Rosenborg Castle was originally built as a summer residence for the Royal
Family by King Christian IV in the beginning of the 1600's. Located outside the
walls of the old city, it successfully survived the fires which ravaged Copenhagen
in the 1700's and the bombardment of the Napoleonic War. Though the city has since
grown around it, the exterior of Rosenborg Castle seems untouched by time and
still looks largely as it did when King Christan IV resided there. The interior
of the castle is also well-preserved due to the fact that it has not been extensively
used as a residence after 1710. In the early 1800's it was converted into a museum
honoring the history of the royal family.
The guided tour of Rosenborg Castle begins outside the ticket office of the castle.
An entry ticket to the castle (which also includes the treasuries) is purchased
from the ticket office where private lockers are available for your belongings.
All large bags (including purses) which are not tightly strapped to your waist
(such as a fanny-pack), water bottles, umbrellas and the like must be left in
the keyed lockers. They are completely safe and free to use. Anything which does
not fit into the lockers may be left with the guards at the entrances to the castle
and retrieved at the end of tour. You are welcome to take your camera with you.
Sir Richard, your guide in his renaissance costume, will be there to greet you
outside the ticket office where restrooms and a café are located nearby for your
convenience. The castle tour lasts one hour in all and is divided into two parts.
The first-half of the tour is devoted to the Royal Treasuries located beneath
the castle. An upper-treasury contains decorative swords and walking sticks; King
Christian IV's diamond, pearl and gold-embroidered saddles; objects carved from
ivory and rock-crystal; lapidary pieces of alabaster, onyx, obsidian, and agate;
and broaches in the form of mermaids, dragons and other fantastic animals. The
lower treasury contains the four sets of Crown Jewels still worn by the Queen
of Denmark, and the Royal Regalia which gave a monarch their authority to rule.
Here we also find King Christian IV's coronation crown, considered by some to
be the most beautiful of the Renaissance; a guilded baptismal set; guilded writing
desks; gold cups and boxes decorated with diamonds; rings set with precious stones;
bracelets; diamond earrings, watch-cases in lapis, jade, diamonds and gold; enameled
prayer books; and Royal Orders of Chivalry from Denmark and England, to name just
a few of the objects in The Royal Collection.
The second-half of the tour will include a tour of the castle where each room
is dedicated to a King and Queen starting with Denmark's Renaissance monarch,
King Christian IV (1577-1648), and ending with King Frederik VII, the last of
the Oldenborgs who died in 1863. We begin in the rooms on the ground-floor which
served as the King's private apartments. They consist of a wood-paneled winter-room
decorated with Dutch paintings, a writing-room with the King's guilded writing-desk,
and a conjugal bedroom. The Queen had her private apartments at the opposite end
of the castle. After completing a tour of the other rooms on the ground-floor
we will visit the large banquet-hall on the top-floor of the castle. Tapestries
and an elaborately decorated stucco-ceiling decorate this uniquely-preserved Baroque
interior. Small rooms containing collections of porcelain (Flora Danica), colored
glass from Italy and hammered-silver furniture adjoin the hall. The royal thrones
and large silver-lions once used in coronations grace the far end of the room.
A visit to Rosenborg Castle is like a journey back in time, a window through which
we can catch a glimpse into the world of the Danish monarchy and the way they
lived in a by-gone day.