Corselitze, or Korselitse, derives from Wendish and means 'settlement of Chotel's heirs'. The estate shares much of its early history with the island of Falster. Like most of the island, it belonged to the Crown in the 13th century and is mentioned in King Valdemar II's Danish Census Book which dates from about 1231. In 1354 Corselitze was acquired by Jens Falster, a member of the local nobility, and it remained in the possession of his family until 1600 when it was sold to Axel Brahe.
A few years later, in 1603, it was reacquired by the Crown in exchange for Eskebjerg on Funen. Between 1560 and 1650 the entire island of Falster once again came under the Crown through such transactions. Initially it was used as 'livgeding', a Danish term for land put at the disposal of the dowager queen for her support, but in 1718 it was converted into a cavalry district.
The cavalry district was dissolved in 1766 and split up into 10 manors which were sold by auction. Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel bought Corselitze and nearby Carlsfelt, probably acting as a straw man for his friend and colleague Major general Johan Frederik Classen who took over the properties two years later. Classen was a wealthy industrialist with close ties to the king and the political elite. He had just reacquiredFrederiksværk, a foundry in the north of Zealand, which he had co-founded and then sold to the king in 1761.
After Classen's death in 1792 the property, along with the rest of his estate, was passed on to the Classenske Fideikommis, a philanthropic trust which he created and still owns today. In 1947 the trust also acquired Fuglsang and Priorskov on the neighbouring island of Lolland.
The Corselitze seen today was built by Classen from 1775 to 1777 to the design of the architect Andreas Kirkerup. It is an adaption of the old house which dated from the 17th century. Built in the Neoclassical style, it consists of two floors under a black tile roof. The front is nine bays long and decorated with pilasters. The fine interiors with decorations by the sculptor Johannes Wiedewelt have partly been preserved.
Classen also founded an English-style landscape garden with orchards, a nursery and tree-lined avenues which has partly been preserved. At the edge of Corselitze Forest towards the sea, Classen also built the General's summerhouse, a thatched cottage which is a miniature version of Liselund on the island of Møn. The site also includes a farm which was designed by Vilhelm Tvede and built in 1866.
Near the mansion lies the small fishing village of Hesnæs. It is notable for its characteristic reed-clad houses which were built after the 1872 Baltic Sea flood. The harbour is home to a small fleet of fishing vessels and is popular with leisure boats throughout the summer.
The estate covers 2,792 hectares with Næsgård, Bjerregård, Bellinge and Herslebslund. Of these 645 hectares are farm land. With Fuglsang and Priorskov on Lolland, its holdings in the area amount to 2,600 hectares of forest and 1,700 hectares of farmland. Since 1999, the farmland has been managed directly by Classenske Fideicommis after previously having been leased.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.