Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tjele and Marie Grubbe

Tjele, northeast of Viborg, Jutland

Tjele is one of Denmark's national treasures. The main building is one of the oldest manor buildings in the country.

Tjele's earliest building, the south wing was built by Laurids Mogensen Løvenbalk ab. 1480. The addition to the late Gothic stone house, the east wing, was built ab. 1500. In the second half of the 1500s the east wing was extended and built together with a new gate wing. Above the gate is a tablet with inscription that Jørgen Skram and Hilleborg Daa let this wing build in 1585. The modest west wing was built ab. year 1600.

The interior of the main building is marked by the French Empire style, but the building has no public access anymore. Tjele is surrounded by large farm building blocks almost hiding the old pittoresque manor. In the earlier bailiff house is established an exclusive restaurant with international ambitions.

Tjele belonged in the 1400s to the Jutland noble family Løvenbalk. At Mogens Løvenbalk's death in 1536 Tjele was confiscated by his brother-in-law Erik Skram, who claimed that hr. Mogens had lived in an illegitimate relationship with the "Scot Woman Genete Cragengelt." One hundred years later Tjele was sold to Erik Grubbe, whose youngest daughter Marie in 1660 was married to Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, count of Laurvig (1638-1704) viceroy of Norway, the son of king Frederik III of Denmark and followed him Norway in 1664. She had relationships with her husband's secretary Joachim Lambert, the Frenchman Blanquefort and her brother-in-law Stygge Høeg. In 1667, the spouses separated: as adultary was punishable by death, she thanked her spouse for her life. She was divorced by permission of the king in 1670, and was allowed to remarry and keep her fortune. In 1673, her father arranged an new marriage and in 1685 she was married to the noble Palle Dyre. When her relationship to the coachman at Tjele, Søren Møller was discovered, she was put in house arrest until the divorce was completed, was desinherited and lost her right to marry in Denmark. She then married her lover in Holsten in Germany instead.

The couple lived in powerty until they were given a home at Falster by the Queen dowager Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel. After the death of the queen dowager (1714), she lived on charity. Marie once said to Ludvig Holberg that she was happier with her third spouse than with any other.From 1697 they live in a little house at Møn and Søren did some work in connection to the king's seamen. From 1706 they lived in Borrehuset at Falster east of Stubbekøbing, where they took care of the ferry traffic across Grønsund to Møn - and at the same time they had a small innkeeping where people could overnight. Søren was twice the alleged father, while they were married. In 1711 Søren shoot and killed a man, and for this crime he was convicted three years imprisonment with hard labour at Bremerholm - and after this he was sent to Kronborg in connection to the work at the fortifications of the castle, and he probably dies here. Very little is known about Marie's last years, but it is known that she receives poor relief in 1714-16. Her burial place is not known, and the Borrehuset does not exist anymore.

It is often ignored that Marie Grubbe's tragic fate, described in literature, in reality was an image of the Danish nobility's degeneration in the late 1600s. But Maries' fate was nothing compared to her sister Anna. At the death of Erik Grubbe in 1692 Anna inherited the estate. She was married to the infamous witch hunter Jørgen Arenfelt of Rugård. He soon shut up his wife and lived the good life with various mistresses. In 1698 Arenfelt had to give up Tjele to the not less dissolute Gert Didrik von Levetzau, who is said to be horseriding each night at Tjele in the dunghil with his rejected bride. After his death in 1737 Tjele was sold to Chr. Ditlev von Lüttichau. Tjele is today owned by the eight generation of the Lüttichau family.

Marie Grubbe is a wellknown figure in Danish literature:
Hans Christian Andersen: 'Chicken Grethe's Family', a fairy tale about Marie Grubbe
Steen Steensen Blicher: (1824) 'Brudstykker fra en landsbydegns dagbog'. ('The Diary of a Parish Clerk and Other Stories')
I.P. Jacobsen: (1876) : 'Fru Marie Grubbe'.
Juliane Preisler: (1994): 'Kyssemarie' ('The Kissingmary')
Ludvig Holberg: met Marie in Borrehuset in 1711 or 1712, when he was fleeing from the plague in Copenhagen, and he wrote an epistle about her. She was 68 years then and had married Søren, who was rather younger; he was about 50 years in 1712.

photo: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Borreby Castle, Southwest Sjælland

Borreby castle, 3 km south of Skælskør

According to legend Borreby's start is connected to Stig, who gave name to the nearby situated Stigsnæs at the coast, where Marsk Stig built a castle named 'Borren' ab. 1280. It was a reasonable strategic place considering the period after king Erik Klipping's murder.

Borreby is not known in documents until 1345 where it's named 'Burghby'. There are still some remains of the original medieval Borreby moat on Stigsnæs. In the late 1300s the castle belonged to the noble family Urne. From 1410 Borreby was in the ownership of Roskilde bishopric, the first bishop from 1410-1430 was Peder Jensen Lodehat. A member of the Urne-family, Johan Urne, was vasal at Borreby in 1535, where he had to give up the castle during the civil war.

Borreby is one of Denmark's most characterful and best preserved buildings from the Renaissance.From the reformation Borreby belonged to the Crown, but in 1530 Chr III gave it to his kansler Johan Friis, the most powerful man in Denmark next to the king. He didn't rebuild the castle which was destroyed in the civil war, but closed down a nearby village and built the present Borreby. The bulding is a fortificated manor upon a double castle bank. The fortifications on Borreby was caused by the civil war before the reformation in 1536. 50 years later the castle yard wings and the gate wing were built by Johan Friis' brother's son Christian Friis. He also built the large farm buildings west of the castle yard.

