Holckenhavn Castle

Nyborg, Denmark

Holckenhavn Renaissance castle was built in the late 16th and early 17th century by three consecutive owners. Previously known both as Ulfeldtsholm and Ellensborg, it received its current name in 1672 when it was acquired by Eiler Holck, who at the same time founded the Barony of Holckenhavn. The estate has been in the possession of his family ever since.

Originally known as Kogsbølle, the estate traces its history back to the late 14th century when it was owned by Anders Jacobsen Ulfeldt. The house remained in the possession of the Ulfeldt family for more than 200 years. The original house was located further inland but shortly after 1580 it was moved to its current position next to a small arm of the Great Belt and its name was changed to Ulfeldtsholm.

In 1616, Chancellor of the Realm Jakob Ulfeldt sold the family estate to Ellen Marsvin after Ulfeldt acquired Egeskov Castle. Marsvin had been widowed for the second time a few years earlier at the age of 39, turned to farming and became one of the largest land owners of her time. She expanded the castle with two more wings and carried out extravagant interior alterations.

Ellen Marsvin was the mother of Kirsten Munk who was married to King Christian IV until she fell into disfavour due to her infidelity and left the king. When Kirsten Munk died in 1658 the castle was passed on to their daughter Leonora Christina, whose husband, former Steward of the Realm Corfitz Ulfeldt had joined forces with Sweden in its invasion of Denmark. For this act of treason the couple was imprisoned at Hammershus fortress on the island ofBornholm. After their release in 1661, they took up residence at Ellensborg until they left the country in 1662 and the estate was confiscated. After its confiscation, Ellensborg was left empty for almost a decade but in 1672 it was granted to Eiler Holck, the commandant at Kronborg. He renamed it Holckenhavn and founded the Barony of Holckenhavn (dissolved in 1921).

Situated on an almost quadratic castle bank, Holckenhavn is a four-winged complex designed in theRenaissance style and built over the course of three generations. The north and east wings, as well as the gate wing, were completed by 1585. The large bell tower was added somewhat later. The master builder was probably Domenicus Badiaz. Ellen Marsvin added the west wing in 1631 and a low south-facing gate wing in 1634. She is also responsible for a chapel installed in 1637 richly decorated with wood carvings by Hans Dreier, and a richly decorated knights' hall.

The main building was altered in the 18th and 19th century and thoroughly refurbished from 1904 to 1910. The site also includes a barn from 1629 which is the only surviving component of a farm which burned down in 1912.

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Address

Holckenhavn 1, Nyborg, Denmark
See all sites in Nyborg

Details

Founded: 1580-1634
Category: Castles and fortifications in Denmark
Historical period: Early Modern Denmark (Denmark)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mark A (12 months ago)
Great castle in a picturesque place! We came here for two days with colleagues for a business/team building trip. Nice and neat interior, clean and spacious rooms, fantastic food! Plenty of space for long walks and jogging!
Henrik Jorgensen (12 months ago)
Very nice experience and really good lunch
Satoshi Ltd (2 years ago)
Very unique piece of history for the Danish people
Morten Henneberg (2 years ago)
Beautiful surroundings and extremely good food
Paul Crichton (3 years ago)
Visited for a friend's wedding. The building is perfect for such an occasion. A moated castle with a grand entrance gate. Large rooms ideal for formal get togethers with an additional 'long room' for a great dining experience. Even a 'secret' passage/stairwell! Staff were all young but well trained and all eager to help with any possible problems or requirements. Food was exceptional. A chapel with exquisite wood carvings, domed ceiling and organ add to an almost fairytale style wedding experience.,
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