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In Ven Tycho Brahe built a renaissance castle, which became his residence as well as his research centre. The whole building was very symmetrical. Order and coherence was important.

Uraniborg in Ven
The renaissance prince Frederik II saw Tycho´s greatness and offered his support. February 18th 1567 he was awarded a yearly sum of 500 daler, a very large governmental support. The king had, during his inspections in the building site of Kronborg, come to think of the island Ven as a suitable place for Tychos activities. Tycho was offered the island on favourable terms, if it could prevent him from leaving Denmark. Tycho Brahe accepted.

A Symbolic Castle
The central part of the ground plan was made up of a square, which measured 60 feet, approximately 15,5 metres on every side. This square was divided by perpendicular corridors, which formed four smaller square rooms. The corridors also tied the central part with symmetrical extensions in the north and south and with symmetrical entrance portals in east and west.
The building consisted of two storeys, attic and basement. On the outside there were balconies, which were used for astronomical observations. The basement functioned as a chemical laboratory.
Astronomy and chemistry/medicine was the sciences he was to engage in and two statuette niches marked this over the entrance portals. Two short Latin inscriptions connected these allegorical works of art: Despiciendo suspicio och Suspiciendo despicio, which roughly means, ”When I look down, I look up” and ”When I look up, I look down”. The first maxim refers to the chemical experiments and the other undoubtedly on the astronomical observations. The deeper meaning is that chemistry and astronomy are connected.
Ground plan
Ground plan

It was important that the instruments were completely stable, which was difficult in a buidliing. This is why Tycho Brahne built Stjärneborg, where the instruments were placed on the ground or even underground. This made the foundation so stable that technical errors were almost eliminated.
The layout of Stjerneborg
The layout of Stjerneborg
Venter på tekst
Venter på tekst

Uraniborg - a View of Life
Uranienborg was not only Tycho Brahe´s home and workplace, but it also expressed architecturally and in other ways, the philosophy and the view of life, which characterized Tycho Brahe. A belief in research and the mapping of reality was to make us understand the cosmological connections.

A Renaissance Garden
The garden was, just like the castle, very symmetrical lay out. They also considered the practical use of a garden and planted fruit trees and sowed vegetables and herbs, which could be used in medical recipes.
We know that Tycho as well as his learned sister Sophie Brahe, who lived with him for long periods of time, devoted themselves to the manufacturing of medicinal preparations, in fact to such an extent, that the pharmacies in Copenhagen complained about the competition. It is very likely that Sophie Brahe participated in the lay out and the care taking of the garden, although there are no evidence of this.
The Garden
The Garden
Ground plan
Ground plan

Tycho Brahe leaves Ven
Tycho Brahe stayed in Ven for 21 years until 1597, when felt forced to leave Denmark. It is said that he had fallen out with the inhabitants in Ven, that he neglected his duties and that the new king Christian IV did not support him like Frederik II had done.
The circumstances surrounding Tycho Brahe´s fall are still unclear and much debated. Form Rostock Tycho Brhae wrote the kin in 1597 that he had not gone into exile and emphasized his loyalty. The king reproached him for having left without permission and pointed out several unsolved problems. He wrote of the peasants in Ven: ”There have been complaints about you from our poor subjects in Ven”. And of Tycho´s negligence of the church in Ven: ” the word of the baptism have been neglected with your knowledge for a long time against the use of the realm that is notorious for anybody”.
That Tycho Brahe did not take care of his estate obligations is probably correct, but one may wonder why the controversy with the peasants was brought up in a time, where it was the right of any lord of the manor to exploit his subjects and when the plight of the peasants was increased significantly.

The Exorcism
If it is true that they had omitted certain parts of the baptismal rite in Tycho Brahe´s time in Ven that could be a serious matter. The baptismal rites and especially the devil incantation, which was part of it, was one of the theological disputes of the time. Exorcism, a Catholic ritual, was still present in the Lutheranian church, but many did not like it and wanted to get rid of it. This was the view of the supporters of the Calvinistic reformation.
The conflict about the exorcism broke out seriously, when the priest Iver Bertelsen in Møn took out the incantation from the rite and was put on trial in 1567. Iver Bertelsen spent 3 year in prison, before Frederik II pardoned him. In 1588, during the regency of Christian IV a new case cropped up, when the priest at the Holy Spirit Church in Copenhagen, Jon Jacob Venusin, at a christening omitted the Devil incantation. Three weeks after this they issued in the king´s name and with threats of punishment a ban on ”resuscitating undue disputes”. Venusin, who came from Ven, where his father had been the vicar, was the brother-in-law of Tycho Brahe´s son-in-law.

It was around this time that the king began to attack Tycho Brahe. Firstly the accusations were directed against the vicar in Ven for not having punished Tycho Brahe of his lack of Communion and his immoral behaviour. The allusion was Tycho Brahe´s life together with a non-aristocrat, something which was not illegal in itself. Last, but not least the priest was accused of having omitted the Devil incantation on the request of Tycho Brahe. The priest lost his job and the next time around the accusations were directed against Tycho Brahe himself.
Another complaint against Tycho Brahe was that he had produced medicine without the permission of the church.

Several Reasons
It was not only the dissatisfaction of the peasants and the dissatisfaction with the neglecting of his duties, which caused him to move. The suspicion of the church about his astrology, his medicine and not least his liberal religious views in a time of strict Lutheranian orthodoxy, may have been decisive.
Tycho Brahe´s correspondence with the king was not published until the king´s death in 1648. In 1597 Tycho wrote a poem of his break with Denmark. Here is a section of the poem:
”Denmark, what have I have for you to cast me off so cruelly?
How can you, my native land, treat me as an enemy?
I have lifted your name, it is mentioned far and wide with honour
how can you be angry that my work has encircled you with roses?
Tell me, which of your children have given you better things to own?
Are you angry that high in the vaulted arch, native country?
Your name I wrote in twinkling stars
Why thrust me aside? Sometime you will remember me.
In days to come my worth, my work will be understood,
By children of a later generation, everything that I gave for you to build”
Tycho Brahe died in Prague in 1601.

©  Øresundstid 2009