The last heirs of the Friis-family, the brothers Oluf and Valdemar Daa unfortunately squandered the whole estate while they were the owners - from 1652-1681. When Borreby then was dilapidated and indebted Valdemar Daa attempted to save it by alchemy. H.C. Andersen tells the story in his fairy-tale "Vinden fortæller om Valdemar Daa og hans døtre" (The wind tells about Valdemar Daa and his daughters.) Through many years there were several owners. In 1750 the owner of Borreby was geheimeråd Villum Berregård. He renewed the park in French, geometrical style and he later re-established the chapel in the west wing. The chapel looks like it was in 1750. In 1783 Borreby was sold to kammerherre, later generalmajor Joachim Melchior Holten Castenschiold, and since then the estate has been in the ownership of the family Castenschiold.

H.C. Andersen wrote his fairy-tale about Borreby and Valdemar Daa during a Christmas holiday upon the manor Basnæs (southwest Sjælland) in 1858. He actually began his work in the evening on 24. Dec. and finished it on the day after Christmas 26. Dec. The text was printed in Nye Eventyr og Historier, 3 hæfte, 1859 ( distributed 24 . March 1859). The historic Valdemar Daa lived from 1616-1691. At Borreby which is not in a far distance from Basnæs, hangs in the Great Hall a double portrait of Valdemar Daa and his wife.

The fairy-tale in English: The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daa and his Daughters.

There is free access to the outer castle yard and the park. (with guinea fowls).
In the old 'Tinghus' (from the 1500s) are exhibitions every summer with the best arts and crafts in ceramics, glassware and jewelry plus antiques. During Christmas are special arrangements.

The moor: In Borreby Mose breed many waders. Oystercatcher, lapwing, black-tailed godwit, ruff and avocet are characteristic. Also seen are shoveler and red-necked grebe. The moor at Borreby is one of Denmark's best breeding places for the greylag goose. In the migration periods spring and autumn take about 3000 greylags a pause here. Many duck-species use the moor as a food and resting place during the migrations.

Source: Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks slotte og herregårde, 1998
photo : grethe bachmann & stig bachmann nielsen, Naturplan

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Skaføgård, Østjylland

Skaføgård, 28 km northeast of Århus

From the very beginning Skaføgård was a small village Skaby ( *1465 Schabbye, 1498 skaby) with two farms, owned in 1492 and 1499 by hr. Erik Ottesen (Rosenkrantz) of Bjørnholm. He lay out this and more estate in 1496 to his late son Holger's children. Holger's grandson was rigsråd (councellor of state) Jørgen Ottesen Rosenkrantz (+ 1596), who from this estate established Skaføgård manor, to which he was signed for the first time in 1551. He was the building owner of the present Skaføgård. (built 1579-82) After his death the farm came to his widow Dorte Lange (+1613), then to his son the famous Holger Rosenkrantz (+1642) and his son rigsråd Gunde Rosenkrantz (+ 1675), who in 1647 sold S. to Steen Bille (+1672). He handed over in 1666 the farm to his son-in-law grev Henrik Ditlev Holck (+1681), whose widow Mette Bille in 1708 conveyed S. to her son-in-law Pros Mund (+1710), who in 1709 gave her authority to sell the farm again, and she sold it in 1710 to Thomas Nicolai Behr (+1749), who in 1747 willed it to his son Niels Behr (+ 1778). Owners Secher, Scavenius Estrup. Owner in 1939: Niels Rudolph Estrup of Fjeld. -

The main building is listed in class A. It was built 1580-82 by Jørgen Ottesen Rosenkrantz. The three-winged plan which has many parallels to the contemporary royal and noble castles, did more than these fetch its ideals directly from France. It is a pretty and harmonic building without the turbulent Netherland Renaissance. In the interior of Skaføgård is still found the very large cupboard, which is considered the most magnificent piece of Renaissance furniture in Denmark, ascribed to the carver Mikkel van Groningen, whose most wellknown work is the pulpit in Århus Cathedral . The main building is surrounded by moats. The three-winged farm building is also listed in class A and surrounded by only partly preserved moats.

Farm buildings from 1579

The solitary manor Skaføgård is together with Rosenholm manor the prettiest Renaissance building on Djursland. Rosenholm is situated only a few km south west of Skaføgård.

photo: grethe bachmann

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gammel Estrup, East Jutland

Gammel Estrup, 19 km east of Randers

Gammel Estrup is built in a specific style signifying Gothic Renaissance. For how long this estate was a manor is not known, but as soon as 1340 it had a certain significance in an agreement between hertug Valdemar III of Sønderjylland an grev Gert's sons, Henrik and Claus. Anders Jensen had his farm in Estrup returned and was signed to it in 1341. His widow Johanne Brok (+1372), belonged to a rich and powerful family, who already in Erik Menved's reign had achieved the family name Brok ( the name means badger) . She joined the Jute magnates, who after Niels Bugge's murder rebelled against Valdemar Atterdag, and he in return attacked and conquered the private castles on Djursland in 1359, among those Estrup.

A nice little cradle in a simple room.

The interior is marked by the taste of the 1700s.

Johanne Brok's son hr. Jens Andersen Brok of Essendrup(Estrup) is mentioned as a ridder (knight) in 1358. He was a supporter of Valdemar Atterdag and fought for him in 1368-70, while he was a vassal at Bygholm Castle (by Horsens). In Valdemar Atterdag's last years he had the high office as drost and continued later as one of queen Margrethe I's leading advisers. In 1386 king Oluf visited him at Essendrup and issued a letter that hr. Jens of Æsenthorp had bought estate in Kristrup (at Randers) from hr. Peder Albertsen Eversten (= Eberstein).

Some of the Flemish tapestry in the banqueting hall, showing the different manors in Jørgen Skeel's ownership.

A look through some rooms with solid floor planks and some of the old painted doors.

