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Northern Zealand

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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.

Summer Residents
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
City Dwellers in the Country
Summer Residents
Summer Residents
Fairyhill
Fairyhill
Flynderupgård
Flynderupgård
The Steamship
The Steamship
The North Coast 1820
The North Coast 1820
Ålsgårde 1880
Ålsgårde 1880
The Summer Estate Belvedere
The Summer Estate Belvedere
Family Gathering
Family Gathering

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.
Caledonia
Caledonia
Hamlet
Hamlet
Ophelia
Ophelia
Vedbæk´s Harbour
Vedbæk´s Harbour
The North Railway
The North Railway
The North Railway
The North Railway
Train Timetable
Train Timetable
The Hornbæk Railway
The Hornbæk Railway
Klampenborg
Klampenborg

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«.
Ålsgårde 1880
Ålsgårde 1880
Hornbæk Beach 1906
Hornbæk Beach 1906
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
Summer Residents in Hornbæk.
Summer Residents in Hornbæk.
The Joys of the Summer Residents
The Joys of the Summer Residents
Twine House in Snekkersten
Twine House in Snekkersten
Hotel Gefion
Hotel Gefion

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 North Railway
The Location of the Hotel
The Location of the Hotel
The Mature Andersen
The Mature Andersen
Train Timetable
Train Timetable
Transport From the Station
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
The Steamship Horatio
Ålsgårde Seaside Hotel
Ålsgårde Seaside Hotel
Søndre Strandvej
Søndre Strandvej
Strindberg in Hornbæk
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.
Emma Gad
Emma Gad
Ålsgårde 1880
Ålsgårde 1880
Beach Life
Beach Life
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
Snekkersten´s Cold Bath Houses
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
The Coastal Road Snekkersten
Helgoland
Helgoland
The Cold bath House in Landskrona
The Cold bath House in Landskrona
Pålsjöbaden in Helsingborg
Pålsjöbaden in Helsingborg
Snekkersten Public Bath
Snekkersten Public Bath
Seaside Life in Hornbæk
Seaside Life in Hornbæk
Hornbæk Beach
Hornbæk Beach
Borupgaards Bathing Hut
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 1891
Marienlyst 1891
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Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
The Location of the Hotel
The Location of the Hotel
The First Hotel Building
The First Hotel Building
Beach Life
Beach Life
The North Railway
The North Railway
Transport From the Station
Transport From the Station
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
Marienlyst Seaside Hotel
New Main Building
New Main Building
Nationernas Allé
Nationernas Allé

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.

Romantic Staging
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.
Nationernes Allé
Nationernes Allé
Modern Forms
Modern Forms

©  Øresundstid 2009