Rosenborg Castle and King's Garden
Rosenborg Castle stands today, with its tall towers and its red masonry with sandstone ornaments, as a distinguished example of Christian IV's many building projects, perfect despite many changes during its construction history. The Castle is built in the special Dutch Renaissance style which became typical of Danish buildings during this period. A couple of architects, Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel, are associated with the Castle. Christian IV's own effort is often discussed but there is no doubt that he came up with many of the ideas.
The history of the Castle goes back to 1606-1607, when the King in a newly laid out park, “The King's Garden” (“Kongens Have”), had a “summerhouse” built. The capital's old medieval castle, Copenhagen Castle, was hardly the ideal residence for a young and ambitious Renaissance ruler. Christian IV preferred Frederiksborg Castle, 35 km away from the city, but it was, of course, more convenient also to have a residence somewhat closer to the capital.
Rosenborg has a long museum tradition. The core consisted of Christian IV's magnificent collection of riding trappings and parade arms, which were transferred from Frederiksborg Castle in 1658. Soon after the King's costumes followed together with heirlooms and precious artifacts. During the reign of Christian V the regalia were transferred from Copenhagen Castle, and during the reign of Frederik IV collections of glass and porcelain arrived, as well as the art collections of the dukes of Holstein, captured from Gottorp Castle.
The Crown Jewels were originally bequeathed for the use of the reigning Queen, because “in this Royal Family there have been so few jewels, and no Crown Jewels at all”, as the benefactress, Queen Sophie Magdalene, wrote in her will in 1746.
Photo: Wonderful Copenhagen