Frederiksborg Palace was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV and is now a museum of national history. The current edifice replaced a previous castle erected by Frederick II and is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia. The palace is located on three small islands in the middle of Palace Lake (Slotsøen) and is adjoined by a large formal garden in the Baroque style.
The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 1560 structure built by Frederick II. Although he remains its namesake, most of the current palace was instead constructed by Christian IV between 1602 and 1620. He employed the Flemish architects Hans and Lorenz van Steenwinckel and the castle follows the Dutch style employed by Christian IV for his new buildings in Copenhagen. After Christian IV's death in 1648, the palace was used mainly for ceremonial events.
The church has also been used as the knight's chapel for the Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog since 1693; housed the Danish royal family's art collection, notably works on the life of Jesus by Danish painter Carl Heinrich Bloch; and was the site of the 1720 Treaty of Frederiksborg.
In the 1850s, the palace was again used as a residence by King Frederick VII. While he was in residence on the evening of December 16, 1859, a fire destroyed a large part of the main palace's interior. Reconstruction was funded by public subscription, with large contributions from the king and state, as well as the prominent philanthropist J. C. Jacobsen of the Carlsberg Brewery. Jacobsen also funded the museum of national history that now occupies Frederiksborg.
The Palace Church or Chapel of Orders serves as a local church today and is a part of the museum on the premises. The coats-of-arms of recipients of the Order of the Elephantand of the Dannebrog are displayed on the walls of the church. The museum houses an important collection of portraits and historical paintings.References:
Bergenhus fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Norway. It contains buildings dating as far back as the 1240s, as well as later constructions built as recently as World War II. The extent of the enclosed area of today dates from the early 19th century. In medieval times, the area of the present-day Bergenhus Fortress was known as Holmen (The islet), and contained the royal residence in Bergen, as well as a cathedral and several churches, the bishop's residence, and a Dominican monastery. Excavations have revealed foundations of buildings believed to date back to before 1100, which might have been erected by King Olav Kyrre. In the 13th century, until 1299, Bergen was the capital of Norway and Holmen was thus the main seat of Norway's rulers. It was first enclosed by stone walls in the 1240s.
Of the medieval buildings, a medieval hall and a defensive tower remain. The royal hall, today known as Haakon's Hall, built around 1260, is the largest medieval secular building in Norway. The defensive tower, known in the Middle Ages as the keep by the sea, was built around 1270 by King Magnus VI Lagabøte, and contained a royal apartment on the top floor. In the 1560s it was incorporated by the commander of the castle, Erik Rosenkrantz, into a larger structure, which is today known as the Rosenkrantz Tower.
In the Middle Ages, several churches, including the Christ Church, Bergen's cathedral, were situated on the premises. These however were torn down in the period 1526 to 1531, as the area of Holmen was converted into a purely military fortification under Danish rule. From around this time, the name Bergenhus came into use. Building work on the Christ Church probably started around 1100. It contained the shrine of saint Sunniva, the patron saint of Bergen and western Norway. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was the site of several royal coronations and weddings. It was also the burial site of at least six kings, as well as other members of the royal family. The site of its altar is today marked by a memorial stone.
In the 19th century, the fortress lost its function as a defensive fortification, but it was retained by the military as an administrative base. After restoration in the 1890s, and again after destruction sustained during World War II, Bergenhus is today again used as a feast hall for public events. During World War II, the German navy used several of its buildings for their headquarters, and they also constructed a large concrete bunker within the fortress walls. The buildings, including the Haakon's Hall, were severely damaged when a Dutch ship in the service of the German navy, carrying approximately 120 tons of dynamite, exploded on 20 April 1944 in the harbour just outside the fortress walls, but the buildings were later restored.
Bergenhus is currently under the command of the Royal Norwegian Navy, which has about 150 military personnel stationed there. The fortifications Sverresborg fortress and Fredriksberg fortress also lie in the centre of Bergen. Haakon's Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower are open for visits by the public. Koengen, the central part of Bergenhus Fortress is also known as a concert venue.