It was time for another day trip outside of Copenhagen. This time we took the train to Hillerød to visit the stunning Frederiksborg Castle — by far my favourite castle of the whole vacation.
Missed day 5 of our trip to Copenhagen? Check it out now.
Frederiksborg was built between 1600 and 1620 by Christian IV. But hold on, if it was built by a Christian, why was it named after a Frederik? The answer to that is simple: originally, the land that now houses Frederiksborg was bought by Frederik II in 1560 where he built the first part of the castle. But as is the way with these kind of things, that castle was later demolished to make room for the Frederiksborg we see today. The name, however, stuck.
The castle and its surrounding grounds have gone through several renovations over the years, including the building of the impressive Baroque garden in 1720 and the necessary reconstruction that occurred after a fire in 1859 destroyed large portions of the castle.
Toted as the largest Renaissance structure in the Nordic region, Frederiksborg had high expectations to live up to for me — and boy did it ever deliver!
Approaching Frederiksborg, I could already tell it was going to impress. The castle is huge, and it’s surrounded by sprawling gardens and a very large lake. My first step inside and I had walked into a castle lover’s dream.
The entire place is impressive, with lots of rooms to explore, but for me, by far the best rooms were the Great Hall and the Chapel.
The Chapel is one of the places that survived the fire and it’s a good thing too — the ceiling was amazing. You can see some of the intricate detailing in the image above. Inside the Chapel is the Compenius organ, dating back to 1610 and built by Esajas Compenius. Evidently this is a pretty big deal piece, so although it didn’t mean a whole lot to me, it might to others.
But even more impressive, in my opinion, was the Great Hall. Although a replica of the original Great Hall (it was not so lucky to survive the fire), my mouth dropped when I walked into this room. It was huge, and the best part? We were basically the only ones in there. I could gallivant through the room to my heart’s content without having to duck around other people to see things.
The Great Hall reminded me a lot of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, minus the mirrors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker when it comes to anything in Versailles, and I adore the Hall of Mirrors, but I actually think I enjoyed my experience walking through Frederiksborg’s Great Hall better. It’s a very similar experience, aesthetic-wise, but (at least for the time when we were there) there are no people crowding you out. Versailles will inevitably always be jam-packed with people, so let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air getting to see this kind of decadence without the hinderance of being elbow to elbow with other people.
After I had gotten my fill of glamour and chandeliers, we headed outside to walk along the many scenic routes that take you around the lake and through the gardens. The weather delivered for us that day, giving us a bright and sunny experience as we strolled around. Absolutely beautiful, and very relaxing.
By the end of our day at Frederiksborg Castle, I was a very happy munchkin indeed. If you’re ever in the area (or just looking for your next travel destination), definitely go check it out; it is well worth a visit. It’s a must-see castle for any castle lover.
Join me next Friday as the adventure in Copenhagen continues — to the Open Air Museum!
In the meantime, check out the rest of my travel blogs!