|Around the middle of the 19th century different sides of the middle class mentality and life style were really taking shape.
This is evident in the spreading leisure and holiday life, which took place on both sides of the Sound with summer residence, spas, hotels and so on.
|In the course of the 19th century Northeast Zealand became popular resort for holidays and summer residence.
The extension of the infrastructure was an important condition for this. When the Hornbæk railway was opened, Hornbæk was invaded by tourists. Bathing jetties and bathing huts were common along the coast.
Around the middle of the 19th century different aspects of the mentality and lifestyle of the middle classes were taking shape. The fight for an existence did no longer overshadow everything else and a characteristic distinction between work and leisure were developing. Leisure time was invented, so to speak and nature became a good place for meditative and recreational activities. This resulted in an extensive leisure and holiday life, which took place on both sides of the Sound with summer resident life, spas, hotels and the like.
Elsinore as an Example
Nature worshipping and summer life was and early feature in Elsinore. As early as the end of the 18th century the local middle classes in Elsinore had begun to leave the town and spend their leisure time on summer estates in the vicinity. At first inside the boundaries of the municipality, later further out in the country like Nyrup, Fairyhill, Claythorpe and Gurre.
At firs tit was the many Englishmen in town, who knew the custom from back home, later others, among them the merchant Jean Jacob Claessen, who bought several estates in the environs around 1790. The practise spread gradually and in the course of the 19th century Hellebæk and northeast Zealand as a whole became a popular resort for holidays for the Copenhagen middle classes.
A somewhat grandiose example of the ambitions of the well-off middle classes to compare with the English lesser nobility is found in the architecture of the main building of Flynderupgård in Agnetevej in Espergærde.
City Dwellers in the Country
The North Coast 1820
The Summer Estate Belvedere
The New Infrastructure
An important factor in this was the gradually improved infrastructure, especially the steam ships and railways. Elsinore was the first provincial town, which was visited by Denmark’s first steam ferry, “Caledonia” as early as 1819. Throughout the 1920´s and 30´s there was irregular traffic along the coast. At the end of 1842 there was a permanent steam ship connection via the ferry “Hamlet” between Elsinore and Copenhagen. In 1945 the service also included Helsingborg. Moreover, from 1856 there was a permanent connection between Elsinore and Helsingborg.
This meant that it was possible to transport family members and luggage over greater distances. The steam ships landed at various places along the way from where people were rowed ashore to the desired summer residences. With the steam ships and the railway connection between Copenhagen and Elsinore via Hillerød it was possible for the head of the family to travel to the city and take care of business in the summertime too.
The North Railway
The North Railway
The Hornbæk Railway
Officials and Artists
At first it was mainly the higher officials and artists, which visited North Zealand. The Collin family and the married couple, the actress, Johanne Louise Heiberg and her husband, the poet arbiter of taste Johan Ludvig Heiberg, were among the first to visit the coast north of Elsinore.
The Heibergs knew the increasing leisure time culture from Copenhagen and they now actively participated in the movement. Johanne Louise Heiberg depicted her first encounter with Hellebæk as a contrast to the ”city life” of Copenhagen in her memoir, ”Et liv genoplevet i erindringen".
The Holiday Area
After the artists came the town middle classes, and gradually the life of the summer residents became a must for the city people, as it is depicted in Herman Bang´s biting text Landliv. Bang knew the modern city life as well as the country leisure life, perhaps mostly known from his novella Sommerglæder, which pretends to take place in Jutland. The subject is also referred to in Herman Bang´s journalism, as when he wrote about Hellebæk in Illustreret Tidende in 1885:
»Nu er det for sent at skrive om Hellebæk. Naar Regissørklokken har lydt, er Lejet ikke mere interessant. Feriesommeren er forbi, og det rigtige Efteraar, det er endnu ikke kommet. Maaske kan vi tage derop en Dag fra Byen, naar det gaar til Ende med September, og de sidste flyttevognes Spor er slettet ud. Så holder jeg af det deroppe. Da er Naturen blevet ene. Den har faaet Tid til at blive sig selv igen. Den har rystet af sig alle Sommergæsternes profane Aah, og den har glemt Turisterne. Der er blevet stille i Skoven. Tyst sysler Pan. Letbenet vildt tegner over Engen flygtende Skygger, naar, for at drikke, Bredden af Skovsøens Vand. Gulnede Elme hviske saa sagte derover.