His grandson Esge Jensen Brok (+1441) inherited Estrup, which came to his son hr. Lave Brok, who was known for his violent nature. He built his late Gothic water castle ab. 1441, which in about 1590 was rebuilt to its present state by Esge Brok upon the foundations of Lave Broks castle. Esge Brok was the last male in the family-line, and when his daughter Jytte Brok married Jørgen Skeel of Sostrup, Estrup came in 1625 into the ownership of the Skeel/Scheel-family and was in this family for the next 300 years.

Gammel Estrup's red walls in three storeys are placed upon a narrow castle bank surrounded by water moats on all sides. The earliest brickwork is seen in the present gatehouse in the west wing, which two bottom stories holds the rest of Lave Brok's stone house from the end of the 1400s.

The old porcelain was also regained

After Christian Skeel's death in 1926 his heirs auctioned off the house and all contents, but in 1930 Jyllands Herregårdsmuseum was established, and during the years considerable parts of the contents have been regained. Since the 1950's the well-preserved interior was thouroughly restored. The big farmbuilding complex, where the stables and waggon department origin from the 1600s, is now a part of Dansk Landbrugsmuseum.

Gammel Estrup's old park in spring.

Gammel Estrup's old garden is situated on the north side of the moat . The park contains rests of the original Baroque garden and two small orangeries from 1722. In the lawns are historical roses.

Jyllands Herregårdsmuseum in main building. Landbrugsmuseum in farm building complex.

Park with orangery. Restaurant and café. Boutique. Open all year.

photo: grethe bachmann

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rosenholm Castle, East Jutland, Djursland

Rosenholm Castle, ab. 23 km north of Århus

The main farm Holm, which earlier belonged to Århus bishopric, came after the reformation to the Crown. Already in his first year of rule 1559, 7. April, king Fr. II exchanged property with the vasal at Koldinghus Jørgen Rosenkrantz (1523-1596). Rosenkrantz was in connection to Den Nordiske Syvårskrig appointed rigsråd in 1563 and belonged to the inner circle of the king. At king Frederiks death in 1588 Rosenkrantz became a member of the regency, and when Niels Kaas died in 1594, he was its actual leader. Jørgen Rosenkrantz died 9. april 1596, the same year Chr. IV became king. He was followed by his son the learned Holger Rosenkrantz. (1574-1642). His byname was partly due to the group of intellectuals he gathered around his self-appointed academy at Rosenholm. The line continued with his son Erik. In 1727 Iver Rosenkrantz took over the estate which he modernized. After his death in 1745 Rosenholm was without residents until 1802. The buildings have been restored many times several times. Since 1802 it was inherited in a straight line up till 1975 with baron Holger Rosenkrantz, died 1975 and his wife Carin, died 1996.Their son Christian inherited the estate.

Rosenholm is one of Jutland's magnificent Renaissance buildings, built and owned by the family Rosenkrantz since 1559. It is built in red monk bricks upon a plinth of carved granite ashlars. The gables with the circular glares and horizontal profiled bands are only known (in Denmark) from Holmens kirke in Copenhagen; they refer to the Dutch architect Peter de Duncker from the 1500s, who probably built the two earliest wings, the east wing from the 1560s and the western gate wing with gate tower and side pavillons from ab. 1575. The two storeyed east wing is the main wing of Rosenholm. To the east and to the moat the building is flanked by two projecting circular corner towers, which are the only fortification sections of the building.

The walls in the yard show clear traces from round arched arcades, which once made it look like an Italian loggia. No other Danish manor is that evidently influenced by the Italian Renaissance, but an Italian loggia is not the best choice in the Danish climate, and the arcades were bricked-up, probably already when the north wing was built in the 1580s. The windows of the east wing were all round arched. The wall work is divided by an abundance of decorative profiled cornices.

Above the gate of the west wing is an inauguration tablet with the coat of arms of the building master Jørgen Rosenkrantz and wife Dorte Lange. In the fine sandstone decoration, framing the shields, are the years 1562 or 1567 and below the latin PFECTV= perfectum = accomplished. The tablet has been moved and it probably refers to the building of the east wing. The west wing is dated to the 1570s. In the large bell of the gate tower is the year 1575 together with the names of the building master and his wife. The low gate wing is built in one storey flanked by two high rectangular pavillon buildings and in the middle the square gate tower with a copper covered spire. The west wing is decorated with a profiled horizontal wall band, and the gate tower and the side pavillons are richly decorated with cornice bands. The projecting gate tower divides the west wing in two long sections. In the yard the tall spire of the gate tower replaced in 1893 a tiled upper building with a small spire. In the pavillons are various windows, the southern with large round arched windows shows that the pavillon was a part of the residence, while the north pavillon with small windows was used for storing, and as a baking and brewing room.

The building of the north wing began already in the 1580s after hr. Rosenkrantz gave up his loggia. This wing is also richly decorated with cornices, and between two horizontal cornices is a characteristic broad pattern-walled band. The skilled master builder wanted to show his talents. He is probably identical to the bricklayer or master builder who in 1579-82 built the neighbouring Skaføgård for Jørgen Rosenkrantz since an identical wall decoration is found there.

The low south wing was built in the 1590s where it replaced a blocking wall. Except from the cornices the wing is without outer splendor, but in return the wing houses the largest and finest room: The Great Hall.

The inside is marked by Rosenkrantz' rebuildings in the 1730s and 1740s. Rooms with gilt leather tapestry, portrait paintings of the members of the Rosenkrantz family, furniture marked by Baroque, especially with the Rosenholmskab (a cupboard) - also named Holger Rosenkrantz' cupboard, which has a magnificent carving and painting; rooms with richly carved doors; the Great Hall with simple Rococo furniture, portrait paintings and weaved Flemish and French tapestry from the second half of the 1600s and beginning of 1700s; in the garden room a safttapet = juice tapestry, a landscape-motive painted with plant- juices upon linen of Dutch origin from the 1700s; the library was established by the learned Holger Rosenkrantz ab. 1600, it contains several brilliant bound inkunables; in the tower room Flandern tapestry from the second half of the 1600s;, a gallery corridor with portrait paintings and some strange vaults, which belonged to the earlier open loggia towards the yard; besides the old collection of painting is also a modern collection. Below the north wing in the mangling room are kept a collection of tools, kitchen utensils, weapons etc, found in the moat, when it was cleaned out in the 1960s and later.


