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 Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).