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, probably designed by Ernst Brandenburger, was completed in 1703 for Frederick IV as a small, one-storey summer residence. The first major extension, when it was converted into a three-storey H-shaped building, was completed in 1709 by Johan Conrad Ernst, giving the palace an Italian Baroque appearance. It was Lauritz de Thurah who executed the third and final extension from 1733 to 1738 when the palace received extensions to the lateral wings encircling the courtyard.
Frederick IV spent many happy years at the palace. In 1716, he received the Russian czar Peter the Great at Frederiksberg Palace and in 1721, shortly after the death of his first wife, Queen Louise, he married his mistress Anne Sophie Reventlow there. Christian VII who was married to the English princess Caroline Matilda also spent some time in the palace. Their son, who was to become Frederick VI, loved the palace and lived there both as crown prince and as king.
After Frederick VI's dowager wife Queen Marie died at the palace in March 1852, the building lay empty and fell into disrepair. In 1868, it was transferred to the War Ministry and the following year it became the Officers Academy.
During the construction of the original palace building, it was decided that there should be a chapel in the east wing. This probably explains why there is no indication of the chapel from the outside. It actually covers the space behind the six central windows on the ground floor.
Wilhelm Friedrich von Platen and Ernst Brandenburger designed the chapel in the Baroque style. It was inaugurated on 31 March 1710. When the palace was taken over by the Officers Academy, the chapel's furnishings, including the impressive pulpit, were transferred elsewhere. However, they were returned in the 1930s and can still be seen there today.
The palace and the chapel can be visited. They contain imposing stucco work, ceiling paintings, an elegant marble bathroom with a secret access staircase, and the Princesses' pancake kitchen. In 1854, British MP S. M. Peto gave an altar window to the King of Demark for the chapel; the window was designed by sculptor John Thomas and executed by Ballantine and Allan of Edinburgh.
Since 1932, the chapel has been used as the local parish church.References:
The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.
In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.
The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.
In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.
Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.
In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.