Hirschholm Palace

Hirschholm Palace

Hirschholm Palace, also known as Hørsholm Palace, was a royal palace located in present-day Hørsholm municipality in Denmark until 1810. It developed a notorious reputation in connection with its role in the affair between Johann Friedrich Struensee and Queen Caroline Mathilda in the 1770s.

The palace was designed by Lauritz de Thurah for King Christian VI and his consort Queen Sophie Magdalene, and was intended as their summer residence.

It was built on a site that had been used since the Middle Ages. The site was first used as a fortification and was called Hørningsholm. Queen Margrete I took possession of the site in 1391. At the end of the 1500s Frederik II and Christian IV built a small royal hunting castle ("jagtslot") on the site. The estate, which covered a large area (the present day municipalities of Hørsholm, Karlebo, Birkerød and a part of Allerød) was called the Noble Estate of Hørsholm ("adelsgodset Hørsholm"), and was endowed to various noblemen and members of the royal court.

By the middle of the 1600s a royal tradition had developed whereby the ruling king bestowed Hørsholm Palace to his consort, and it was used as a summer residence. The estate was now being driven directly by the royal house, and income went to the Queen.

Frederick IV’s consort Queen Louise owned Hørsholm Palace between 1700 and 1721. She had it modernised, and a number of the farm buildings she had built still stand to this day.

The de Thurah-designed baroque palace was completed in 1744, and was one of the most impressive building works of that period. It was referred to as "The Versailles of the North". When the king died in 1746 it became Sophie Magdalene’s residence as Queen Dowager. She carried out a number of change on the estate that pointed towards the agricultural reforms that would come to play a big role in the country during the coming decades.

De Thurah’s drawings of the palace were published in "Den danske Vitruvius" ("The Danish Vitruvius") in 1746-1749.

The Dowager Queen died in 1770, and the palace was taken over by the schizophrenic King Christian VII who used it as a summer residence for his family and court. On June 17, 1771 the royal family and court took summer residence at the Palace, and on July 7 Caroline Mathilde gave birth to her second child, Princess Louise Augusta, whose father was almost certainly Struensee. That summer has come to be referred to as the "Hirschholm Summer" in Danish history.

After that summer, and after the arrest of Struensee and the Queen on January 17, 1772, and the subsequent execution of Struensee, and the banishment and imprisonment of the Queen, the palace stood empty until 1810. At that time Frederik VI had the now dilapidated palace torn down for use as build materials for the rebuilding of Christiansborg Castle, which had burned to the ground in the fire of 1794.

In 1822-1823 a little church designed by architect Christian Frederik Hansen was built on the spot. The park surrounding the church still bears evidence of the original palace garden.

The Hørsholm Local Museum ("Hørsholm Egns Museum") has a permanent exhibit about the palace, the royal affair and its fate.

See also

* List of castles and palaces in Denmark

External links

* [http://www.hoersholmmuseum.dk/ Hørsholm Local Museum (Danish language only)]

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