Bernstorff Palace was built in the middle of the 18th century forForeign Minister Johann Hartwig Ernst, Count von Bernstorff. It remained in the possession of the Bernstorff family until 1812. In 1842 it was bought by Christian VIII. For many years it was used as a summer residence by Christian IX until his death in 1906.
The palace was designed by the French architect Nicolas-Henri Jardin who had been brought to Denmark to complete Frederick's Church in Copenhagen after the death of Nicolai Eigtved in 1754. It is one of the earliest examples of Neoclassical architecture in Denmark. The elaborately decorated two-storeyed building was completed in May 1765 at considerable cost. At the time it had four small decorative garrets, attics with decorative vases and a wide balcony on the roof ridge itself. On the garden side, there is a dome-covered projection rising the full height of the building.
The palace's many rooms were modest in size and intended primarily for domestic use rather than for display. Most are panelled with parquet floors, large mirrors and decorated ceilings. The four rooms on the south side have overdoors decorated by Johan Edvard Mandelberg.
Bernstorff left Denmark in 1770, after being dismissed by the regent, Johann Friedrich Struensee. The estate remained in his family’s hands until 1812 but was then sold on several occasions. It was about to be demolished in 1842 when Christian VIII bought it and charged Jørgen Hansen Koch with its comprehensive renovation. A mezzanine was added and the layout of the first-floor rooms was changed.
The palace's extensive gardens were laid out are in the Romantic landscape style which had just been introduced to Denmark in the 1760s. In addition to the lawns and woods, they include a rose garden, an orchard and a tea house. It is believed that Jardin who designed the palace was also responsible for their design, especially as his plans refer to the emergence of landscape gardens as a new trend in Denmark.
Today Bernstorff Palace is a hotel and conference centre.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.