Frederiksberg Palace

Copenhagen, Denmark

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.

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Details

Founded: 1703
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giuseppe Mennella (17 months ago)
the visit to this castle is unforgettable. The building is surrounded by a very nice and wide park. In the south part of the park there are the "Cisterns in Søndermarken", underground used to set up exhibitions
Waseem Amin (2 years ago)
It is a very beautiful castle and park next to the zoo for everyone.
Piotr Nowak (2 years ago)
Did not visit the inside of the palace (seems to be a government/military building), but I recommend the park around it. Be sure to go to the Cisternerne gallery and catch a glipse of elephants, zebras and giraffes! (there is a zoo in the park and you can see some of the enclosures from the park, without going in).
Sophie the Infallible (2 years ago)
A very beautiful royal gardens, perfect for romantic strolls and picnics as well as for jogging and exercise. Close to a metro station, but also only a half an hour walk away from Copenhagen Central, so a convenient place to get to.
Dan Larkin (2 years ago)
Gorgeous venue with wonderful grounds to explore. You can't go into the palace as it's a working military academy but the view from the rear of the palace is spectacular. On a warm day, you'll see the locals bathing in the sun on the grass and sharing food and drink in a picnic. The locals also use the beautiful scenery to run and exercise. Like almost everything in the Copenhagen area, the yovernment has seeded historical grounds to the locals so they can enjoy the beauty and view it into their own lives. Grab some ice cream from the stand near the public restrooms or jump on a boat and pop open some champagne as the locals do.
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