The first known reference to Bregentved is from 1319 when King Eric VI of Denmark passed the estate to Roskilde Abbey. From the end of the 14th century the property was owned by a succession of aristocratic families, including that of Krognos in the 16th century, until 1718 when it was acquired by King Frederick IV. In the 18th century Bregentved was in consecutive Birks, so had separate legal jurisdiction from Haslev Sogn (parish) and old Ringsted Herred (hundred). The north wing still extant in the early 21st century was built 1731-36 by architect Lauritz de Thurah and has a black-tiled, hipped roof. It contains a chapel on the first floor.
In 1746, King Frederick V granted the Bregentved estate to Adam Gottlob Moltke, one of his closest companions who was at the same time made lord chamberlain and a count. Over the next few years, Moltke adapted the two remaining wings with the assistance of the architects G.D. Anthon and Nicolai Eigtved. Moltke also commissioned Eigtved to built him a large mansion in Copenhagen, the south-western of the four Amalienborg Palaces, which was completed in 1754. At Bregentved, Moltke introduced several agricultural reforms to the management of the estate with inspiration from Holstein.
A. G. Moltke died at Bregentved on 25 September 1792, passing his estates to his oldest son, Joachim Godske Moltke, who ceded their mansion in Copenhagen to the royal family after the fire of Christiansborg Palace in 1794. As a replacement, Adam Wilhelm Moltke, who had just left office as the first Prime Minister under Denmark's new constitutional monarchy, acquired a new mansion which became known as Moltke's Mansion. After the harvests at Bregentved Manor and other family holdings, he would move his entire household to Copenhagen.
In the 1880s, Count Frederik Christian Moltke decided to modernize the house. He demolished the two Eigtved wings and replaced them with two new wings which were completed in 1891 to the design of the architect Axel Berg.
The east and south wings of the present three-winged building date from Axel Berg's 1891 rebuilding and stand on Eigtved's foundations. They are designed in the Neo-Rococo style and are topped by a Mansard roof in copper and tile. The east wing has a three-bay risalit with pilasters and a triangular pediment, and a two-bay corner risilit at each end with segmental pediments. The entrance tower also dates from Berg's expansion.
The north wing was built 1731-36 by Lauritz de Thurah and has a black-tiled, hipped roof. It contains a chapel on the first floor which has sculptor Johann Friedrich Hännel.
In the 1760s, A. G. Moltke commissioned Nicolas-Henri Jardin to create a garden in the French formal garden style but it was adapted into a landscape garden in 1835. Some features have been retained from Jardin's garden, including avenues, and traces of a parterre surrounded by canals and a system of fountains, which was restored in 1994. Some vases and Frederik V's Obelisk (1770) by Johannes Wiedewelt also date from this garden as does a copy of a statue by Giambologna. The garden also features a statue of A. W. Moltke by Herman Wilhelm Bissen in 1858-59.
Today Bregentved-Turebyholm covers 6,338 hectares and total of 163 houses also belongs to the estate. There is no public access to the house but the park is open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free of charge.References:
The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.
The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.
In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.
In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.
After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.
In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.
In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.