Rosenborg Castle Gardens in Copenhagen

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Rosenborg Castle Gardens (Danish: Kongens Have literally The King's Garden) is Copenhagen's oldest and most visited park with 2.5 million visitors per year.


The Renaissance gardens

In 1606 Christian IV acquired land outside Copenhagen and established a pleasure garden in Renaissance style. It had a relatively small pavilion which was later expanded into present day Rosenborg Castle, a name it received in 1624.In 1634, Charles Ogier, secretary to the French ambassador to Denmark, compared it to the Tuileries Garden in Paris. A drawing by Otto Heiders from 1649, the oldest dated garden plan from Denmark, provides knowledge about the lauout of the original garden. The garden was dominated by three main paths, Kavalergangen (English: The Gentlemen's Path)and Damegangen (ENglish:The Lady's Path) which still exist today, and a third now gone path across which extended at a right angle from the castle's gable. The garden also had statues, a fountain and pavilions while its plants included mulberries, wine, apples, pears, and lavender.

The Baroque gardens

In the first half of the 18th century, Johan Cornelius Krieger redesigned the gardens into the Batoque style. In 1737 he also built the new orangery.


Rosenborg Castle

The Rosenborg Castle, one of Christian IV's many architectural projects, was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606, and until around 1710, was used as a royal residence.

Rosenborg Barracks

Rosenborg Barracks is located on the corner of Gothersgade and Øster Voldgadeand was originally a pavilion and two long conservatory buildings built by Lambert van Haven for Christian V. In 1709 they were built together to from one large orangery complex and in 1743 it was redesigned into the Baroque style by Johan Cornelius Krieger. From 1885 to 1886 it was concerted into for the Royal Life Guard by Engineer Officer Ernst Peymann. In 1985 they moved to new premises at Høvelte between Allerød and Birkerød and since Rosenborg Barracks has only housed guards on duty at Copenhagen.

Hercules Pavilion

The Hercules Pavilion stands at the end of Kavalergangen and takes its name from a statue of Hercules positioned in a deep niche between two Tuscan columns. It is flanked by two smaller niches with statues of Orpheus and Eurydice. The three statues were made by the Italian sculptor Giovanni Baratta and acquired by Frederik IV during his visit to Italy.

Wrough-iron grill and pavilions

Along Kronprinsessegade and parts of Gothersgade, the park is enclosed by a metal wrough-iron grill which incorporates 16 small pavilions which opens to the street side.

After the Copenhagen Fire of 1795 there was an urgent need for new housing and Crown Prince Frederik put the southern strip of his garden at disposal for the construction of a new street which was to connect Gothersgade to Sølvgade. It was named Kronprinsessegade (en. Crown Princess Street) in honour of Crown Princess Marie Sophie. New residential buildings soon sprung up along the south side of the street but in the same time the need arose for a barrier toward the garden and City Architect Peter Meyn was charged with the commission. He had just returned from Paris where he had been struck by the Pont-Neuf with its iron grill and many small shops and the street life which surrounded it. With this as an inspiration, he designed the new grill along the edge of the park with 14 small shop pavilions which were completed in 1806. The two last pavilions, opposite Landemærket, were not built until 1920. Before this time, the site was occupied by two buildings, Exercerhus (en. The Drill House) and Rosenborg Brøndanstalt.

The pavilions are built to a Newclassical design and are six ells wide, six ells deep and six ells high.<ref name=Meyers/>

Among the goods which were sold from the pavilions were cakes and stockings. Later they were available to architects and artists from the Roydal Arts Academy as a sort of grant. Today they are rented out by the Palaces and Properties Agency on two-years leases with possibility of extension. There is a required minimum opening time of 20 hours per week and the use need be relevant to the site's history and in the same time put it in a contemporary context.<ref name=Hvad/>

See also

  • Parks and open spaces in Copenhagen