The main building is placed upon a narrow square inlet surrounded by broad water-filled moats. The entrance from west is via a stone bridge, which was restored in 1991-92, flanked by two lions. The well-kept Baroque garden with lime avenues, cut hedges forms regular garden rooms with monuments, summer-houses and flower beds. The main attraction in the park is the Renaissance summer house "Pirkentavl", built in the 1560s. The name refers to a board game, they played at that time. Pirkentavl has in folks' sayings been described as "Jutland's First University" or "Learned Holger's Tower", referring to that Rosenholm in Holger Rosenkrantz' time was a stamping ground for young learned people of both noble and common birth.

There is public access to the main building, park and café during the summer season.

Rosenholm slot

photo 2002: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Agri church / Agri kirke, Mols herred, Randers amt.

Agri church, 15 km west of Ebeltoft
Agri sogn, Mols herred, Randers amt


The church has a Romanesque choir and nave, a Gothic west extension and tower - and a southern porch, built in the 1700s as a burial vault. In the earliest part it has a bricked-up original window in the northern wall of the nave and rests of a similar window in the southern wall. The choir has one and the nave three Gothic cross vaults. In the most western is a bricked-up shutter (egekarm = oak window frame) - the choir arch is extended and equipped with rundstavs kragbånd (round-stick-bands) like the arch columns. The tower is raw granite boulder and monk brick and probably contemporary with the Gothic western extension. The church has several supporting columns. It is skalmuret (facing walled) with tile and with round arched iron windows from the 1800s. Upon the tower's curved pyramid spire is an early weather vane with the inscription IHS 1934.

The communion table is walled and the altar piece is rural Baroque with an inscription on the backside "finished by Peder Iensøn here in Agri anno 1689 on June 25." The altar rails are straight and crosses the choir with udsavede (out-sawed) balusters. Altar candelabres ab. 1625. The Romanesque font is simple, the basin has a tovstav (rope decoration) and the foot sharp corner knots. Smooth baptismal bowl ab. 1700. The pulpit is rural Baroque like the altar piece.
Epitaphs from the 1700s. 5 grave trees from the 1600s.

Strandkær area, view across Ebeltoft Vig to Ebeltoft

A section of Strandkær /Mols Laboratory

Names in the Middle Ages:
Agri (*1203 Akcre, 1427 Agri, 1446 Ager); Basballe (1446 Basbally); Grønfeld (1451 Grønefeld); Strandkær (1487 Strankier).

Agri Mill was among the gifts which bishop Peder Vognsen in Århus gave his church in 1203.

Essendrupgård and the mill (now Femmøller) and Strandkærgård are mentioned 1487 and 1511 as an estate of Erik Hvas' widow. 1511 they were sold to Niels Clemmensen, vasal at Kalø. 1586 they were endowed to Ulrik Sandberg of Kvelstrup.

Near Grønfeld is a low hill named the Castle, surrounded on two sides by a water stream, old bricks have been found in the place.

The old half-timbered farm buildings Nedre Strandkær belong to Naturhistorisk Museum in Århus , and the Mols Laboratory is established here. The big nature area at Strandkær is open to the public.

While demolishing an old house in Agri village a pot was found walled into the chimney. It contained small coins up to an amount of 106 rigsbankdaler from 1611-1788.

Listed prehistorics: 3 round barrows: one southwest of Agri with a chamber and a cover stone with 9 hollows ; one northwest of Agri with a heavy cover stone; and finally Stenkisten, also northwest of Agri with large edge stones and a removed chamber plus a dolmen chamber at Grønfeld. Furthermore 21 burial mounds of which several are rather large hills: the two Stabelhøje north of Agri and Rugdalshøj northwest of the town. Upon a hill northeast of the town are the 5 Julingshøje.
Demolished or destroyed: a long dolmen, 3 other dolmens, 3 stone graves, a passage grave and 57 burial mounds of which a large part were placed in a row around Agri.

Strandkær: Naturhistorisk Museum

Source: Trap Danmark , Randers amt, 1963.
photo Agri /Strandkær 2003/2006: grethe bachmann

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bregnet church / Bregnet kirke and Kalø, Øster Lisbjerg herred, Randers amt.

Bregnet Church, 18 km northwest of Ebeltoft
Bregnet sogn, Øster Lisbjerg herred, Randers amt

Bregnet church is situated in a lonely place with a beautiful view to Kalø Vig and Kalø Castle Ruin. It has a vaulted longhouse, a western tower and a southern porch, all in monk bricks and built in the late Middle Ages, possibly in bishop Jens Iversen Lange's period.(1449-82) . His frescoe-painted coat of arms is seen upon the choir vault. The longhouse has only south windows. The south door is in use , the flat curved north door is walled in a pointed frame. The tower room has a barrel-vault and no tower arch to the nave. A winding staircase in the tower room gives access to the upper storeys.

The communion table, the altar piece, the rails, the pulpit, the stools and the numberplates for the psalms probably dates from the restoration in 1872. The Late Gothic altar candles rest upon three hounds. The Romanesque granite font has double lions, from which one pair meets in a pear-shaped, the other in a glorified head; the font has a richly sculptored foot. South German baptismal basin from ab. 1575 with engraved coat of arms and the initials FS and EK. Church bell given in 1898 by legationsråd (legation councellor)Martin Rücker Jenisch of Kalø , since the former bell cracked and was given to the National Museum. It is without inscription and from ab. 1100 and one of the earliest church bells in the country.