Luften er klar. De første Blade faldt i Gaar langs Stien. De dufte nu, mens de hviske«.
Hornbæk Beach 1906
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
Summer Residents in Hornbæk.
The Joys of the Summer Residents
Twine House in Snekkersten
The Tourist Industry
Holger Drachmann, who had grown up in Fredensborg, knew northeast Zealand intimately and spent time in Hellebæk, Hornbæk, Snekkersten and in "Marianelund" in Gurre. In his story "Skraaplaner" from 1881 he reflects on the importance of the summer residents for the local communities and their development.
The artists put up at first the existing inns, or privately, but gradually an industry of boarding houses and seaside hotels sprung up. As Drachmann wrote the summer residents started to buy land and houses and clientele broadened. The artists fled to other and less crowded areas in the holiday area. This was the case with Holger Drachmann. However, he died in a private clinic in Hornbæk in 1908.
H. C. Andersen as a Summer Resident
H.C.Andersen is known in posterity for his many travels abroad and his many visits to the landed gentry. Lesser known perhaps is his short visits in North Zealand, where he visited friends and acquaintances, who were summer residents. Primarily the Collin family, who lived in the country in and around Hellebæk in the 1860´s and 70´s.
H.C. Andersen had a somewhat strained relationship with the north coast and after a passage in 1837, it was not until 1864 that Andersen had a short stay in the newly opened Hotel Marienlyst with his young friend, the ballet dancer Harald Scharff. The train service from Copenhagen to Elsinore was opened in 1864 and that marked the beginning of a number of short visits to the north coast in the following years.
In 1867 Andersen was back again. The Collin family had bought a summer cottage on the slope. Andersen stayed for lunch, but took his dinner in Hotel Marienlyst. The two hour train journey from Elsinore to Copenhagen seemed to suit Andersen, who visited Hellebæk that same year once again.
Around 1870 Andersen was twice in Elsinore and Hellebæk, the first time to visit the Collin family and “see their new house”. The second time Andersen put up at Hotel Brix in Elsinore. That was probably the last time H.C. Andersen visited these parts, as a diary note from 1873 testified that he received a visit from Mrs. Collin from Ellekilde. H.C. Andersen died in 1875.
The North Railway
The Location of the Hotel
The Mature Andersen
Transport From the Station
Up and Down the Coast
The writer Meir Aron Goldschmidt has also contributed with depictions of the life along the coast, for example in the long short story Ravnen (The Raven). In this story you can make out the clash between the traditional life form on the coast and the intrusive industrial culture. In the short story En dampskibstur from 1883 ”…the human spirit chases away nature´s spirit…” and the dream life of the protagonist plays a prominent part – a new epoch in the intellectual life is ushered in
A stay in on of the seaside hotels of the age is depicted by the German writer, Thomas Mann, whose novel´s final chapters take place in Hellebæk-Aalsgaard. The main character has an identity crisis and makes use of his stay at the seaside hotel for some soul-searching. The local population plays a part as representatives of the cool, assured side of his personality, as opposed to the other side, his temperamental, Mediterranean ancestors.
August Strindberg, who for a number of years was at work in the vicinity of Copenhagen, put up privately in Hornbæk in 1901 with his new wife Harriet Bosse. That lasted until he attacked a photographer, who wanted to take a picture of his wife in her bathing costume.
The Steamship Horatio
Ålsgårde Seaside Hotel
Strindberg in Hornbæk
Seaside Life in the Year of 1900
With the summer holiday life on the coasts of the Sound region came the seaside life, which at first wasn´t allowed directly from the beach, but only from bathing jetties and cubicles, or the gender divided public baths, which was source of a characteristic architecture along the coast.
