Ulriksdal Palace is a royal palace situated on the banks of the Edsviken in the National City Park. It was originally called Jakobsdal after its owner Jacob De la Gardie, who had it built by architect Hans Jacob Kristler in 1643-1645 as a country retreat. He later passed on to his son, Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, from whom it was purchased in 1669 by Queen Hedvig Eleonora. The present design is mainly the work of architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and dates from the late 17th century.
Hedvig Eleonora renamed the palace in 1684 Ulriksdal after its intended future owner, her grandson Prince Ulrik. The prince, however, died at the age of one and Hedvig Eleonora kept the palace until her death in 1715 when the property was transferred to the crown for King Frederick I's disposal. Several drawings by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder show a stately palace, three storeys high, with a lantern roof, furnished attic, and side wings extending the lakeside façade.
Implementation of Tessin's designs began under Hedvig Eleonora in the 1670s, but was halted around 1690 due to financial problems. When building work eventually resumed by King Frederick I in the 1720s, the palace architect Carl Hårleman had different ideas than Tessin the Elder. Among the features incorporated by Hårleman was one of the first mansard roofs in Sweden. In the mid-18th century, the palace was occupied by King Adolf Frederick and Queen Louisa Ulrika.
Relatively little survives of the 18th century interiors, since Ulriksdal served as a veterans' hospital from 1822 to 1849. The palace was therefore almost empty when it was acquired in 1856 by Prince Charles, later King Charles XV. With the aid of architect Fredrik Willhelm Scholander and through extensive purchases of antiques, Prince Charles was able to design and furnish the palace at his own taste. Many of these furnishings are still on display.
The palace has been open to the public since 1986. The original furnishings have been relocated to the preserved rooms and parts of the former living quarters are used to exhibit items from Gustaf VI Adolf's art and crafts collection as well as Gustaf V's silver collection.
The Palace Theatre, the Confidencen, is situated in a building from the 1670s which was originally used as a horse riding house and later a guesthouse. In 1753, Queen Louisa Ulrika commissioned architect Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz to convert the building into a theatre. It was built in Rococo style, seats 200 spectators and has a table à confidence, a table which can be lowered through the floor to the basement to be set. The Confidencen is today the oldest Rococo theatre in Sweden.
Ulriksdal Palace had in the palace's northern wing originally a chapel, built in 1662 by architect Jean de la Vallée. The chapel was torn down during Gustav III's renovation of the palace in 1774. The present chapel was designed by architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander and was built in 1864-1865 in the Palace garden, in Dutch new Renaissance style with a certain influences from Venice.
Next to the palace is the greenhouse, today the Orangery Museum. The Orangery was built at the end of the 17th century by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. Despite a number of later changes, Tessin's architecture still dominates the Orangery, which houses parts of the National Museum's sculpture collection, including works by the sculptors Johan Tobias Sergel and Carl Milles.References:
The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.