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 by King Christian V to his half brother Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve on 22 Marts 1669 in connection with the establishment of Kongens Nytorv. Gyldenløve built his new mansion from 1672 to 1683 as the first building on the new square. The main wing and two lateral wings were built from 1672 to 1677, probably under the architect Ewert Janssen. In 1783 mansion was extended with a rear, fourth wing was designed by Lambert van Haven.
In his old age, the large mansion became too big for Gyldenløve who sold it to the dowager queen Charlotte Amalie in 1700, hence the name. After the King Christian V´s death in 1699 the Queen Mother, Charlotte Amalie, purchased the Palace for 50,000 Danish crowns. Hereafter named Charlottenborg Palace. In 1714, when the Queen Downer died, it was passed to King Christian VI. Renovations began in 1736-1737, and its use and users shifted for a period of time. A small theater was constructed and used for various concerts, operas and theatrical performances. The Palace Garden contained the Botanical Garden between 1778-1872.
In 1701, the old Academy of Arts began its activities in the Palace. The small school slowly grew and was finally formally inaugurated in the Charlottenborg Palace on March 31, 1754. In 1787, the ownership of the Palace was transferred to The Royal Danish Academy of Art. The Academy still occupies the Palace.
Charlottenborg is a four-winged, three-storey building designed in the Dutch Baroque style but also with some Italian influence. The main wing towards the square has a central risalit flanked by two more pronounced, two-bay corner risalit. All three are topped by balustrades. The central risalit is decorated with Corinthian pilasters and a Tuscan/Doric portal with balcony The facade has sandstone decorations and window pediments.
The lower rear wing consists of three pavilions. The central pavilion has a Tuscan arcade below, niches with busts above, and a lantern on the copper-covered roof.
The floor plan is remniscient of French castles. It has a piano nobile with a banguet hall above the main entrance, with access to the balcony, a ground floor with lower ceilings, and a second floors for servants with even lower ones. Ths arrangement became characteristic of mansions and upper-class town houses in the entire 18th century. In the rear wing, above the arcade, there is a well-preserved domed Baroque room with a splendid stucco ceiling.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.