With the parcellation and the building of summer houses, the holiday life became more formalized. It became an object for investments for the middle classes and creates another dimension in the life of the family. In many ways other, more gentle rules of conduct became prevalent.
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
The Cold bath House in Landskrona
Pålsjöbaden in Helsingborg
Snekkersten Public Bath
Seaside Life in Hornbæk
Borupgaards Bathing Hut
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
The improved communications also meant that the leisure life in North Zealand gradually took on a more international stamp. An important step towards this was the establishment of Marienlyst Seaside Hotel in 1859. The starting point was the existing Marienlyst Castle, which was expanded with buildings until the erection of the present main building around 1897 – the same year Kystbanen (the coast railway) was opened. For a while Marienlyst Hotel was owned by the Elsinore municipality, but was passed into private ownership in 1882.
In “Badetidende” from 1879 it was possible to read in Danish and German which bathing guests are present and which members of the town middle class have season tickets for the bathing resort. Furthermore are stated rates for the use of the “Spa and Hamlet’s Terasse”, timetable for steam ships and trains, rates for “hot baths, mineral baths, mineral waters, stream-heavy rain and showers”. And of course the thermometer reading for the previous week, a real Danish summer, for instance June 30th: The air - 16 degrees Celsius, the water – 14 degrees Celsius, midday.
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
The Location of the Hotel
The First Hotel Building
The North Railway
Transport From the Station
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
New Main Building
A Fashionable Meeting Place
Celebrities from home and abroad visited the fashionable Marienlyst, even the Danish and Swedish royal couple, and in the park surrounding Marienlyst castle a romantic garden, which was said to hold the grave of Hamlet and Ophelia’s Spring, was laid out.
Many artists stayed at the hotel among them Herman Bang (Danish author), who was a guest in 1880, where he wrote parts of his debut novel “Håbløse Slægter”. In 1905 he wrote in the hotel diary: “Dearest to me in the world Paris, Prague and Marienlyst” – no comparisons by the way.
Herman Bang and Marienlyst
Bang visited Marienlyst throughout his adult life and took part in the social life there. He participated in bazaars and held lectures, which also relieved the eternal lack of money. The then manager Anders Jensen has in an interview with a local paper depicted Bang´s close relationship to the place:
"En af de første og en af de mest interesserede gæster var Herman Bang. Han kom inden vi fik lukket op om sommeren. Han var næsten med til at tælle dækketøjet, så ivrig var han, og det er ham der har æren af det smukke palmearrangement i forhallen. Han boede de første år oppe i tårnet, senere flyttede han ned i en villa i Nationernes Alle, og der holdt han små dameselskaber om aftenen. Næste dag kom han for at fortælle os, hvad hver dame havde haft på. Han var så glad når de havde pyntet sig. Om aftenen satte han sig tit på kontoret for at spise sit smørrebrød, og der drøftede han praktiske forhold med min kone, de to var så gode venner.”
Herman Bang visited Marienlyst as late as 1905 and once wrote in the hotel´s diary: "Dearest to me in the world is Paris, Prague and Marienlyst". Herman Bang also participated in the debate on the development of the holiday areas, as when he in an article in the newspaper “København” in 1904 vehemently opposed the plans for the building of a railway through the scenic area.
Herman Bang was a modern man, who cherished the romantic air and gardens of Marienlyst, where you are able to visit Ophelia´s Spring and the grave of Hamlet. The worshipping of nature gradually became a timetabled and ritualized matter in the lifestyle of the bourgeois. The commercial side of it played a more undisguised part. Romanticism became pure staging and form, which was evident in the late-rmantic building style, which characterizes the new Marienlyst.
Kullen - Arild - Mölle
|Kullen is the name of the mountain, which lies on the Kulla peninsula in northwestern Scania. The tipof Kullen bounds the Sound from the Kattegat.
