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Fredensborg Castle

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After the end of the Great Nordic war in 1720 it seemed that Denmark had finally given up the thought of getting the Scanian countries back. Anyhow the desire for peace was so great that when the king built a new residence between Frederiksborg and Kronborg, he chose to call it Fredensborg (Fred = peace). According to tradition it was money, which was earmarked for the war that was used to the building activities.

The European Big Powers Dominated
At the peace after the Great Nordic War in 1720 the two double kingdoms Denmark-Norway and Sweden-Finland almost an even match, but they were also reduced to pawns in the international game, which was dominated by the European big powers France, England, Holland and eventually Russia and the German area (Prussia), where unification efforts picked up speed in the course of the 18th century.

Fredensborg a Peace Symbol
It seemed that Denmark had given up on the idea of getting the Scanian countries back. The wish for peace is so great that the king chose to call his new residence Frederiksborg and Kronborg Fredensborg and according to tradition it was the money, which was meant for the war that was spent on the building.
Where Fredensborg Castle now is there used to be a hunting property or country house called Østrupgård, where king Frederik IV used to spend his time instead of the ostentatious Frederiksborg Castle. In 1719, when it was possible to see an end to the Great Nordic War, the king had a lime kiln built, cleared roads and forests as a preparation for a building on the spot. The main building was finished in 1722 and the new building was named Fredensborg, which referred to the peace after the great war. Originally the idea was to have a statue on the lantern of the dome of the peace goddess.
Fredensborg Castle
Fredensborg Castle
View from the Park
View from the Park

The Adapted Renaissance Style
The original design consisted of the impressive main building with a dome hall, which also made up one side of an octagonal layout, which was built under the later master builder J.C. Krieger, who at the time was a gardener at the orangery in Rosenborg Garden.
The model was perhaps Marly, the French King´s pleasure castle, which the Danish king had seen on the first of his journeys abroad in 1691-92. Externally the castle did not resemble the over decorated French style. The smooth wall surfaces of Fredensborg are found again in Frederiksberg Castle. Only the broad window casings with the overlying frontons work decoratively, but they look most of all like the window casings in Kronborg, which is Renaissance style and does not have much in common with the over decorated Italian Baroque.
The adapted Renaissance style is quite unique and somewhat resembles the style of Stockholm Castle, which was built by the famous Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the younger. Most likely the inspiration had gone via the later master builder Johan Conrad Ernst, who was with Tessin in Stockholm to study for the construction of a residence castle, which Christian V wanted to build in the Amalienborg Garden in Copenhagen. In this way the building of Fredensborg Castle was a testimony to the cultural exchange between the two countries in spite of the war and controversy.
The Original Draft
The Original Draft
Doors and Windows
Doors and Windows

The Influence of Jardin
After the building of Fredensborg in 1773 almost all the important architects of the century came in contact with the building in connection with expansions and changes, which fortunately enough did not spoil the original character of the castle. Late, but no least, the French architect, N.H. Jardin was involved in plans for a comprehensive rebuilding of the main building of the castle and the garden, which was reorganized over a number of years from 1759-68.
The most of the other projects were dropped when the king around 1762 needed more money for armament because of a conflict with Russia.
Fredensborg 1729
Fredensborg 1729
Jardin´s plan 1760
Jardin´s plan 1760
The Normand Valley
The Normand Valley

©  Øresundstid 2009