In 1734 architect Nicolai Eigtved suggested the Queen Sophie Magdalene to build a small recreational area to Rungsted. Eigtved started the project, a small tea pavillion. It was finished in 1744 and inaugurated on the name day of the King, May 14th. Though the queen was not content with the building and already 2 years later the castle was rebuild with a two storage building with a large copper cupola at the middle builing and side wings with rooms for the staff underneath the roof. After the death of Sophie Magdalena, the King Christian VII and his queen Caroline Mathilde and Struense stayed at the castle, but not after the murder of Struense.
The king handed it over to his half brother, heir presumptive Frederik. But Frederik had other castles and in 1790 it was sold to the goverment. The first not royal buyer was chanceller Johan Thomas de Neergaard, who resold the castle, because he did not know how to make it a farm. The next owner was colonel Arnoldus Falkenskjold in 1797, he expanded the fields surrounding the castle and started an extensive farming. He did only use the castle during the summer.
In 1804 the british marine landed only a short distance from Sophienberg, they wanted the danish goverment to hand over the marine. The restistance caused the bombing of Copenhagen. After the bombing there was a huge demand for building materials and Falkenskjold, who thought the castle was to big, demolished the top floor and sold the materials to Copenhagen in 1807. Later also the northern pavillon and middle building were demolish and the materials were used for farm buildings.
After the death of Falkenskjold the property was owned for a four years period by Anna Gustave Wedel-Jarslberg. In 1830 Hans Gustav von Lilienskjold took over. During his ownership the fields were neglected and the wood chopped down. When he sold the castle in 1851, there were 4 more owners, merchant Ree, captain Wulff, large farmer Engelsted and shopowner Schmidt.
In 1872 consul Jens Frederik Bloch bought Sophienberg, he also owned the neighboring estate Kokkedal, he used both places for farming, all together about 400 acres. He maintained the house and garden. The consul and he wife had no children, so they adopted 3 girls. The composer P.E. Lange-Müller visited the consul during the summer of 1883. The consul died in 1892 and the widow stayed af Sophienberg until 1897. One of the daughters married Lange Müller in 1892 and after the death of the morther in 1897 , they inherited Sophienberg. For many years Sophienberg was theie summer residence.
When Ruth Lange-Müller died in 1921, her 3 daughter inherited Sophienberg. The oldest daughter Irmelin gave up her inherity in 1928 and the youngest, Vibeke was a nurse in India. So Ruth, the middle child, became full heiress to Sophienberg. In 1930 she married Brahim ben Hannine, a man she had met during a stay in Biskra/Algiers (her father had stayed here for a longer period, because of his health). In the years 1932-1934 Sophienberg was made into a house that was suitable for use throughout the year. Fireplaces, water and electricity was installed.
In 1988-1990 the rebuilding and restoration was finished and Sophienberg looked the way she does today. In 2006 Gunner Ruben bought Sophienberg Slot and established the conference center and hotel.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.
According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.
The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.
The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.
With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.