Kilde: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963
photo 261003: grethe bachmann

Kalø Hovedgård

The present Kalø Hovedgård is the former ladegård (castle farm). When the king took it over in 1670 it was laid out as an equestrian estate . Now Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser (Environment) has a section of flora and fauna-ecology in the beautiful buildings.

Kalø in 2002

Kalø in 2008

Kalø Slot is mentioned for the first time i 1314, when Erik Menved after having put brakes on the peasant revolt in Jutland let build a fortificated castle here, but already in 1320 it was demolished as a consequence of Christoffer II's coronation charter. It was soon rebuilt though and in 1340 Claus Limbek had Kalø as an entailed estate from the counts of Holstein. In the negotations in Spandau in 1340 was decided that Valdemar Atterdag had to cash Nørrejylland and that Kalø as a fourth of the province had to be cashed first.

Claus Limbek was still at Kalø in 1348, but ab. 1353 Stig Andersen Hvide (of Bjørnholm )(+1369) cashed the castle. Later Valdemar Atterdag pawned Kalø to the bishop in Århus, but queen Margrethe I cashed it in 1407. During the next more than 300 years Kalø was an entailed estate with vasals from the noble families of the country. Erik Eriksen Banner was a vasal at Kalø when Gustav Vasa escaped his imprisonment and fled to Lübeck. In 1660 the vasalry was confiscated and the estate was given to Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve by Frederik III. In 1672 the castle building was demolished.

Kalø Castle ruin is now listed. Together with Hammershus at Bornholm it is Denmark's most famous castle ruin. In the bottom of Kalø Vig (inlet) upon a small island with steep banks it is placed in grand surroundings connected to land with a medieval stone road. The characteristic tower is visible far and wide, and it is easy to imagine that the castle once was an impressing sight. No one knows exactly how the castle looked.

The plan is square with an outer castle yard behind the entrance gate and with a large tower built in the inner wall behind the front castle. The circle wall was probably flanked by lesser towers in the corners. The inside castle yard was protected by a double wall, in this area were stone houses and probably stables and houses for the crew and the servants. There was a bridge with a hoist and a strong square gate tower. The structure of the castle is visible in the preserved ruins.

In the bottom of the main tower was in 1904 found rests of a leather purse with 66 hulpenninge from Erik af Pommern and the Hanseatics.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Bregnet kirke (* 1338 Bregentved, * 1423 Bregneds Kirkegaard); Korup (* 1427 Kordorp); Bjødstrup (* 1491 Biørstrop); Følle (* 1313 Følwik, Følwiik); Gl. Rønde (* 1338 Rinde, 1570 Rønde); Kalø ( * 1320 Kalløff, 1340 Caluø).

Hr. Stig Andersen Hvide (den Yngre) exchanged in 1338 his estate in Bregnet, Rønde and Tykjær to the counts of Holstein, Gerhard II and Henrik II.

A sacred well, Tobiæ or Tørres kilde once existed beside the country road close to Bregnet Church - it was said to be good healer for weak eyes.

Listed prehistorics:
5 round dolmens, 11 long dolmens, 5 dolmen chambers, a passage grave, 2 stone chambers, 3 stone cists, 20 burial mounds and 4 røser. At Kalø Skovridergård (Forester's House) is a pretty round dolmen with a cover stone; there are long dolmens with cover stones at Kalø Hovedgård and in Kalø Forest. At Åkærlund by Følle are the rests of a passage grave, here were found clay pots and amber pearls. A special burial mound is the large Store Bavnehøj above the town of Rønde.

Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963 ; Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks slotte og herregårde, 1997.

photo 2002/2003 and 2008: grethe bachmann

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ebdrup church / Ebdrup kirke, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Ebdrup church, 24 km northwest of Ebeltoft
Ebdrup sogn, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt

The little white chalked church has a Romanesque choir and nave, built in raw granite boulders. The small tower which is open to the west was added late in the Middle Ages or shortly after, it is built in granite boulders and monk bricks, the year 1786 in the wall refers to a repair. The porch was added at the end of the 1700s. In the eastern wall is a Romanesque gravestone , while other Romanesque ashlars are re-used in the wall.

The church has beamed ceilings and the choir arch is remade into Gothic style, keeping the original kragsten. Upon the walled communion table stands a Renaissance altar piece. Two Gothic ore candelabres.The Romanesque granite font has a basin with carved rope decorations, divided in fields. The pulpit is from the beginning of the 1600s.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Ebdrup (* 1354 Ebdorp, Ebbedorp).

Listed prehistorics:A half destroyed dolmen at Poulsens høj and two burial mounds, of which Holmhøj is rather large.
Demolished or destroyed: a round dolmen, a long dolmen with two passage graves, 6 dolmens and 3 long dolmens ,which possibly were destroyed long barrows.

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt
, 1963
foto 270303: grethe bachmann

Egens church / Egens kirke, Mols herred, Randers amt.

Egens Church, 15 km northwest of Ebeltoft
Egens sogn, Mols herred, Randers amt


View from the church, Kalø Castle ruin in the distance
photo: 2003

The white-chalked church in Egens is placed upon the top of a tall hill with a fine view to Egens Vig and Kalø Vig (inlets). The whole building is probably late medieval, outside built in monk bricks and inside in granite boulder. The church has a longhouse with a styltetårn (stilted tower) and a northern porch. The original flat-curved, rabbet north door is still into use.

