Gottorf Castle

Schleswig, Germany

Gottorf Castle is the ancestral home of the Holstein-Gottorp branch of the House of Oldenburg. It was first settled as an estate in 1161 as the residence of Bishop Occo of Schleswig when his former residence was destroyed. The Danish Duke of Schleswig acquired it through a purchase in 1268, and in 1340 it was transferred to the Count of Holstein at Rendsburg of the House of Schauenburg. The manor later, through maternal inheritance, became the possession of Christian I of Denmark, the first Danish monarch from the House of Oldenburg, in 1459.

Both the island and the structure were extended through the years, and particularly during the 16th century. Frederick I, younger son of Christian I, made it his primary residence. In 1544 the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were divided in three parts; Frederick's third son Adolf received one of these parts and made his residence at Gottorp. This state became known as the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp.

The estate became a European cultural centre in the reign of Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, (1597–1659). The castle was built by the famous Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger (1697-1703).

After the ducal lineage of Gottorp were forced to move out in 1702, the palace, now occupied by the Danish, fell into disuse and disrepair in 1713 under the reign of Frederick IV of Denmark. Pieces of furniture, art and other interior were gradually moved out of the palace, and the structures were used both as Danish and Prussian barracks in the 19th century.

During World War II, the estate was used as a displaced persons camp.

Since 1947, the palace has been renovated and restored through a series of efforts. The restoration was considered complete in 1996. The palace is now owned by a foundation of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and houses the State Art and Cultural History Museum and the State Archeological Museum.

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Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Toni Sterling (11 months ago)
Stopped here driving from Germany to Denmark. You can walk around outside for free. It is very picturesque! There was a small Cafe on the grounds. Plenty of free parking.
Ursula Morris (2 years ago)
It was absolutely wonderful today. Not too many people, so time to enjoy the garden and relax. It's a magical place
Karol Giraldo (3 years ago)
Such a nice place to go and walk around. It’s open until 5pm and you can go to the castle plus the gardens if you want to and want to walk for maybe 8 minutes more. Such a beautiful place.
Inna Soltysik (3 years ago)
The museum has something to look at. In total, we spent about 3 hours. I especially liked the recreated interiors of the rooms. I would like more such exhibits. There are also many interesting sculptures on the territory. Not far from the castle you can walk to the beautiful garden.
Sebastiaan Pongers (3 years ago)
A museum with some unique archeological pieces. When pre historic Northern Germany is a interest of you, it will be a good visit. Otherwise, the way the information is displayed is a bit outdated and not very engaging.
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