While Frederiksborg Slot may be Denmark’s most beautiful castle, it has not been used as a royal palace in centuries. In contrast, nearby Fredensborg Slot is used by the Danish monarchy as their spring and autumn residence and is often used for royal events and state visits by foreign dignitaries. Although the palace and gardens are normally closed to visitors, it is open during the month of July when the Royal family visit one of their summer residences in Jutland.
Located some 45 kilometers northwest of Copenhagen, Fredensborg is situated on Esrum Sø, one of the largest lakes in Denmark. The Baroque palace was constructed between 1720 and 1726 in the fashion of an Italian villa by Johan Conrad Ernst who also built nearby Frederiksberg. During its construction, Denmark and Sweden signed a treaty ending the Great Northern War on-site. To commemorate the event, the palace was named Fredensborg which literally means “Peace Castle”.
The complex consists of a central palace situated on an octagonal courtyard surrounded by servants quarters. To the back lie massive Baroque gardens inspired by Versailles which were later modified to a Romantic style. A focal point of the gardens is Bred Alle, a broad grass alley and The Avenues, former hunting paths laid out in a “hunting star” pattern which provide spectacular glimpses of Esrum Sø. Unfortunately, The Avenues are under currently undergoing extensive reconstruction so it was impossible to obtain any pictures.
The Reserved Gardens are the royal family’s private gardens which include a Rose garden as well as a vegetable garden which the royal family attends to in their leisure time. The vegetable garden is bisected by a spectacular trellis covered with colorful flowers. An orangery was opened in the mid 1990s to serve as a greenhouse during the dark, cold winter months and is used on occasion for state affairs.
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