The area around Kullen, the Kullabygden, became a popular outing for the tourists of the 19th century and the small fishing villages Arild and Mølle were turned into tourist spots.
The Kullabygden is often named ”The Scanian Riviera".
Kullen-Arild and Mølle
The beautiful and dramatic landscape on the lengthy Kulla Mountain (Kullaberg)in Scania , was, as early as the 19th century, a popular recreational area for summer guests from both sides of the Sound.
The painters were the first to feel attracted to the romantic nature, but quickly the men of letters followed, and later on the area became a popular recreational area for the more wealthy part of the population. The old fishing villages, Arild and Mølle, in the vicinity of the western and eastern area became, with their picturesque small houses and their proximity to the water, a popular recreational area.
The Kulla mountain (Kullaberg) is only 187 metres high, but the fact that it rises directly up from the sea makes the terrain formation dramatic. The mountain itself is only 16 kilometres long and at most places only 2 kilometres wide. At the extreme end the mountain ends with a steep slope.
The steep slops of Kullen towards the dangerous sea on both sides and the many caves, have, from time immemorial, naturally created the providede the breeding ground for countless legends and myths.
Kullen by the Sea
The Silver Cave from the Outside
A Cave with a Wiew
The Silver Cave
Palnatoke´s Skiing and the Kullen Man
During Romanticism the interesest for the old Nordic legends awoke. Some of them are linked to Kullaberg. As early as 1809 Adam Oehlenschläger wrote the tragedy ”Palnatoke” and thus gave life to Saxo´s story of the old Danish legendary figure. Palnatoke had, to prove her prowess in skiing to Harald Bluetooth, taken a downhill race down Kullen´s slopes. (An achievement many Danes in a somewhat smaller scale try to imitate today by doing risky mountain climbs).
In his book “Valdemar Sejr” Bernhard Severin Ingemann told of "Kullamannen", (The Kulla Man), who told the future of the Valdemar Sejr´s sons.
The Kullen man was part nature being and part an authentic historic person in Kullen. According to tradition it is supposedly a knight by the name of Thord Knutsson Bonde.
The Roamntic Names of the Kulla Mountain
The national and nature romantic interest is evident in the names of the rock formations and caves on Kullaberg. They were named in the latter part of the 19th century. For example Kullamannens grav (the Kulla Man´s Grave), Valdemarsgrotten (The Valdemar Cave) and Palnatokes skrænt (Palnatoke´s Slope), not to mention the beautiful-sounding names: Kaprifoliegrottan, Paradiset, Josefinelust, and Silvergrotten. Josefinelust is named after Oskar I:s wife Josefin, who visited the place.
The Josefinelust Cave
Kullen´s Old Lighthouse
The outermost part of Kullaberg borders the Sound from Kattegat, but also the land from the sea in a very marked way. For centuries the dramatic landscape has fascinated man and made it a popular resort. But the promontory, which juts out into the sea, has always been a danger for ships. This is why they early on decided to warn the ships with a lighthouse. In 1561 they laid out a lighthouse place ordered by Frederik II. It was improved two years later with a brick tower.
The lighthouse keeper in charge was Tycho Brahe, who later on fell from favour with Christian 4. because he was accused of having neglected his assignment.
The earliest picture known of the lighthouse is drawn by the Dutchman, Simon Frisius in 1615, when he sailed between Holland and Russia. In the next centuries the lighthouse has been rebuilt several times.
Kullen´s Present Lighthouse – an Idea from the 19th Century.
Kullen´s present lighthouse is only 15 metres high, but as a shining crown on the top of the majestic rock it is still a magnificent sight. The light source is 78,5 metres above the sea and thus one of the highest situated in Sweden.
In 1898 the authorities accepted the designs for the present lighthouse. The architect was Magnus Dahlander from Dalarne. They started building in 1899, and the new lighthouse opened in the year 1900. At this time they also delivered the lens instrument, which still rotates in the lighthouse.
