Haraldskær manor was mentioned for the first time in 1434, when the owner was Niels Friis. Haraldskær remained in the Friis family until 1601. The family built the current main building in 1536. Since then, the main building has burned and been rebuilt several times.
The last member of the Friis family, Albert Friis – national advisor and lord lieutenant at Riberhus – extended the manor and built the current western main wing in 1590. After his death, Haraldskær led a stormy life with a number of distinguished families.
In 1912, yet another wing was added and Haraldskær was gifted with a banqueting hall. In 1916, manufacturer C.M. Hess in Vejle bought Haraldskær and he restored the main wing and rebuilt the ramshackle side wings.
Since 1969, the main building and 41 acres of land have been run as a conference centre by The Danish Union of Teachers. Up through the 1970s, the protected main building was carefully modernized and a wing with rooms was added.
Even today, Haraldskær has several good stories from the past. The large structural pillar that supports the old staircase is believed originally to have been an old ship mast from the time when you could sail all the way to Haraldskær along the river of Vejle Å. Another story goes that a young lady, who grieved herself to death because of unrequited love, haunts the area from Skibet Church, through the old open fireplace room and down to Vejle River.
The ruin of the old manor mill, Kvak Mill and Skibet Church are neighbours to Haraldskær. The church was built between year 1125 and 1150 and belonged to Haraldskær Manor until around 1936. The travertine church is the home of some very beautiful frescos from the eleventh century.
Haraldskær Manor is today a home to Haraldskær Sinatur Hotel & Conference.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.