A visit to the grounds of Frederiksborg Castle is a garden lover’s delight. The grand 17th-century palace, which has housed Denmark's Museum of National History since 1878, is the largest and most impressive example of Dutch Renaissance architecture and craftsmanship in Scandinavia. Built at the behest of King Christian IV, the stately red brick structure, distinguished by numerous copper-clad spires, is set on a series of islets in the middle of a small lake and surrounded by acres of formal gardens and natural parkland. While the original design of the grounds was inspired by the sprawling French estates of Versailles and Chantilly, they have gone through many iterations over the centuries with the changing royalty. They received their most recent update in 1996 when the gardens were restored to their original layout, based upon the drawings of Danish landscape designer Johan Cornelius Krieger from 1725. Today, the gardens provide a lavish backdrop to the small town of Hillerød, just 40 kilometers north of Copenhagen.
Just across the lake from the castle lies the magnificent Baroque Garden. The vast, meticulously tended landscape is composed of four terraces dissected by symmetrical avenues and a central manmade canal, where burbling waters cascade down through each sloping tier to the castle lake. As you wander the gravel paths that run throughout the gardens, beauty is revealed at every turn. Manicured parterres filled with roses and other flowering bushes create bright spots of color among the green. Boxwood hedges are woven into a living tapestry to form royal monograms. Marble statues perch in clearings below rows of linden trees with gently gnarled trunks, and rambling vines trail charmingly from trellises. The farther you walk, the more striking the vision. When you finally reach the top of the park, you're rewarded with sweeping views of the castle and, on clear days, the breathtakingly beautiful reflection of the clouds on the water.
Trains run direct to Hillerød from Copenhagen’s Central Station. The castle is approximately a 15- minute walk from the station.
Admission to the gardens is free.
To learn more, visit dnm.dk