On the communion table , a pine panel covered with a velvet altar cloth, is a two winged altar piece with paintings from 1928. Late Gothic altar candlesticks upon three lions. Altar rails from 1700s acroos the room with carved balustres. The Romanesque granite font with double lion reliefs is similar to the fonts in the nearby churches Skødstrup and Bregnet. South German baptismal bowl from 1575. The pulpit is from the late 1500s in five bays. Bell from 1893.

Stig Andersen Hvide (Marsk Stig's grandson) gave 1330 a farm in Egens to Essenbæk Kloster.

In the parish is earlier mentioned the houses Dunkballested (1661 Donchballested, 1664 Danchballesteed) and Stockholm (1688 Stockholm Huuset, 1693 Stockholm).

Names in the Middle Ages:
Egens (* 1330 Egens).

Listed prehistorics:A long dolmen with two disturbed chambers and two dolmen chambers with cover stones, all around Egens.
Demolished or destroyed: At least 4 dolmens, 3 stone graves, 4 hills. West of Egens is a small kitchen midden, at Egens was a burial place from early Roman Iron Age.

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963
photo 270303: grethe bachmann

Estruplund church / Estruplund kirke and Estruplund, Rougsø herred, Randers amt.

Estruplund Church, 20 km northeast of Randers
Estruplund sogn, Rougsø herred, Randers amt.


The white-washed church is surrounded by forest and is placed close to the manor Estruplund. The choir with an apse in the eastern side of the nave is built in tiles from the late Romanesque period with a connection to the other architecture from the end of the 1100s and the beginning of the 1200s. The southern section of the nave has preserved a low round sticked frieze and on the north side below the cornice an almost completely preserved round arched frieze with pillar formed consols known from the Zealand building-works from the period of the Valdemar-kings. Traces of a similar frieze is on the south side of the porch. Both doors are preserved. An original window is preserved in the north wall of the nave. The impressive tower by the western gable has a pyramid spire.

frescoes 1400s-1500s

frescoes 1400s-1500s

Upon the walled communion table are two Baroque brass candlesticks and as an altar decoration is a wooden cross - the former altar-decoration, a small Renaissance altar piece from about 1600 with a new painting is now in the porch. The Romanesque granite font has a simple rope twist upon the basin. The baptismal basin from 1575 has the inscription "Christen Seefelt og fru Lene Rosenkrantz". The oak pulpit is a simple carved joinery with sounding board and the year 1663. An old iron-bound money block is at the south door. In the tower are two bells -the oldest from the end of the 1200s.

The inside of the church is marked by a big restoration in 1953-55. Frescoes were discovered in 1863 but they were covered again. Now they are uncovered and restored. They are from the end of the 1400s and the beginning of the 1500s.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Estruplund kirke (1632 Estruplunds Kirke); Store Sjørup (* 1423 Siorup, 1462 Østersørop, 1509 Store Sørop); Tørslev (* 1425 Tørsløff, 1426 Thørsløff); Ingerslev (* 1187 Inggelsleff, 1426 Inggersløff, 1437 Ingisløff); Hevring mølle (1455 Hæffringh mølnesteth).

There are no preserved prehistorics in the parish.

Estruplund, 20 km northeast of Randers

village pond, Estruplund

In 1499 hr. Erik Ottesen Rosenkrantz wrote some estate i Rougsø herred and the forest Estruplund to his late son Holger's children. Here was later established a manor which in 1609 and 1613 belonged to Anders Jørgensen Friis of Haraldskær , and after him to Eske Brok of Gl. Estrup, who took over his paternal manor when he was 18 years in 1578 - and he extended the estate immensely during some years. He died in 1625 and via his daughter Estruplund came in 1638 to another rich man Frans Lykke, who used it as a farm building of Hevringholm. When Frans Lykke died in 1655 the big manor was inherited by his son Kaj Lykke who was famous for his wealth and charm - but he really had some bad luck when he in a letter to his mistress had suggested that the Danish queen Sophie Amalie had a relationship to her servant. This was a lese-majesty and he ended his days a poor man and had his estate confiscated to the Crown. During the next 200 years Estruplund went from hand to hand until 1942, when Oluf von Lowzow inherited the manor. The main building from 1863 was rebuilt in the 1950s.

Source: Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963, Jytte Ortmann: Slotte og herregårde i Danmark
photo 2003: grethe bachmann

Friday, December 18, 2009

Feldballe church / Feldballe kirke and Møllerup, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Feldballe Church, ab. 10 km north of Ebeltoft
Feldballe sogn, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

The walls in Møllerup's parish church in Feldballe - which was built in the first half of the 13th century - was very alike the preserved wall work in Møllerup - the same long narrow monk bricks ,which belong to the late Romanesque period, were used in both places. The uncovered walls at Møllerup might belong to a the castle where marsk Stig met fru Ingeborg according to the old folk song. The choir and the nave are built in Romanesque monk bricks and some original windows are preserved. The small western tower and the two storeyes high porch - also in monk bricks -are later additions. The inside had a flat ceiling but during a restoration in 1962 it was changed into a beamed ceiling with painted fields, dating from original decorations from ab. 1700.

Feldballe, vicarage

A frescoe of St. Jørgen (St. George) and the dragon from ab. 1500 were brought to light on the south wall of the choir and upon the triumph wall are two rows of frescoe painted coat of arms. The altar piece is Renaissance from 1607 given by Hartvig Kaas of Møllerup and wife Anne Juul, remade in 1709. At each side of the altar piece is a Baroque portal with coat of arms of Rosenkrantz, Gyldenstjerne and Schack leading to a burial vault which Elisabeth Rosenkrantz of Møllerup(+1721) let establish for herself and her two husbands, Knud Gyldenstierne and Joachim Schack. The walls of the room are decorated with oak wood epitaphs. The names of Harvig Kaas and Anne Juul and the year 1612 are seen at the foot of the large altar candelabre with the coat of arms and initials from 1617 of Predbjørn Gyldenstierne and Hilleborg Bille. A Romanesque granite font with rope ornaments. A Nürnberg baptismal bowl. the pulpit in Renaissance is like the altar piece given by Hartvig Kaas and Anne Juul from ab. 1700. The bell without insctiption is from the first period of the church. Church ship "Frem" from ca. 1908. Many grave memorials.