The lenses, which increased the light source were the result of research by the French physicist and engineer August Frensel (1788-1827). He had studied how light is refracted through different lenses and established here that if you place the light source in focus in a burning-glass, the beams are refracted, so they radiate from the lens in parallel. The discovery was made as early as 1822. They were now able to construct lenses, which reinforced the light much more efficently than the old paraboloidal reflectors.
The first Frensel lens was put in the famous French lighthouse Cordouan on the Frech west coast in1823. But t wasn´t until the end of the century that the Paris company Barbier & Barnard could deliver the new construction to the lighthouse in Kullen.
The lens instrument was at the time the largest in Sweden with its three large lenses. It was rotated with clockwork and a weight, which was used until 1937.
The light source itself was electrified in 1907 with a 1000 watts bulb, which gave and still gives the strongest flash in Scandinavia every 5th second.
Kullen´s Lighthouse – A Place with a View
The Light Source
The Lighthouse´s Old Weight
Arild, Early Artist Community
On Kullaberg´s east side we find the old fishing village Arild with a view of Skälderviken, Bjärehalvön and Kattegat. The pleasant climate, the romantic and idyllic atmosphere with the remote fishing village and the light from the sea contributed and still does to the attracting power of the place.
As early as the 1830´s a number of Scandinavian painters were fascinated by the beauty of Arild´ss landscape and eventually they created a fertile artists´ environment, where among others the two prominent landscape painters , the Dane Frederik Christian Kiaerskou and the Norwegian Adolf Tidemand had their easels put up.
Arild´s Harbour 2006
In the middle of the 19th century Arild had a popular centre for thetown´s fishermen and the visiting artists and summer guests. That was the energetic and outspoken Cecilia Andersson, who converted her big home into an inn, which she called Mother Cilla.
The house still exists in a completely changed rebuilding, but was then a centre for artistic activity and socializing. A sort of forerunner of the famous Brøndum´s Hotel in the Skaw.
Among the artists was also Natanael Beskow., who portrayed Mother Cilla in September 1891 on one of the doors in the hotel. The portrait is still there. The tradition of artists paying the host with paintings, was quite alien to Mother Cilla. She wanted money on the table. The story doesn´t say anything about whether an exception was made in the Beskow´s case!
Mother Cilla´s status as the uncrowned queen of the fishing village in the 1890´s, was finally established, when King Oscar II visited Arild in 1894. The lunch was taken at Mother Cilla´s. At the head of the table sat the king and his partner, well, Mother Cilla, of course!
Hotel Mother Cilla
The Visit of Oskar II
Danish Artists in Arild
Peter Severin Kröyer, who became one of the most renowned Skaw painters, stayed in Arild as early as 1872 and revisited the place in 1881 and 1885. Some of his works from here can be seen at the Skaw Museum.
The naturalistic drawings of the poor fishing village´s population show the tendency to move away from the former period´s romantic depictions.
Another frequent summer guest among the artists was Viggo Pedersen, who also established and managed an artists´ school. The number of Danish Arild artists were large and August Jerndorff and Bernhard Middelboe also deserves a mention.
When you consider how many of the Danish artists, who gathered in Arild, Hornbæk and the Skaw, it is clear that it is the small fishing villages, which often created the inspiration.
Girl from Arild
Shoemaker in Arild
Swedish Artists in Arild
The Swedish artists also came to Arild and Mother Cilla, but they came later than the Danes. Carl Fredrik Hill visited Arild in 1870, 72 and 73, but most Swedes didn´t arrive until some years into the 1880´s. Richard Bergh, who later became the head of Sweden´s National Museum, came to Arild for the first time in 1884, Gustaf Cederström arrived on his first summer visit in 1887. Fritz von Dardel was in Arild in1891, where he made a drawing from Mother Cilla´s 65th birthday. The most frequent guest was Gustaf Rydberg, who lived in Arild every summer from 1889 to 1909.
