Monday, October 27, 2008

Selsø Manor and Selsø church / Selsø kirke, Horns herred, Frederiksborg amt.

Selsø Manor

Selsø Manor

Corner of Selsø Lake

A little harbour by Selsø

Selsø church

Selsø Manor
Selsø is first mentioned in the historic sources in 1288 in the Latin term "curia" referring to a larger manor. It belonged to the bishop in Roskilde until the reformation 1536 - and until 1556 to the Crown - but in 1559 it came to rich noble family Ulfeldt. Jacob Ulfeldt moved the manor away from the church to its present position, and he built in the 1570s a new Renaissance main building in red monk bricks from the demolished convent in Roskilde, St. Clara, where he in 1571 bought 1/2 million bricks.
The main building was surrounded by moats and a pointed block wall with towers in the corners. Later Selsø Manor was marked by a rebuilding in 1728-34. The main building was "freed" for its Renaissance decoration and tower. The old porthouse was replaced by the present square portbuilding in early Rococco style. After a thorough restoration in the 1970s the main building appears again in its former glory untouched by the "bessermachen" in the 1800s.

Selsø Manor was in 1972 rented by herregårdshistorikeren (Manor historian) Bernhard Linder , who established a manor museum in the main building. Riddersalen (The Great Hall) is remarkable with a stuccato loft and marbled panels from the 1730s. Here are also several paintings from the 1700s by the Dutch artist Hendrik Krock. In the vaulted cellar from the 1500s is a big kitchen which is often presented as Denmarks oldest manor kitchen with open fireplace and walled laundry. Besides alternate exhibitions are exhibitions of old agricultural tools, weapons and domestic utensils.

Selsø Church
Selsø church was built as a round church ab. 1150, but was rebuilt in ab. 1250 where only the apse was left from the old church. The porch is from ab. 1400 and the tower from ab. 1500.
The church has a beautiful position on a hillside by Selsø lake, which is the rest of a corner of Roskilde fjord. Here was the island Selsø which in the early Middle Ages belonged to the church in Roskilde, and Selsø church was supposedly built as a round fortificated castle church during the troubled period in the 1130s and the 1140s in which the bishops and other important clerical people supported the alternate pretenders.
While Selsø Manor was a church estate it was placed close to the round castle church, but later it was moved to another position. Still it is placed only a few hundred meters from the present church. The inventory in Selsø church is marked by the neighbourhood of the family Ulfeldt. A couple of herskabsstole ( Lord of the Manor stools) are dated 1593 with Ulfeldt and his wife's coat of armour. The pretty Renaissance altar piece is given in 1605 by Mogens Ulfeldt who also gave the special octagonal baptismal sandstone font decorated with angels' heads.

photo september 2008: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Maribo cathedral /Maribo domkirke, Musse herred, Maribo amt.

Maribo Cathedral


Altar piece


The dean has a conversation outside the cathedral

Maribo Cathedral was built as a klosterkirke for the Birgittines. Queen Margrethe I ordered a village Skimminge confiscated in favour of the new convent and monastery in 1408 - and a few years later the klosterkirke was built. Its placement by the lake (Maribo Søndersø) and it's architecture makes it one of the prettiest buildings in Denmark. In the late 1500s the klosterkirke became a parish church for the town Maribo.

The magnificent altar piece Mariatavlen which was in the church before the reformation is now in Engestofte church a few km east of Maribo (see Engestofte). The present Baroque altar piece is from 1641 and the Renaissance pulpit from 1606, the baptismal font is sandstone from 1777. The church has many epitaphs and a considerable collection of gravestones from the 1400s up to the 1600s. Famous is Chr. IV's daughter, Leonora Christine's grave stone.

West of and close to the cathedral are the ruins of the convent. It was very similar to the mother convent in Vadstena. The ruins of the more simple monastery south of the church are hidden under the dean's house.

photo 2003: grethe bachmann

Nakskov Church. Nakskov, Lolland

Nakskov church behind the town square

A portal by the entrance


The altar piece

The pulpit with sounding board

The gallery with the organ

Iron bound coffer with three locks.

