Frederiksborg Palace

Hillerød, Denmark

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.

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