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

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