The Lerchenborg estate was established as Østrupgård in 1704 from land that used to belong to Kalundborg Castle. In 1742 it was acquired by general Christian Lerche (1692-1757). The large estate included 7 manors, 13 churches and extensive woodlands, taking in practically all of Kalundborg Amt. Lerche constructed a new seat on the estate, probably assisted by Nicolai Eigtved, Denmark's leading architect of the time.
When Christian Cornelius Lerche, who had inherited Lerchenborg in 1804, was ennobled with rank of count, on 26 May 1818, Lerchenborg was combined with Aunsøgård, Mineslund, Asnæsgård, Lerchenfeld, Birkendegård, Vesterbygård, Astrup and Davrup to form the County of Lerchenborg (Grevskabet Lerchenborg). In 1862, Hans Christian Andersen stayed at Lerchenborg for a week as guest of Count C.A. Lerche.
The county was dissolved in 1923 and the Lerchenborg estate passed out of the Lerche family's ownership in 1927. However, in 1952 it was reacquired by a member of the family, Christian Albrecht Frederik Lerche-Lerchenborg, and has been owned by the Lerchenborg counts ever since. Mineslund and Asnæsgården were sold off in connection with the reacquission.
Lerchenborg is a three-winged white-washed Rococo complex, consisting of a two-storey, seventeen bay main wing and two lower, detached lateral wings. The main wing has a three-bay median risilit with a triangular pediment and corner projections of two bays with rounded pediments, all with Rococo decorations. The rear side is basically of the same pattern. There is a central entrance on each side of the building. The house is also notable for its fine Rococo interiors. The hipped roofs on all three buildings are of slate, although originally they had red tiles.
The whole complex of main building, farm buildings and park form a strictly symmetrical unity in accordance with the aestetic principles of the Baroque. On one side, the house is approached through a hierarchy of courtyards, formed by barns and stables, and on the other side the central axis of the complex continues through the park and into the countryside.
The original French-style Baroque garden was designed by the Belgian-Danish architect and engineering officer Jean Baptiste de Longueville but most of it was adapted into an English-style landscape garden in the 19th century. Today the park has an area of 20 hectares.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.