In 1694, Christian V built a two-story timber frame house in the Deer Park north of Copenhagen. In 1734, that building was demolished, and in the period 1734-1736, royal architect Lauritz de Thurah built the existing hunting seat on the hilltop in the middle of the plain.
The palace is an distinguished example of de Thurah’s architectural skills and one of the late Baroque’s best works in Denmark. The ground-plan of the palace is symmetrical on all four floors.The kitchen is located centrally in the basement under the dining room. Along the south gable, the beautiful staircase goes through the whole house. The stairwell is covered in tiles with hunting motifs. The tiles were produced at the factory on St. Kongensgade.The bel étage houses the large dining hall, the grandest room with rich decorations in marble, plaster, mirrors and marbled wood. The two southern rooms are in a striking late Baroque style, whilst the three northern rooms, the king’s and queen’s rooms, are in Rococo style. The central room on the top floor is the servants’ sitting room.
In 1736, Johan Jeremias Reusse, a cabinet maker, built a table machine, a mechanical device with table and accessories. This is the famous Hermitage table, which allowed the beautifully laid table to be hoisted through a hatch in the dining room floor so one could dine without servants or, in French, “en hermitage”. A few years later, a new table machine was constructed by order of court architect Nicolai Eigtved. This version had technical problems and needed repairs, and it was entirely removed at the end of the 1700s. The palace has been renovated several times, most recently when the palace underwent a through restoration of its sandstone exterior from 1979 to 1991.The Hermitage Palace has, through the years, been the centre for royal hunts. It is at the disposal of The Queen, who today uses it for official lunches. The palace is closed to the public.References:
The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.
Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.
Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.
In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.
The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.