Katholm traces its history as a farm back to the 15th century and was in 1545 turned into a manor house by Christian Fasti. His son, Thomas Fasti, began the construction of today's castle with the completion of the east wing in 1588 and the north wing in 1591. Thomas Fasti died in 1600 but his widow Christence Bryske continued to live at Katholm until her own death in 1611. They are buried in a chapel at the local Alsø church. Today the central yard opens to the south where a bridge in masonry leads across the moat to the remains of the farm, a barn from 1618 and a stable from 1619.
Christence Bryske's brother inherited the estate after his sister but when he died a few years later it was passed on to his two sons, Gert and Truid. However, they encountered economic difficulties and in 1616 sold Katholm to Albret Skeel who was appointed Admiral of the Realm and admitted into thePrivy Council that same year. He expanded the complex with a low west wing (1622) as well as a large farm south of the house. The estate remained in the possession of the Skeel family for the next few generations but in 1681 Albret Skeel's granddaughter married Jens Maltesen Sehested and when she died in 1684 he bought out his mother in law as well as his brother in law, Christian Reedtz.
In 1690, Katholm was acquired by Palle Krag who had recently married Helle Nielsdatter Trolle, a wealthy widow. A skilled soldier, Kraf had distinguished himself in the Scanian War and would later do so again in the Great Northern War. Palle Krag and Helle Trolle had no children and when Krag died in 1723, one year after his wife, Katholm was sold to Major-General Poul Rosenørn. After his death in 1737, Katholm was passed on to his widow, Mette, née Benzon, and their son Peder Rosenørn. The last Rosenørn to own Katholm was Mathias Peter Otto Rosenørn who in 1802 sold the estate to Jens Jørgensen, who for many years had been a tenant of Rosenholm Castle. The following decades were a time of financial difficulties for large landowners and in 1823 the State had to take over Katholm along with a number of others estates.
In December 1839 Katholm was sold on public auction. The buyer was First Lieutenant Adolph Wilhelm Dinesen. An active participant in public life, he was both a councillor and an MP. Dinesen had eight children, including Wilhelm Dinesen, the father of writer Karen Blixen. When Adolph Wilhelm Dinesen died in 1876, his oldest son Wentzel Laurentzius Dinesen took over Katholm while Wilhelm later acquired Rungstedlund north of Copenhagen where Karen Blixen was born.
In 1916, Holger Collet acquired Katholm from the daughter of W. F. Dinesen. Holger Collet built a new stable and later a new tenant residence and stable with garage. In 1935 the farm buildings were devastated by fire, which caused substantial damage. In 1942 Carl Frederik Collet took over Katholm the year before the death of his father, C.F. Collet. He reformed the operations, rendering the estate more efficient. Peter Collet took over at Katholm in 1971.
Located on a castle bank in an artificial lake, Katholm consists of three wings built in red brick to a simple Renaissance design. The two capped corner towers and the staircase in the central yard all date from the original house along with the east wing which has a Dutch gable with curved contours. The lower and slightly younger west wing has a crow-stepped gable.
Katholm has since 2007 been owned by Marie Therese Collet, fourth generation of Collets at the manor. The estate covers 1170 hectares.References:
Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.
In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.
During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.
In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.
The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.