Hvidøre House is a former country house. It is most known for serving as the home of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, who was the daughter of King Christian IX after she was exiled by the Russian Revolution in 1917.
At the beginning of the 16th century, King John of Denmark built a royal seat at Hvidøre, guarding the only landing place to the north of Copenhagen. King Christian II used it for his mistress and her mother after his marriage to Princess Elisabeth of Hapsburg in 1515.
The castle changed hands many times over the centuries, and was eventually acquired by Counsellor Frederik Bruun in 1871. He demolished it and charged the architect Johan Schrøderwith the design of a country house to be built in its place, for use as a summer residence for his family. From then on, the name Hvidøre denoted the house rather than the locality. Hvidøre was built from 1871. Counsellor Bruun died in 1887, but his widow kept Hvidøre until 1906.
Today Hvidøre serves as an internal conference and training venue for the Novo Nordisk Group.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.