Dronninglund Castle is a former royal residence located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Its history goes back to the 12th century, when it was the Benedictine monastery of Hundslund Priory. After the last nuns left it in 1581, it was first owned by the Lindenow family. In 1690, Queen Charlotte Amalie acquired it. It is from her that the palace takes the name Dronninglund, meaning 'queens forest'.
The priory was established about 1100 on a royal farm given by King Erik II Emune. The priory was built north of Aalborg for Benedictine nuns. It was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Clement (both names were used in documents).
The original church was built in Romanesque style with rounded arches and a flat timber ceiling. The old church was replaced in 1350 and then renovated several times into the remarkable structure which can still be seen today in its late Gothic form.
The priory had three ranges attached to the church, so that it formed an enclosure to separate the nuns from the rest of the community. One range was used as a dormitory, a second for a refectory and cellars, and the third for lay sisters and unmarried noble women who lived at the priory.
Margaret I gave income properties to Hundslund in the early 14th century, and her favor brought additional gifts from noble families, making the abbey the owner of farms, mills, and other rent property for the sustenance of the abbey. It became one of the largest landowners in northern Jutland.
Hundslund Priory was involved in a lengthy lawsuit with State Councillor Anders Banner over the boundary between his estate and priory lands in 1455. The priory accused Banner of ordering his servants to move the boundary staves and then hired 25 witnesses at the local assembly to say that no one had claimed the disputed land for more than 60 years. Banner was excommunicated by the Bishop of Børglum for his intransigence. The suit was mediated by King Christoffer I at Kalundborg in 1468.
Anders Gyldenstierne was appointed superintendent of the secularized priory in 1531. In the confusion during Skipper Clement's 1534–1535 rebellion, the nuns were literally thrown out of the priory in 1535 by the last Catholic Bishop of Børglum, Stygge Krumpen. Krumpen occupied the priory with his retainters. Gyldenstierne complained on behalf of the nuns to Christian III. The king wanted to strip Bishop Krumpen of his power in order to get control of the State Council and establish the Lutheran Ordinances. The king ordered him out of the priory and restored it to Anders Gyldenstierne and ordered him to keep an eye out for the king's interest in the estate until 1555. The abbey became a home for former nuns and unmarried women until 1572. The entire archive of the priory was transferred to Aalborg Castle, where it was inventoried, but all documents were lost. A few letters regarding Hundslund were preserved in other archives, including the letters of gift from Margaret I.
in 1561 the mortgage on the abbey was paid off by one of Denmark's leading noblemen, Corfitz Uhlfeldt. Hundslund Priory passed into private ownership in 1581, when Frederik II sold the abbey and its properties to the nobleman Johannes Lindenow.References:
The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.