Nakskov church was built during a very long time with various periods' perception of architecture. There is not much left from the original Romanesque brickwork church. Ab. 1400 the citizens started a rebuilding project for a Gothic cathedral which never was finished. A serious fire in 1420 was probably one of the reasons why the rebuilding stopped, and it was not completed until the middle of the 1600s. Much work was made through the centuries and in 1906 was the result. The church and its tower is a strange product of mixed style. Frederick IV said about the tower: "I have never seen such a big man with such a small hat."

The finest piece in the church is the big altar piece from 1657. It was made by the fine Odense-carver Anders Mortensen, who had made a similar altar piece for Sct. Knud church in Odense. The best carver at Lolland from the same period, Jørgen Ringnis made the fine Renaissance pulpit with the sounding board, which is dated 1630. The gallery from 1631 by the church organ (from 1648) was also carved by Jørgen Ringnis. The baptismal font of alabaster is a rare piece. It was made in 1758 by court sculptor Simon Carl Stanley, who is known from his stucco work at Amalienborg Castle and several Danish manors.

The church was heavily damaged during the Swedish attacks on the city in 1658 and 1659. Left of the choir arch is placed a Swedish canon ball which 19. June 1659 was shot through the choir vault "og gjorde på altertavlen stor skade" (damaged the altar piece seriously). Other Swedish shells are walled-in in the tower.

Nakskov church is surrounded by a close built-up area with the town square (Axeltorv) on the south east side. The original church yard was confiscated in 1810, and a new cemetery was placed on the road to Maribo.The name Klostergade a few steps north of the church gives witness to that the town had a Kloster (Monastery) which was established in the 1300s. In the 1400s it functioned as a hospital, but after the reformation it lost its significance as a hospital and was furnished into a fattighus (house for poor people). After the Swedish ravage of the town which was taken after two and a half months siege on the 15. July 1659, only the church building was still standing, but damaged like most other houses in the town. Klosterkirken was heavily damaged and was demolished in 1689.

photo 2003: grethe bachmann

Østofte church / Østofte kirke, Fuglse herred, Maribo amt, Lolland

Østtofte church with the square medieval tower

Behind Østtofte church is a view to an old stubmølle. A stubmølle is a windmill built in wood and placed upon a foot so the whole mill is turned by the wind. Most stubmøller in Denmark were built between 1200-1800, where the Dutch windmill took over.

A few km northwest of Maribo lies Østtofte church. The church dominates the landscape with its large late medieval tower. The church was built in the 1200s. The tower is almost square with a pyramid roof and it is different from other Danish Gothic church towers. It looks more like a German city portal. The tower's holes indicate that there once might have been an outdoor wooden watchman's gallery.

The porch is from the end of the Middle Ages, while the northern wing is from 1656. The choir is covered with frescoes. The unique pictures in the star-vault are painted ab. 1380, probably by a German master and they belong to the most important in Denmark because of the well-kept colours and the unique representation of Adam's death and the biblical people in dresses from the 1300s. The Baroque pulpit is from 1640s and the altar piece is dated to 1674 . An early Gothic choir-crucifix is in the National Museum in Copenhagen.

In Østtofte and Sørup the king owned estate in Valdemar Sejr's ruling period.
Near Erikstrup in the forest Skåningshave is one of Denmarks most impressive castle banks Eriksvolde with beautiful old trees. It consists of two ab. 33 m broad castle banks, both surrounded by motts and a common bank. Outside the inner bank is another mott and a lower outer bank. The motts are still partly water-filled. The history about this place is not known.

photo 2004: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Engestofte Manor, Lolland

Engestofte manor

The Gothic altar piece

A Memory table in Engestofte church.

Engestofte manor with church belonged to the Crown since the 1200s, but king Hans sold it in 1496 to Jørgen Baad. After several changes of ownership Engestofte was sold to the wealthy merchant in Nykøbing Falster, Bertel Wichmand. The son was in 1777 ennobled under the name Wichfeld, and the family owned Engestofte for 250 years until 1967.

