Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, around one hour north of Copenhagen, is the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. Due to its unique architecture and majestic gardens, many have compared it to the Palace of Versailles in France. So, we took a closer look at both castles’ history and spotted all the similarities and differences.
What you need to know about Frederiksborg Castle
Approximately 30 kilometers north of Copenhagen in the Danish city of Hillerød stands Frederiksborg Castle, the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia. Its construction started in 1599 when 22-year-old King Christian IV decided to tear down the castle’s main buildings and replace them with the majestic castle visitors see nowadays. Over the early decades of the 17th century the construction was completed and for almost 100 years, royal families were using Frederiksborg Castle as their residence.
In 1859 a fire broke out and destroyed a great part of the castle’s interior as well as several of the big ceiling vaults. Although the rest of the building survived, the need for reconstruction was imperative. Frederiksborg Castle was then already considered a national monument, so Danes couldn’t just let it be completely destroyed. With a public subscription, substantial contributions from the king and the state and the great financial contribution from J.C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg Breweries, the reconstruction of the castle began. The latter was a passionate art lover known for his great art collection, so it comes as no surprise that he was the one who in 1877 suggested the establishment of a museum of national history in Frederiksborg Castle similar to Palace of Versailles in France. In 1878, The Museum of National History in Frederiksborg Castle welcomed its first visitors, showcasing portraits, history paintings, furniture and decorative art of 500 years of Danish history.
Though often referred to as Denmark’s Versailles the two castles have many dissimilarities. Firstly, Frederiksborg Castle is Denmark’s largest Renaissance Castle while Palace of Versailles is known for its French Baroque architecture. Though the construction of both castles started in the early 17th century, many rooms and chapels of the Palace of Versailles that visitors see nowadays were added throughout the 17th and even 18th centuries. Maybe that’s why the Palace of Versailles, which spans over 67,000 square meters (721,182 square feet), is more than twice as big as Frederiksborg Palace, which encompasses 31,290 square metres (336,803 square feet). Finally, unlike the kings and queens that lived in Frederiksborg Palace for many years, Louis XVI, and his queen, Marie-Antoinette, the residents of Versailles, were evicted by the French people during the French Revolution in 1789.
The fact that each one of the castles has its own unique history has, of course, to do with the fact that over the centuries the two countries experienced different events. However, both Frederiksborg Castle and Palace of Versailles are important national monuments and their buildings with the majestic gardens are equally impressive.
Why you should visit Frederiksborg Castle
Hundreds of people visit Frederiksborg Castle every year not only to admire the majestic renaissance building but to also discover Denmark’s long and fascinating history. The castle’s rooms are known for their impressive interior designs, which take visitors to different eras back in time. Make sure to roam around the castle’s various spaces and rummage through the museum’s exhibits. Displaying the largest collection of portraits in Denmark as well as a great number of historic paintings and furniture, the Museum of National History in Frederiksborg Castle offers an overview of some of the most significant events that shaped Denmark’s history from the Middle Ages until the 21st century.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.