Many female artists were productive in Arild. Elisabeth Keyser lived here for several summers in the 1890´s and even established a painters´school. Emilia Lönblad lived in Arild in 1891 and 1892. Sophie Stiernstedt became a summer resident in 1901. A local talent was Gisela Trapp, who in her young years (the middle of the 1890´s) came to Arild to paint. She was married to Oscar Trapp, one of the consuls of Helsingborg, and she eventually became important in the area. She was deeply religious and had a Catholic chapel built in her garden in the western part of Arild. It was finished in 1921 and is still used by the Catholic Church.
Without mentioning all the Swedish and foreign painters, who came to Arild, it can be seen as an early centre of outdoor painting and can be compared to the Skaw.
Mother Cilla´s 65th birthday
Viking Style Arild
Mølle – The Seaside Resort
Mölle gradually became the real tourist magnet. Everybody was talking of the ”shameless Mölle", where men and women bathed together! The fact that Mölle was one of the first places in Europe with such a frank behaviour did not go down well with som of the Mölle inhabitants. When they were out of town they often said that they came from Arild where such risqué behaviour was unheard of.
Oskar II:s visit in 1894 in Arild and Mølle and Emperor Wilhelm´s landing in 1907 became the highlight and a proof of the area´s attracting power. Oscar scratched his name in one of the caves in Kullen, which later was named ”the Oscar Cave”.
Mölle by the Sea
The two sexes in bath
Berlin - Mølle
In the first decades of the 20th century Mølle´s tourism grew intensely. A new train connection between Mølle and Höganäs, which was opened in 1909, was a deciding factor in area´s transformation into southern Sweden´s first and largest tourist area. The international status of Mølle was underlined with a direct train connection between Berlin and Mølle.
Tourists in Mölle
Viking Style Mølle
The White Mølle
Mølle´s attraction gradually, especially after the turn of the century, occasioned the building of a number of hotels. Hotel Kullaberg, Hotell Elfverson, Turisthotellet and Grand Hotel, for example. But even before the prime of the hotes, a number of houses had their own local characteristic. The typical Mølle house had a high base floor with a scullery and on this was the apartment itself. The houses are white and that colour is still typical of the houses in Mølle.
Mölle – The White Town
Attractive tourist area
The Tourist Hotel Mölle
The Kulla Village – A Cultural Melting Pot
It was not only the advocates of Romanticism and the painters, who found a place where they could breathe freely in the Kullen area´s dramatic and romantic nature. You could also meet culture figures with quite a different understanding of the life.
Georg Brandes stayed in Mølle in 1890, for example. August Strindberg described a visit to Mölle and to Kullen in his "Legends". However, it was mostly his soul and his troubles he depicted here, while Selma Lagerlöf ten years later was more occupied with Kullen´s animated nature in her: "Niels Holgerssons Wonderful Journey Through Sweden". Selma Lagerlöf lived in Mölle in the summer 1906 with Sophie Elkan.
Hjalmar Söderberg met the Dane Emelie Voss during his stay in Mölle in 1907 and was cheered up after his failed marriage.
Further on in the 20th century Vilhelm Ekelund, Ivar Lo Johansson, Anders Österling and Ola Hansson visited the Kulla Village for longer or shorter periods of time.
The Tourist Hotel Mölle
|Ramlösa Spa was opened as early as 1707, but had its heyday in the 19th century. The healing water and the royal interests attracted many visitors to the spa hotel and by the end of the 19th century this ostentatious main building in modern style was erected.
The Holy Water
On the Scanian side Ramlösa became a centre for well water drinking and baths. At first it was the drinking of the water that was Ramlösa´s niche. Water has always been considered as purifying and life giving. Of course, this is not that curious as water is nature’s lifeblood. In most religions water is considered holy and in the Christian and Islamic religions washing and rinsing are in the nature of holy ceremonies. But is has also been common that special springs and currents have been considered especially effective. In the Antiquity the explanation was that some springs had divine powers and their water was thus deemed holy. In Pergamon, for instance, there was the holy well at the Asklepios Temple. (As Asklepios was the god for medicine the water at his temple was considered medically effective.)