The yellow-washed classistic main building with the black tiled roof is built by Henning Wichfeld in 1805-07 after demolishing the old three-winged plan. Close to the manor is the simple Gothic church with a ridge turret instead of a tower and with the Wichfeld-family's grave place between the manor and the church. In the church is a wonderful magnificent Gothic altar piece and a memory table for Monica Wichfeld who was a member of the resistance during WWII and died in German imprisonment 27. February 1945 after having rejected an offer of a milder prison Denmark.

Monica Wichfeld was born in England in 1894 and was married to Jørgen Wichfeld of Engestofte. She participated already in 1941 in the Danish resistance and finansed the printing and distribution of the illegal magazine "Frit Danmark" at Lolland. From 1943 Engestofte was a connecting link to SOE (Special Operations Executive) in England, to which her daughter Varinka Wichfeld also was attached. She married Flemming B. Muus.

On 13. January 1944 Engestofte was encircled by German soldiers, who arrested the whole family. Monicas husband and son were released later, while she was brought to Dagmarhus in Copenhagen. On a court-martial in May 1944 she was sentenced to death, but was reprieved with life in prison. In the beginning of June 1944 she was brought to the prison Cottbus in Germany. She died of pneumonia after a three days long march without any food to another prison in Waldheim. She had rejected an offer about a milder imprisonment in Denmark.

photo 2007: grethe bachmann

Søholt Manor, Lolland

Søholt by the lake Søndersø is established after 1576 upon the old lands of Krønge manor with the abolished village Bregerup, probably by Morten Venstermand, whose widow Anne Andersdatter Galt is mentioned of Søholt 1611. She married 1616 Falk Axelsen Brahe of Orebygaard.

After several owners during the centuries the main building was built in 1647 by Justus Fr. von Papenheim. It was rebuilt ab. 1700 by Gehejmeraad Henning U. Lützow who built a three-winged manor. He also landscaped a large Baroque garden and established a chapel which was inaugurated by the well-known priest and poet Thomas Kingo. In 1940 Søholt was sold to cand. jur. Eiler Marcher who restored von Papenheims main building in a respectful way and modernised the home farm and the enterprise.

Søholt belongs to the Krønge parish and the church in Krønge is a small brick building (munkesten) with a Romanesque choir and nave and a late Romanesque porch. In the National Museum is a chalice with the Danish lions and an inscription for Queen Margrethe I. The Romanesque Baptismal font is familiar to several fonts on the southern part of Funen. The pulpit is from 1600s. The church bell, cast by Felix Fuchs 1631 hangs in a wall hole (glamhul) in the West gable.

In Krønge north of the most western farm was a now missing main farm/manor (ab. 1400 Krøinge hoffuit gard), which in 1357 belonged to Henrik Ahlefeldt, and in 1397-98 to his son hr. Benedikt Ahlefeldt who 1401 sold all his estate to queen Margrethe I. When Søholt manor was established in the end of the 1500s, Krønge manor disappeared . In 1599 the main building must have existed, since fru Inger Clausdatter Ravensberg, Morten Venstermands mother in law, died 1599 at Krønge.

photo 2007: grethe bachmann

Orebygård, Lolland


Hotel and Restaurant by Oreby Mill

Old granary by Oreby Mill

Orebygaard has a beautiful situation by the mouth of Sakskøbing fjord and close to the little place of disembarkation Oreby harbor with inn and old granaries. The Valdemar kings had a castle here in the 1200s. In the 1400s the castle owner was the family Bølle.The last member of the family Bølle was Birgitte Bølle , who built a fine Renaissance house like the neighbouring Berritsgaard. The architect was probably Hans Steenwinckel den Ældre.

During the next centuries the manor was gradually neglected, but in 1775 Poul Abraham Lehn of Hvidkilde at Funen bought Oreby. A descendant had the whole building restored in the beginning of the 1800s, which removed most of the Renaissance look.

The present castle building which is built in the 1870s upon the foundations of the Renaissance manor is an attempt to reconstruct the 1500s-building with portal, towers and curving gables.

