The first Gråsten Palace was a small hunting lodge built in the middle of the 1500s. After it burned down in 1603, a new palace was built approximately where the south wing of the current palace is located. Chancellor Count Frederik Ahlefeldt, who was the owner of Gråsten Palace from 1662-1682, and his son built a huge baroque palace shortly before the beginning of the 1700’s. It, too, burned down in 1757. Only the palace chapel and a few pavilions remained. The current palace thus dates back to 1759, when a new south wing was built, and to 1842, when the central building was added. At the beginning of the last century, considerable renovations were made.
The Augustenborg family owned Gråsten Palace from 1725 to 1852, when it was acquired by Frederik VII. After 1864, the palace was again occupied by the Augustenborg family. In 1920, the Danish state acquired Gråsten Palace, and for a period it was used as a court house, housing for judges and police chiefs, and a library. In 1935, after an extensive restoration, Gråsten Palace was handed over to be the summer residence for the then-Crown Prince Couple (later King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid).
King Frederik and Queen Ingrid spent the summers at Gråsten Palace. After Queen Ingrid’s death, the palace passed to HM The Queen, who continues the tradition of using it during the summer.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.