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 palace was rarely used. It was not until the reign of King Christian IX and Queen Louise that the palace again became the setting for the Royal Family’s life for lengthy periods. “Europe’s parents-in-law” gathered their daughters and sons-in-law, all of whom represented many of Europe’s royal and princely houses, at Fredensborg Palace every summer. Now the Royal Couple use the palace for three months in the spring and three in the autumn. Fredensborg Palace is often the setting for important events in the life of the Royal Family.
The palace gardens cover just under 300 acres and were originally designed by J.C. Krieger. It was reorganised by N. Jardin in the 1760s and has since been adapted frequently to the changing tastes of the times. Today, the main features of the original garden have been recreated. Most of the sculptures in the garden are by the great Nordic neo-classical sculptor, J. Wiedewelt. In the “Valley of the Norsemen”, there are 68 sandstone figures of Norwegian and Faroese farmers and fishermen. These figures were originally carved by the sculptor J.G. Grund. They were re-carved at the end of the 1900s from original casts.
In 1995, an orangery was built adjacent to the Palace kitchen garden. It serves as storage for tender plants in the winter, and flowers are grown here to decorate the various palaces.Fredensborg Palace and church are open to the public through guided tours. There is an admission fee. Fredensborg’s vegetable garden and orangery are open to the public through paid admission to Fredensborg. The palace garden, including the Valley of the Norsemen, is open to the public without an admission fee year-round, 24 hours a day.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.