Skjoldenæsholm Castle was originally located 1.5 km to the south of the current house. Skjoldenæs is first recorded in the 1340s when it was owned by the crown and referred to as a 'castle of considerable size'. King Christopher II mortaged the estate to John III, Count of Holstein-Plön. King Valdemar IV can with certainty be linked to the locale, in either 1346 or 1348, when he besieged the castle.
The medieval castle was demolished in 1567 but a castle bank surrounded by moats can still be seen at the site today. The estate was crown land for an extended period of time, held in fee by various members of the Danish nobility until 1662 when it was ceded to the King's rentemester Henrik Müller. Over the next few years, between 1663 and 1666, Müller completed a new manor house, half-timbered and in one storey, at the site of the current main building.
After Müller's death in 1682, the estate was reacquired by the king, Christian V, who the following year gave it to his half-brother Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, who also owned the Gyldenløve Mansion in Copenhagen as well as several other estates in Denmark and in Norway. After his death, Skjoldenæsjolm remained in his family for almost a century. Count Ferdinand Anton Danneskiold-Laurvig, Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve's son, owned the property from 1720 until his death in 1754. Anna Joachimine Danneskiold-Laurvig, the widow after his son, replaced the old main wing with the one seen today in 1766.
Anna Joachimine Danneskiold-Laurvig was the last member of the family to own Skjoldenæsholm, selling the property in 1794, shortly before her death the following year. The buyer was Anna Marie Bruun de Neergaard (née Møller) and Skjoldenæsholm has remained in the Bruun de Neergaard's ownership. The main building was in 1971 converted into a conference centre. Today estate covers 1,272 hectares of land, including Skjoldenæsholm Tramway Museum which was founded in 1978 and a golf course. The rest consists mainly of forest.
The sober Neoclassical main wing from 1766 stands in washed, yellow brick. The architect is not known but may have been Philip de Lange. Originally, the red hip roof also covered the three-bay median risalits, found on both sides of the main wing, which received their triangular pediment in connection with a major renovation in 1703. The renovation also added a new east wing and gave the old half-timbered west wing a new facade in masonry towards the courtyard, which matched it. The interior displays several fine examples of 18th-century period decorations.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.