by King Frederick IV. In the 18th century Bregentved was in consecutive Birks, so had separate legal jurisdiction from Haslev Sog ...
Founded: 1891 | Location: Haslev, Denmark

Skjoldenaesholm Castle

Skjoldenæsholm Castle was originally located 1.5 km to the south of the current house. Skjoldenæs is first recorded in the 1340s when it was owned by the crown and referred to as a 'castle of considerable size'. King Christopher II mortaged the estate to John III, Count of Holstein-Plön. King Valdemar IV can with certainty be linked to the locale, in either 1346 or 1348, when he besieged the cas ...
Founded: 1766 | Location: Jystrup, Denmark

Charlottenlund Palace

Charlottenlund Palace is a minor palace near Copenhagen. In its original baroque form it was built between 1731 and 1733 on the foundations of a palace named Gyldenlund. The palace was named after Charlotte Amalie, the daughter of Frederick IV of Denmark and the sister of Christian VI of Denmark. In the 1880s, the palace was extended and rebuilt to reflect the French renaissance style that characterizes its architecture t ...
Founded: 1731 | Location: Charlottenlund, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.