Lerchenborg Manor

Kalundborg, Denmark

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.

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Details

Founded: 1743
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

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