Christianity took over this thought and various saints were associated with different springs, where the water was drunk, and the performing of sacrifices in the form of coins in holy wells were also found. Thus the drinking of well water and baths in holy springs very early had a religious association. After the Reformation this spring cult was opposed by the Protestant priests, but in the 17th century the effect of these holy springs became interesting from a scientific point of view.
In Sweden Urban Hjärne carried out water analyses and many doctors associated certain wells and springs with curative qualities. Thus the spring cult had a renaissance in the 18th century. But these types of water were not only effective internally. Washing and bathing were curative and therefore swimming baths were established in the health resorts. In the 1700 and 1800´s many travelled to Spa, Aachen, Schwalbach and other health resorts to drink the well water and bathe for health reasons. When some doctors also began to advertise the salty spas´ curative qualities, the spas situated by the sea had a particular upturn.
Ramlosa – How It Started
As early as 1707 Ramlösa spa was opened. For some decades it had been said that the spring in Ramlösa gave health and power and the doctor Johan Jacob Döbelius had emphasized the spring’s curative effects. The iron carbonate in the Ramlösa water allegedly cured rheumatism, kidney gravel, sciatica, heart diseases, etc. As early as the 18th century the establishment visited Ramlösa, but it was during the first half of the 19th century that Ramlösa spa had its heyday.
It became especially important when doctor of medicine at the university in Lund and one of the greatest medical authorities in Sweden, Eberhard Munck of Rosenschiöld became a spa doctor. Thus Ramlösa had a special position as the health spa had a scientific attachment. Rosenschiöld also advertised the salty baths and Ramlösa therefore became a spa with access to both well drinking and sea baths.
The ferruginous water
Johan Jacob Döbelius
Munck af Rosenschiöld
Ramlösa Spa was surrounded by royal glory. King Gustav IV Adolf visited the well often during his three months stay in Helsingborg in 1807. The crown prince Karl August spent several summers there and he invested money on the hospital building in the park.
The hospital activities gradually became quite extensive and at the turn of the century it was possible to receive 160 patients. The frequently ill son, Oscar (Oscar I) visited Ramlösa several times during the 1810´s and 1820´s, which was to a great part due to the fact that the spa doctor was Munck of Rosenschiöld.
Oscar´s mother, Queen Desideria, spent several summers in Ramlösa and thrived there. But she often complained about the conditions in her new homeland. Perhaps she missed her former fiancé, Napoleon Bonaparte and the glory that surrounded him?
The presence of the royal family attracted visitors from the higher classes and Ramlösa became an upper-class resort and a high society life developed with the royal family at the centre. In time many noble families had their own houses built in the park, which eventually was dominated by wood architecture in the style of neo-romanticism and neo-classicism.
The Foundation Grows
A horse drawn railway – the first in Sweden – was built down to the sea in 1877 so that the guests could comfortably be transported to the water. There were frequent time tabled tours – in the morning every 15 minutes and in the afternoon every 30 minutes. A bathing hut was built at the Sound and at the beach a whole place of entertainment sprouted up complete with a shooting range, a restaurant and a music pavilion. Thus Ramlösa raised its profile as a bathing resort and this was even clearer with the bathing facilities that were built close to the spa hotel.
At the end of the 19th century Ramlösa Spa changed and became more and more a recreational area offering relaxation and entertainment. It was at this time the alkaline spring was discovered, which is the content of Ramlösa mineral water, as we know it.
The Spa Hotel
The horse tramline
The bathing ground
A neo-classicist building
In essence the life of the summer residents, which developed in North Zealand in the 1900th century was very similar to the way the royal family had used the landscape for centuries. Before North Zealand was the private playground of the king, or his hunting grounds with fenced deer parks, his own roads and ostentatious castles, where he could take residence. First the renaissance castles Kronborg and Frederiksborg castles and finally, in between these Fredensborg castle, which was built in the 1800th century.
|The Danish king Christian IX was called the father-in-law of Europe, because his sons and daughters were married into a number of prominent European principalities, who often spent their summer holidays in Fredensborg Castle.