The vicarage is listed in class B; it was originally built in the first half of the 1500s, but rebuilt and with additions from 1688, 1760 and later.


Møllerup, ab. 10 km north of Ebeltoft

In the big Marsk Stig-vise (folk song) Møllerup is the scene of a meeting between the marsk and his wife. After the regicide in Finderup Lade Marsk Stig rides to Skanderborg where the young hertug Christoffer (the king's son) cries to him, that he has to flee the country if Christoffer shall wear the crown. The poet goes on saying: marsk Stig rode from Skanderborg to Møllerup to find his beautiful wife Ingeborg, (a daughter of drost Uffe Nielsen Neb).

It is not only the poet's hero 'min ædelige herre, hin unge Marsstig' (my noble master the young marsk Stig) who is connected to Møllerup. A far more prosaic person , hr. Stig Andersen , Danmarks Riges marsk, meets us in documents as the manor's first known owner. Below the present building are the foundations from a castle which might have been built by hr. Stig, but perhaps is even older. The rests of the medieval Møllerup were uncovered in the autumn 1920 during some rebuildings made by godsejer Poul Carl. Partly under the floor in the main building, partly under the pavement in the yard were granite stone foundations and rests of monk brick walls.

The National Museum led in 1920-21 a systematic excavation at the expense of Poul Carl. The main result: the medieval plan had alike the present manor three wings; a south main wing and two short side wings. The eastern wing is the best preserved part, rests of all four walls are still below earth showing that it was a free-standing building. Several parts of the south wing's foundations have disappeared but the leftovers show a picture of its size. In the cellar a part of the south wall's boulder foundations is seen. Rests of a short west wing were uncovered too.

Marsk Stig's island, Hjelm

Stig Andersen (Hvide) was one of the most important magnates in the country and owned much estate. In Jutland he had besides Møllerup also Bjørnholm (now Høgholm) and the island Hjelm, at Funen Eskebjerg (now Scheelenborg) and at Zealand Tygestrup (now Kongsdal). In 1275 he was rigens marsk and the chief in a war-expedition to Sweden. He joined the opponents of king Erik Klipping and was outlawed in 1286 after the regicide in Finderup Lade, although he proved his alibi. In 1290 he built a castle at Hjelm where he died in 1293. He was married three times, his second wife was Ingeborg Palnesdatter Little (of the Hvide-family).

In the agreement at Hindsgavl in 1295 king Erik Menved had to give back the confiscated estate to the outlaws and their heirs. Marsk Stig's son, hr. Anders Stigsen, became the owner of Møllerup, Bjørnholm etc. In 1304 he confirmed a letter which his father had issued in 1287, in which he secured the canons of Århus their estate at the Skramsholm area. In 1313 he joined the peasant revolt, but after it had been calmed down , he had to go into exile in Sweden and his estate was confiscated. First after Christoffer II's accession to the throne he returned according to the decisions of the coronation charter.

His son, Stig Andersen, the younger Marsk Stig, inherited Møllerup, Bjørnholm and Tygestrup. He played a prominent part in Holstenervælden (the power of the counts of Holstein) and Valdemar Atterdag's period. Valdemar Atterdag made him rigets marsk and gave him the important job to lead the assignment of Estonia to sværdridderne (the Livonian Brothers of the Sword) - and in 1352 he was one of four rigsforstandere (regents) in the absent of the king. But when Valdemar took five parishes in Galten district from him and dedicated to the Crown he broke with the king and was the rest of his life one of the leaders of the rebellious Jutland magnates.

When his son Ove (Offe) Stigsen was killed together with Niels Bugge of Hald in Middelfart in 1359, Møllerup and Bjørnholm came after his death in 1369 to his grandson Anders Ovesen (Offesen), who became the last male of marsk Stig's family on Møllerup ( a daughter Margrethe Andersdatter Hvide was married to Jakim Bjørnsen of Stensgård). Anders Ovesen lived more peacefully than his parents and died before 1426. This year his widow fru Else Holgersdatter Krognos was married to rigshofmester hr. Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz, to whom she brought Bjørnholm. Møllerup went to another daughter of Anders Ovesen, namely Inger Andersdatter Hvide, who was married to rigsråd hr. Jacob (Joakim) Hermansen Flemming (d. 1457). The son Anders Jacobsen Flemming left the manor to his daughter Inger, who still lived in 1525 as a widow after Oluf Jensen Skovgård.

Møllerup, the stables

In 1592 Møllerup was inherited by the brothers Herman Kaas ( + ab. 1612) and Hartvig Kaas, who died childless in 1625. Herman Kaas' children inherited parts of Møllerup, but in 1616 Møllerup was mainly owned by Anna Kaas' husband Hartvig Bille of Damsgård (+1649). Through marriage and inheritance Møllerup had several owners during the next two hundred centuries.

Ship Owner Poul Carl bought Møllerup in 1920 and was the establisher of the big restoration together with the National Museum. His widow, the wellknown horse breeder, fru Kiss Carl, had for a long period a horse stud farm at Møllerup, after her death it was taken over by her daughter's son Flemming Lüttichau. - The main building is listed in class B.

At Møllerup Gods is today a hotel and a restaurant "Hubertuskroen".
there is public access to the park all day and to the stables in the afternoon.

Upon a parcel of Hedegård and Troldhus was excavated a teglovn (tile kiln) from the 1200s by the National Museum, here were probably burnt bricks to the church and the oldest Møllerup.