The part with public admittance is the pretty place Oreby Mill by the Oreby harbor. From the mill which now is "Bed and Breakfast" and wine cellar is a wonderful view across the big sloping lawns to the waters by Sakskøbing fjord.

photo 2007: grethe bachmann

Krenkerup Manor and Radsted church / Radsted kirke, Musse herred, Maribo amt.


Deer farm by Krenkerup

Radsted Church

Only 4 km southeast of the town Sakskøbing you'll find the pretty manor Krenkerup with the fresh yellow-washed walls. The three-winged plan is placed upon an embankment surrounded by water on all four sides. Krenkerup was first mentioned in 1330 where it was a main farm in a village by the same name. Ridder Mogens Gøye was the owner of Krenkerup in 1381, and his family owned it until 1594.

Krenkerup has gone through several rebuildings, additions and restorations and today it appears as a product of the transitional period between Gothic and Renaissance. The owner in 1700 was general Chr. Ditlev Reventlow who established the entailed estate Krenkerup - but when his great granddaughter Juliane Frederikke married the nobleman from Hannover Carl August Hardenberg, their son changed the entailed estate Krenkerup into the count's estate Hardenberg-Reventlow in 1817, and the manor changed name to Hardenberg.

The manor Hardenberg's main building was modernised in the 1800s. In 1938 in connection to a restoration and a reversal to the original buildings from the 1500s Krenkerup got its old name back. The estate Krenkerup is still owned by the Reventlow-family in the name Reventlow-Grinling.

The surrounding manor landscape with extensive stretches of meadow land and old avenues with forests, red deer and flocks of sheep is a wonderful example of Danish nature.

Radsted Church.
Radsted church was built ab. 1250 as a Romanesque village church and extended with a Gothic longhouse in the 1300s. The tower is from ab. 1450 and in the Renaissance period the church was rebuilt with porch, burial vault and increase of tower in 1616-1621. The sacristi is from 1783. The church underwent a thorough restoration in 1868-70, and the tower spire was reconstructed after lightning in 1898.

The pulpit and the altar piece are from the beginning of the 1600s. The altar piece is equipped with wonderful Renaissance masks, so-called faun heads. The original middle part has been changed into a trivial painting.

photo 2004/2007: grethe bachmann

Monday, October 06, 2008

Aalholm Castle, Nysted, Lolland

Aalholm castle


The marina by Nysted & Aalholm

Aalholm was already in 1300 a royal castle with a royal vasal. It was built ab. 1300 by king Erik Menved, (1286-1319). Aalholm served as the Danish king's bridgehead during fights about the commercial towns south of the Danish borders. The fights were passed on by Christoffer II but he gave finally up and pawned the whole of Lolland inclusive Aalholm to the North German Graf Johan den Milde. Christoffer's son, Valdemar Atterdag reconstructed the kingdom after 1340 and Lolland and Aalholm came back to Denmark in 1359. Court meetings were held on the castle from 1366 up to the beginning of the 1500s.

After the reformation in 1536 the castle lost its significance in favour of the new Renaissance castle in Nykøbing Falster. In 1725 Aalholm was privatized by an auction where Johan Otto Raben's widow Emerita von Levetzow recieved the deeds of the house in 1726 which in 1734 with other estate entered into the count's estate Christiansholm, named after the widow's paternal grandson Christian Raben. In 1889 the medieval castle was rebuilt.

After 270 years in the ownership of the family Raben-Levetzau Aalholm was sold to direktør Stig Husted-Andersen in 1995. There is no public admittance, only to the pretty park which is surrounded by a beautiful manor-landscape with views and free-standing old trees. Upon a little inlet southeast of Aalholm is a strange romantic layout with a well and two thatched pavillons.

Northwest of the main building is the wellknown Veteranbilmuseum (Vintage cars) which was established in 1964. It is one of the biggest in northern Europe with 4 halls and ab. 300 cars from 1886 until present. Here is also a small preserved railway line and a playground.

photo 2007: grethe bachmann