Royal Tour of Rosenberg Castle

CNC reporting from Copenhagen
Added On May 7, 2013

Close to downtown Copenhagen, Rosenborg Castle lies as an oasis of beauty and history.

Originally built in the late 17th century by King Christian IV, it is today one of the most popular sites for tourists to visit.


Rosenborg is made as a summer cottage outside the city of Copenhagen.

Many visitors flock to the castle to get a sense of how Danish kings have lived with their families for more than 300 years ago.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, CURATOR, ROSENBORG CASTLE 
"The commissioner of the castle was the king Christian IV, who became king in 1596. A young man with a lot of energy, and one of the first things he did around Copenhagen was trying to expand the city, and was buying up a lot of land. After he bought it, he made a castle for himself, so it started in 1606 and was finished in its first stage a year after."

Christian IV was probably the best known king from the Danish history and the castle were filled with furnitures and items which belong to him.

Old paintings and sculptures showed that the King once wanted the world to see him as a victorious ruler over the Nordic countries.

As a king, he built some of the best known buildings both in Copenhagen and other places, but at the same time he was frequently in wars with neighbouring countries. 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle 
"He was lucky to be king for a very long time. He was crowned in 1596 and died in 1648. He was very interested in architecture and built a lot of houses till known in Copenhagen: Rosenborg, The Round Tower, The Arsenal, The Stock Exchange and the Fredriksborg Castle in Hillerod. He was what you would call a typical renaissance man, who loved eating and drinking."

But Christian IV never made his goal of being one of the greatest Nordic Kings in the world. 

After his death, three generations of kings still used the castle as a summer house.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle 
"It is used for a museum today as it has for many many years, because after the kings gave up living here in the 1720s they started to collect things here, and around 1800 the castle was filled up with memorabilia and it was decided to convert it into a museum that opened in 1838 as one of the first public museums in Copenhagen at all with the purpose to show the story of the Danish kings from the time of Christian the Fourth to present time."

In the hall, big scenery on the wall shows the line of Danish monarchs from more than 1500 years ago.

At the castle, visitors can get a glimpse of the living styles of the Danish royal families.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle 
"We try to make each room a king of memorial room to the king containing portraits of the king, furniture that have belonged to the king and precious objects of different kinds, so we have a row of rooms going from Christian the Fourth to Frederik the Seventh who died in 1863. He is the last king we have a room for here. All the rooms are filled with things that have belonged to the king, the queen and the princes and princesses. And then we have a ballroom at the top floor with the thrones of the Danish kings."

Located on the third floor, the Long Hall was completed in 1624s.

It was originally designed as a ballroom, and it was not until the second half of the 19th century that it became known as the "Knight Hall".

Among the main attractions of the Castle are the coronation chairs for the kings and thrones of the queens with three silver lions standing in front.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle
"Today the monarch influence is of course quite weak and quite distant. But earlier in the 17th and 18th century the king was the government. Also the kind idealized and protected science and protected the art and so on.  In older times it was also normal that you could pay a tribute to the king. It could be a magnificent glass with engraving of his code of arms or a portrait of the kind at a special occasion like a wedding or a child birth and we have a lot of pieces that tell us about the story of the king and his connection to society and to his family."

Paintings depict how the kings looked like – or at least how they would like their people to see them – sitting high on their thrones over viewing their kingdom of which they ruled and with the symbol of their power on top of their heads - The golden crown.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle
"It was Christian V who in the 1680th moved the crowns to here, probably because Rosenborg has always been considered as a quite safe place. There has been a mold around the castle so it has been protected against fire and against burglars. It is placed in a park so even though the city burns, what have happened several times, parks don't burn that often and it is placed a in a distance from the central core of the city, so it has been an isolated secure place."
 
The most secure place at Rosenborg Castle is the treasury in the cellar.

Royal guards are on watch 24 hours a day on these jewels.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER KRISTIANSEN, Curator, Rosenborg Castle
"We have four sets of crown jewels that can be used by the queen and only by the queen. They are not private property, so the queen cannot decide to lend them to the crown princess. Neither can she sell them of separate them or what else could happen. We have two sets with diamonds, one set with diamonds and emeralds and one set with pearls and diamonds and rubies, and it is up to the queen at which occasions she would like to use them."

According to the castle, the queens always wear the jewels at the new year's eve when receiving Danish people.