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Hillerød, Frederiksborg Castle


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Former royal castle in north Zealand, Denmark. The medieval village of Hillerød can be deduced from the first mention, in 1275, of a manor house, Hillerødsholm, built on an islet in a marshy area surrounded by forests. In 1560 King Frederick II acquired Hillerødsholm and converted it into a royal residence, renaming it Frederiksborg. The plan of the existing castle is still based on Frederick's hunting-lodge, with the buildings disposed on three islets in an artificial lake (dammed in the 1560s). The servants’ buildings on the first islet have been preserved, with heavy corner towers at the north bearing the King's motto and the date 1562 in iron ties. Other surviving buildings include the pantry wing (1580s), on the west bank in front of the third islet, and the baths, built by Hans Floris (d 1600) in the park north-west of the lake. The buildings are of red brick, with some stepped gables and details in light sandstone, following Netherlandish building traditions, which are most pronounced in the baths. Records, excavations and two views by Hans Knieper—one on a tapestry, which originally hung in the ballroom at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør (Copenhagen, Nmus.), and the other on a panel painting, originally at Frederiksborg Castle (Mariefred, Gripsholm Slott)—show that the royal residence was on the third islet; it was a double house, probably already in existence and altered in 1575 by the King. On the middle islet there was a large half-timbered kitchen building with, facing west, a chapel embellished with Italianate Renaissance gables.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.



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