Voergaard Castle is open to the public and houses a significant art collection. Voergaard's recorded history goes back to 1481. At the outbreak of the Count's Feud it was owned by Stygge Krumpen, Bishop of Børglum, taken by Skipper Clement's army of peasants and then, after the Reformation, confiscated by the Crown in 1536. In 1578, King Frederick II ceded the property to Karen Krabbe in exchange for Nygaard, an estate located between Vejle and Kolding. Krabbe's daughter, Ingeborg Skeel, took over the property from her mother and carried out an expansion which was completed in 1588.
Over the following two centuries, Voergaard changed hands many times. Much of the land was sold. In 1872 it was purchased by Peder Brønnum Scavenius, a politician and land owner, who re-acquired much of the land which had previously been sold. At the time of his death in 1914, the estate covered 1,944.4 ha of land, making it one of the largest in Denmark at the time. The next owner was his son, Erik Scavenius, Danish Prime Minister during World War II, who owned Voergaard from 1914 to 1945.
In 1955 Voergaard was acquired by Ejnar Oberbech-Clausen, a Dane who had lived in France since 1906 where he had become a count through his marriage with Marie Henriette Chenu-Lafitte, the widow of his former employer, and an Imperial Count in the Holy Roman Empire. Chenu-Lafitte was the daughter of Jules-Émile Péan, one of the great French surgeons of the 19th century, and owned an extensive art collection which originated both from her father and deceased husband. The art collection contains works attributed to Francisco Goya, Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, El Greco, Watteau and Frans Hals.
The couple owned several châteaus in the area around Bordeaux but after his wife's death, in an air raid in 1941, Oberbech-Clausen moved to Paris and later decided to return to his native Denmark. He acquired Voergaard and, with approval from the French state, brought 12 train cars of art with him back to Denmark. He undertook a comprehensive and costly restoration of the castle which went on for several years. After his death in 1963, the castle and collections were passed to a foundation and opened to the public.
Voergaard is a two-winged, L-shaped castle built in red brick in the Renaissance style. The east wing is flanked by two octagonal corner towers and penetrated by a gateway. Its sandstone portal was a gift from King Frederick II and originally created for Frederiksborg Castle.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.