One of the pretties castle in Denmark is the Frederiksborg Castle located at a lake in the small town of Hillerød. Like so many other of the most impressive old buildings in Denmark the Frederiksborg Castle was originally built by King Christian IV. There had been a castle on the location before but the current version of the castle date back to 1620.
The castle was used by the Danish royal family for the coming centuries and from 1671 to 1840 all coronations of the Danish kings took place in the chapel of the castle.
During the 1850s the castle was used as the royal residence of king Frederik VII. He lived there all year – and unfortunately the castle was somewhat cold during the cold winter nights. So there was a need to keep the fireplace going during the nights. During the cold night of 16 December 1859 the king asked to get a fire lit so he wouldn’t be too cold. Unfortunately the chimneys hadn’t been cleaned and a fire started in one of the chimneys. The fire spread quickly burning down the castle.
Unfortunately there was no money to rebuild the castle straight away so it lay in ruins for many years. In 1864 Denmark fought Germany in the second Schleswig War – unfortunately Denmark lost the war and about 40 percent of the population ruled by the Danish king. Denmark was close to bankrupt in the years which follow and there clearly was not enough money in the coffers of the treasury so it seemed likely the castle would never be rebuilt.
But the rebuilding of the castle became an obsession of one man – I.C. Jacobsen. He wanted the castle rebuilt and make a national historic museum. Fortunately he had founded his own modern brewery just outside Copenhagen in 1847 and he had become pretty successful. He had named the brewery after his son Carl and hence the new Danish brewery Carlsberg had been founded.
I.C. Jacobsen had very deep pockets and managed to fund the reconstruction of the castle. And he did a good job – hence it is well worth to go and visit this amazing castle. If you got any interest in Danish history you will get a lot of extra information about this as well. But even if you have no interest in Danish history the castle is one of the most impressive castles in Denmark making it worth to go here on a daytrip from Copenhagen.
There are a lot of rooms with different exhibits which are pretty to look at the old furniture and the decorations of the tapestry on the walls. A special feature of the castle is it houses the collection of the coat- of-arms of the recipients of the highest Danish orders.
You can go from Copenhagen on a day trip by taking the S-train to Hillerød it is the final stop on this line making it easy to know when to get off. From the station it is only a short walk to the castle.
You do need to pay an entrance fee to go visit the castle but the Carlsberg Foundation is actually giving a large annual donation to the castle. The Carlsberg foundation is by far the largest shareholder in the Carlsberg Brewery. So the next time you drink a Carlsberg you can be happy in the knowledge that not only is it probably the best beer in the world – you also donate a little bit to upkeep of this amazing castle. So let’s have an extra Carlsberg cheers.