In the parish is earlier mentioned Toft Skovhus (1688 Toft Schouhuus) and the mills Tovmølle (1688 Tauf Mølle), Askemølle (1496 Aske mølle) and Øjemølle (1468 Øye mølle), possibly situated by Øjesø.

Names in the Middle Ages: Feldballe (* ab. 1220 Fellæbalg); Tåstrup (* ab. 1220 Tostorp); Skårup (* 1492 Skordrup); Kejlstrup (1458 Kædelsrop, 1469 Kegelstrup, Keyelstrup); Essig (1606 Esig, Eysig); Ulstrup (* 1459 Vlstrop); Hedegård ( 160 Hedegaardt); Møllerup (ab. 1350 Mollorp, 1462 Moldrop).

Listed prehistorics: A pretty round dolmen in Tåstrup Plantage, a partly destroyed long dolmen under Tåstrup and a hill.
Demolished or destroyed: A round dolmen, a long dolmen and 13 hills.

An interesting village from Stone Age (dyssetid) was examined at Barkær; two long parallel houses with a paved street in the middle were uncovered; these houses were divided by partitions into a large number of rooms, possibly one for each family; many flint tools and clay pot pieces were found. - At Korupsø were found two belt buckles and 400 bronze pearls from Celtic Iron Age. A grave from early Roman period at Kejlstrup contained a bronze bowl and mountings for two drinking horns.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, Djursland, bd. 14; Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963.
Jytte Ortmann: Slotte og herregårde i Danmark.

photo 2003/ 2007: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fjellerup church / Fjellerup kirke, Djurs Nørre herred, Randers amt.

Fjellerup Church, ab. 18 km northwest of Grenå
Fjellerup sogn, Djurs Nørre herred, Randers amt

The church has a Romanesque choir and nave, which later was extended to the west, and late Gothic additions, a tower to the west and a porch on the nort side. The choir is built in granite ashlars and has in the eastern gable a bricked-up round arched window. The white-washed nave is mostly built in uncarved granite and with a few ashlars. The original north door is traceable as a broke in the plinth, while the south door has disappeared. A couple of very raw carved inside monolits from Romanesque windows lie at the choir gable. Inside is the round choir arch with rounded-off kragsten. In the Gothic period, probably ab. 1400, the nave got a short extension to the west in raw granite boulder without a visible plinth and the north door was moved a similar distance to the west. Bricked-up windows from that time have been brought to light inside. In late Gothic period was built a tiled tower using old ashlar material. The porch is mostly in raw granite with a gable partly in monk bricks. The building was restored in 1957-59.


The panel of the communion table is from 1901, and the altar piece is a painting from 1958. The earlier altar decoration was a neo Gothic frame work from ab. 1850 around Thorvaldsen's Christ sculpture in plaster. The late Gothic chalice was given in 1603 by Dorete Juul, and the baluster shaped candelabres were in 1592 given by her and her husband, Christoffer Mikkelsen (Tornekrands) of Lundbæk and bears their coat of arms. A Romanesque granite font in Djursland-type with a smooth basin and a trapeze-shaped foot. A pulpit in early Renaissance given in 1592 by Christoffer Mikkelsen and Dorete Juul. The fields have funny biblical reliefs with contemporary clothes. In the north door is a couple of doors from 1708 in double beaten sheet iron with mirror monogrammes and coat of arms of Otto Kruse of Østergård and Eva Margrethe Pentz. The doors were originally in the opening to the tower room, which was furnished for burials. The door of the porch is probably the original from late Gothic period with zigzag-ornamented heavy iron mounting. The bell was in 1924 cast from a bell from the 1700s by C.M. Troschell. A piece of a Romanesque roof-shaped gravestone is walled in the northside of the nave.

Østergård was in 1486 owned by Erik Pedersen (Glob, Due) who in 1453-83 had written himself "of Fjellerup". In 1487 Hans Hvas (of Komdrup) is written of Ø., and in 1491 Erik Pedersen's sister's son Søren Juul of Hedegård had by law Ø. Søren Juul died in 1535, and the farm came to the son Erik Juul, who is written to it in 1542. His brother landsdommer Axel Juul of Villestrup (+ 1577) got in 1556 and 1560 on behalf of his unmarried sisters Anne and Ellidse Juul of Ø. the king's confirmation to own it by law from 1491. After the death of the sisters the farm came to Axel Juul's daughter Dorete, m. to Christoffer Mikkelsen Tornekrands of Lundbæk (+ 1602), who in 1591 is written to Ø. It later belonged to her brother Ove Juul (+ 1604), whose son Hans Juul in 1648 sold it to Morten Skinkel (+ 1669), married to Lisbeth Høeg (Banner) (+ 1676).
Later owners: Krag, Pentz, Weghorst, Skeel, Adler, Mollerup, Fønss, Ammitzbøll, Ingerslev, Secher, Busck, Schou, Juel. From 1920 In 1920 skovrider Christian Fr. Juel. -The main building is listed in class B. It is a three-winged one storey building, two wings in half-timbered oak, white chalked with red timber. The third wing newly built 1890. The old half-timbered farm building was given to the Open Air museum at Sorgenfri.

Anders Nielsen Meynich in Fjellerup is mentioned in 1455.

A sacred well is found a little southeast of Hagenbjerggård.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Fjellerup (1372 Fyeldorp); Hegedal (* 1507 Hegidall); Østergård (* 1468 Østergrd).

Listed prehistorics: a long dolmen, which two chambers are removed, south of Hegedal, a two-chambered partly spoiled passage grave far south in the parish; 7 hills of which one, in a group of 5 southwest of Fjellerup, is rather large.
Demolished or destroyed: 21 hills, of which most were between Fjellerup and Hegedal. - At Jesholm is a kithcen midden.

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963.

photo 2004: grethe bachmann