Summer home of Denmark's Queen Margrethe1/6
Renaissance castles in Denmark3/6
Occasional home of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik4/6
Home of the Danish Crown Jewels5/6
Home of the Natural History Museum of Denmark6/6
The winter residence of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II is Amalienborg Palace. You can visit two of the palace's four nearly-identical Rococo buildings, right at the heart of Copenhagen. Fredensborg Palace is the summer residence of the Royal Family in North Sealand and its open for you to visit during the month of July. The Monarchy’s website contains a full list and details of all royal palaces in Denmark.
Many of Denmark’s castles started as fortresses, protecting against invasion. Koldinghus to the south served this purpose close to the border with Germany. A fire destroyed the original castle in 1808, but an impressive reconstruction now overlooks the city of Kolding with an excellent museum. Kronborg served as a fortress at the mouth of the sound between Denmark and Sweden for centuries. This World Heritage castle was the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and you can reach it in a day trip north of Copenhagen.
The current Danish Parliament sits in the buildings of Christiansborg Palace, with over 800 years of history. Several parts of the palace are still used by the Royal House and you can look around on a guided tour.
The unique Rosenborg Castle lies at Copenhagen’s centre amid the beautiful King’s Garden (Kongens Have). You can see the Crown Jewels here and marvel and an extensive collection of royal art. Head to the island of Funen (Fyn) to discover the world’s best-preserved renaissance water castle, Egeskov Castle. This stunning building on a lake is built on piles driven into the earth and legend has it that a whole forest was felled to provide the timber.
For centuries, Danish castles were power bases for the royal houses, nobility and a narrow élite. They also provided sanctuary for great artists who were often invited to take up residence and entertain noble families. The writer Hans Christian Andersen and the composer Carl Nielsen were frequent guests at Danish castles and manor houses.
In addition to Denmark’s royal palaces, the many castles and manor houses of the nobility lie like gems in beautifully scenic settings. A visit to these will take you back to Denmark’s grand past and a rich architectural history, with styles as diverse as Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. Many manor houses have been in the same family for centuries and are open to the public to view.