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:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.