Composers / Edvard Grieg / Places catalog
Frederiksborg Castle, dating from the seventeenth century, is a splendid example of Renaissance architecture with rich furnishings. Today, it is the seat of the Nature Museum.
Grieg visited this site on a journey around northern Zealand with his friends Christian Horneman and Benjamin Feddersen in the summer of 1865. The composer admired the castle during a morning walk around the grounds on 1 August. In his diary, he noted that from the Hunting Hill (Jaegersbakken) a marvellous view extended over the castle and its surroundings. The building struck him with its majesty, and he saw it as the embodiment of pure, authentic Nordicity. ‘Surrounded on all sides by a lake, the castle looked as if it had grown out of the waves by magic. The height of the building, the slenderness of the towers and the skyscraping spires enhanced that impression’. The next day, the composer visited the castle chapel, which also gave him extraordinary impressions. He described the magnificent doors, hewn out of solid oak. He found the small interiors, full of gold and silver ornaments, slightly overloaded, but at the same time wonderful. ‘The altar and pulpit are true works of art and made an unforgettable impression on me. The materials are silver, gold, mother-of-pearl and ebony – elements that are indeed apt to characterise the whole building as dazzling’. That same day, the friends set off on foot for the other beautiful castle of Fredensborg. Grieg remembered that route on a windy day that led through a forest with the most beautiful groups of trees. ‘The evening was clear and mild, the nature fresh after the recent rain, and the moon cast a romantic glow over everything’.
Fredriksborg Castle, photo Kresten Hartvig Klit. (creative commons)
Fredriksborg Castle, sketch by Edvard Grieg (1863), Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek.