Egeskov Castle in Denmark, history and description

Egeskov Castle, Denmark

Egeskov Castle (Egeshkov) is located on the Danish island of Funen and is a well-preserved artifact of the Renaissance. Today this majestic building is the most famous monument of antiquity and a landmark of Denmark, which is visited by hundreds of guests every year. For those who truly appreciate the combination of amazingly beautiful architecture, the beauty of the landscape and the reliable power wrapped in brutal stone, there is much to see and admire in the castle and its surroundings.

Egeskov Castle – History.

The history of Egeskov Castle is surrounded by myths, mysteries and interesting historical facts, although for a medieval castle it is quite usual. The castle was built, literally, on the water. Several thousand strong oak piles were driven into the bottom of a small and not too deep lake (Egeskov means “oak forest” in Danish). It was on them later this fortification was erected. The legend says that for this purpose it was necessary to destroy a huge forest of centuries-old oaks.

Egeskov Castle Denmark photo

Historians know only one thing: the construction of Egeskov Castle was completed in the middle of 1554, but, unfortunately, there are no facts about the period of its beginning. The first owner of the fortress was Frands Brockenhuusu. He had received the land on which the castle had been built as a wedding present from his parents to the beautiful Anna Tinhuis. Since his death the owners of the castle have changed over the course of four centuries, but the castle has not experienced any particular turmoil. After the bloody riots, feuds and long “War of the Barons” the life gradually entered a relatively peaceful course. In 1748 Chateau Egeskov very successfully passed into the possession of Henrik Bije. At his suggestion some reconstruction work began and was carried out: the height of some towers was increased, gables of an unusual stepped shape were restored, the main gate was built (originally one could enter the castle Egeskov by a massive lifting bridge). Descendants of Baron Biye own the castle today.

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Photo of Egeskov Castle Denmark

In 1874 Egeskov castle became a rather modern by its standards estate: a fairly large farm and cheese dairy were built, there was a power station of its own, a practical railroad was built. These factors contributed to the prosperity of the Danish castle even today.

Castle Egeskov in Denmark photo

Egeskov Castle – a modern history.

In the early 60s of the twentieth century Castle Egeskov was occupied. The park zone was spruced up, a museum of vintage cars was opened on the site of the old barn, and the interiors of the banqueting hall were restored. In spring 1986 Egeskov opened its doors for tourists and anyone who wished to touch the times of feudal lords.

Egeskov Castle inside.

Today this Danish landmark is interesting for its interior decoration. The entire fortress structure has been cleverly divided into thematic rooms. For example, the Hunting Hall will attract those who are ready to dignify the attention of numerous hunting trophies and antique weapons. The Yellow Room of Château d’Aiguès impresses with the luxury of the antique furnishings from the reign of the Ludovic lords. In addition, there are numerous halls with a different theme, and in each one you will definitely find a masterpiece of art or a special piece of furniture that fascinates visitors.

Castle Egeskov inside Denmark photo

Castle Egeskov bedroom photo

Castle Egeskov photo inside Denmark

The whole area surrounding Egeskov Castle is also interesting. Labyrinths of relict trees, one of which is several centuries old, fountains and figures made of shrubs, luxurious gardens of different styles – all this beauty wonderfully pleases with harmony and unity with nature.

Photo of Egeskov Castle in Denmark

To the delight of some visitors and tourist groups visiting Denmark, near the castle in the warmer months you can put up a tent and enjoy all the charms and beauty of Egeskov Castle.

Egeskov Castle

Egeskov Castle is one of the most picturesque places in Denmark. Its round towers with pointed spires look like they came from the pages of a fairy tale about the old times, and the gardens surrounding the castle, worthy of a poem in their own right. Egeskov Castle is located on the southern coast of the island of Funen, it is an interesting construction, called the “castle on the water. When you approach it by boat, it seems that the towers of the castle actually protrude straight out of the water.

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Highlights

Interesting and not too familiar to our ears, the name of the castle comes from the Danish word egeskov, which means “oak grove.” The castle was erected in the middle of a lake on oak piles, for the construction of which many trees had to be cut down. The fact that the castle is primarily a defensive structure, as evidenced by its interesting design. The castle consists of two separate buildings, connected by a narrow passageway. The assumption was that if the enemy captured one part of the castle, it would be easy to hide in the other.