(L. Tuxen: Kongefamilien på Fredensborg Slot. Malet 1883-86.)
In the first half of the 1900th century Fredensborg castle fell into decay, but when Frederiksborg castle burned in 1858 efforts were made to restore the castle and it was here that King Frederik VII under the flag of Scandinavism received Norwegian and Swedish students and later the Swedish king in 1862.
A mid-European principality
In time Fredensborg castle became, especially in the time of Christian IX (1863-1906) the chosen summer residence of the royal family. Christian IX took, as the first of the royal family’s side branch, Glücksburg, the throne in 1863, the year before Denmark lost Schleswig-Holstein and shrunk to the size of a mid-European principality. As an almost symbolical compensation for its small state position the royal family was allowed to deliver genetic renewal to a number of the larger European royal families. His oldest son, the later Frederik VIII married a Swedish princess, Louise. The brother, Wilhelm was elected king of Greece in 1863, the sister, Alexandra married with he English king Edward VII and the sister, Dagmar married the later tsar Alexander III of Russia.
Three future monarchs
The royal children
A relaxed homely atmosphere
The regular meeting point of the large royal family became Fredensborg castle and here and in the surrounding country it was possible to meet prominent members of the royal families of Europe. In the castle and in the 85 hectare park there was ample place to scamper about, but they also took trips outside in the scenic North Zealand, for instance in Julebæk on the north coast, where Dagmar´s engagement to the Russian heir to the throne was declared in 1866. The future Russian tsar was fond of children and a prankster, who had to take the throne already in 1881, when his father was murdered in the street in St. Petersburg.
In the 1860´s the Swedish crown prince, Oscar, Karl XV´s brother, decided to build a summer residence for himself and his family just north of Helsingborg. One may wonder why he chose Helsingborg. Certainly, the Bernadottes had always had a certain affection for this town ever since Karl Johan went ashore there in 1810. The royal family often visited Helsingborg and Ramlösa and perhaps they felt at home here. Furthermore it is possible that being close to Denmark was tempting during the time of Scandinavism and the idea of a union between the countries could be an opportunity to have a summer castle near Denmark. Or maybe his grandson Gustav VI Adolf was right, when he said that the boat interested Oscar simply was drawn to the sea and boats and that the intensive boat traffic on the Sound was particularly tempting. After some efforts he succeeded in getting the estate, “Skabelycke”, which was named Sofiero after Oscar´s wife, Sofia. One building was constructed, designed by and engineer by the name of Forsell and who had previously designed railway stations. Many feel that this is the reason that Sofiero more looks like a railway station than a royal castle.
|Even royalty had summer residences. This is Sofiero by the Sound coast north of Helsingborg, which the Swedish royal family bought privately. The Swedish crown prince Oscar, Karl XV´s brother, decided in the 1860´s to build a summer residence to himself and his family just north of Helsingborg.
When Karl died in 1872, Sofiero became a place fit for royalty and king Oscar II extended the castle, an extension, which was finished in 1876. But it still could not match the Danish counterpart, Fredensborg, but it is to be remembered that it was not a state castle, but en entirely private building. In any case the area was revived until the death of Gustav VI Adolf almost 100 years later, when Sofiero stopped being a royal summer castle.
Among the leisure activities that Oscar II liked the most was the yearly hare hunting on Hven and many inhabitants on Hven still talk about these hunts. But even though Sofiero was a private summer residence, it was also used for official duties. Tsars, royalty, presidents and prime ministers from higher politics visited here. In addition to these state visits they had government meetings here in the summer and Sofiero thus had a more official status than the present royal summer residence in Borgholm on Öland.
Oscar and Sofia with the children
Gustav Adolf and Margaretha
Interior from Sofiero
Hare hunting in Hven