History

The castle was built in 1554, and today it seems very fragile and rather decorative. However, we know for a fact that Egeskov was built primarily for defense purposes. The founder of the castle, Frands Brockenhuus, built the castle after his marriage on the land his wife had inherited as a dowry.

Despite the turbulent years, nothing particularly dramatic happened to the castle, although it changed several owners. In 1784, the castle was acquired by Henrik Bille, whose heirs own it to this day. About a hundred years ago, the father of a little girl Gwendolyn built for his daughter, “a little house for the fairies in the garden. This house is furnished with real furniture. It is now on display in Admiral’s Hall and is known as Titania’s Palace.

In 1883 the first restoration work was carried out. At the same time a dairy farm was built, a power plant and a railroad was built. Thus, the old castle was transformed into a modern estate. The chateau was opened to the public in 1886.

Attractions

The interior of the castle is a museum. When you get inside, it seems that you found yourself in the Renaissance period – you can feel like a real nobleman of those times. Exhibits include furniture, decorative items, paintings and sculptures, hunting trophies. And today there is a museum of retro cars on the site of the former castle barn.

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The study of Earl Gregers Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bill, a great lover of African safaris, is now called the hunting room. The Earl’s hunting trophies are displayed there. Curiously enough, the head of each animal he killed has the same arrow with which the animal was killed.

The Yellow Room is furnished in the Louis XVI style. All the furniture was a gift from Countess Jessy Bille Brahe for her wedding in 1875. The banquet hall has its original look, which was returned to it during the 1975 restoration. The most notable detail in the hall is a portrait of King Christian IV on horseback. The Victorian Room has the mid-19th-century appearance that it acquired during the 1977 restoration. The music room has fine Chippendale furniture and an old piano. The Admiral’s Hall has Danish furniture and Japanese porcelain.

There is a room with a sad story. One day the daughter of the owner of the castle of Rigborg fell in love with a certain Frederik Rosenkrantz and became pregnant. The furious father locked the obstinate woman in her room, from which she did not leave for five years. Today the room leads to one of the towers, which offer a magnificent view of the castle surroundings.

The pride of Egeskov Castle and the wonder that made it famous all over the world is the antique dollhouse “Titania Palace”. Its creator is the English artist and officer Sir Neville Wilkinson. His daughter asked him to make a house for elves, and as a result, for 15 years the caring father created the miracle, he was helped by the best craftsmen from Ireland. The Elf Mansion contains 3,000 miniature parts, including copies of many of the world’s art treasures, and the palace was presented to the public in 1922.

Around the castle stretches a vast park with trimmed trees and bushes, with manicured lawns, on which the peacocks stroll. There are several labyrinths in the park. The oldest of them, the beech tree, is several hundred years old. The park is divided into several zones, differing from each other in character and style. There are English, Renaissance, rose garden and fragrance garden, white and blue. The fuchsia garden has 1,538 varieties of these lovely flowers.

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In the castle Egeskov created several very interesting museums. The most interesting is the museum of retro cars, where you can see the whole history of transportation, from horse-drawn carriages and steam cars to modern cars. There is also a museum of agricultural machinery and aircraft. Children are very interesting to look at wind-up toys from different countries and the doll museum (and everything for dolls), including doll houses. Older people will enjoy looking at items from the 30’s and 50’s that were on sale in stores at the time.

Beginning in July, chamber music concerts are held regularly at the castle. In addition, other events are regularly held there as well. For example, ballooning. For a trip to be more interesting, it is recommended to look at the website of the castle in advance and see what is planned and when. You can stay in the campsite nearby or pitch a tent right in the castle garden. It’s free, just have to pay a small deposit, which is returned on departure.

Information for visitors

It is best to visit the castle with a group tour – an experienced guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about its history. It’s easy to get to the castle by yourself – in the town of Odense (30 km from the castle), the capital of Funen, you should take a train to Kvaerndrup. From there you can walk to the castle (2.5 km) or take bus number 920.

The castle is open to visitors daily from 10:00 to 17:00 in winter and from 10:00 to 19:00 in summer. Admission costs about 210 DKK for adults and about half that for children under 12. A one-day group bus tour will cost you 40-50 EUR per person.

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