Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hald, Mid Jutland , Viborg amt

Dollerup sogn, Nørlyng herred, Viborg amt.

Hald is Jutland itself, the beautiful magnificent Jutland. Hald's history can be brought back to the 14th century. Several legends have tales about the farm , but they still are legends. The farm is not known until in historical time.

Hald is a typical example of a move from castle bank to castle bank like it has happened to several Danish manors. The farm had during the centuries up to five various building places. The three first buildings are still traceable as banks close to the present main building. The first and oldest is the castle bank a little east of the manor and northwest of Hald sø, Brattingsborg, which is placed upon a high, steep hillside. It is a so-called curia-castrum plan, cut into the hill. It has two square banks, divided by and originally surrounded by up to 20 meter broad, dry moats, which are now rather down-ploughed. The castle bank measures ab. 40 x 40 m and rises 6 meter above the bottom of the moat, while the southeastern bank, with a measure of 40 x 23 m, is lower. No building traces or other cultural relics have been found. According to local tradition was this castle bank established by Valdemar Atterdag during the siege of Niels Bugge's Hald - the bank is also called Valdemarskansen, but this can hardly be true. Brattingsborg origins to the earlier part of the Middle Ages before Niels Bugge's Hald.


From the 14th century the manors were built in low places, at rivers, lakes, moors, fens and at the coasts, so the castle by the help of impassable water-filled surroundings could keep away the attackers. The old high-placed castles were often moved down to a small islet in the lake. At such a place is the second Hald, Gammelhald(Old Hald) or Niels Bugge's Hald. It is a round 6-7 high castle bank equipped with banks on the sides towards land. In the meadow, which now surrounds the bank on three sides, is a 10-15 broad moat with a ring-dam in front. In test- excavations were found destroyed foundations of bricked buildings and the rests of a bricked baking oven.

at Niels Bugge's Hald

The knowledge of Hald's history goes back to the beginning of the 14th century. The owner of the farm was probably marsk hr. Ludvig Albertsen Eberstein (+ 1328), whose daughter Margrethe sold her part of the inheritance to her brother Peder Ludvigsen Eberstein, which the king confirmed in 1346. The year before had Peder Ludvigsen pawned his two parts of Hald to Niels Bugge of Nørre Vosborg, and in 1346 he sold farm and estate to him. Niels Bugge was one of the richest and mightiest noblemen in Denmark. He built his strong castle at Hald, which is mentioned in a famous Danish folksong about Niels Bugge's and king Valdemar's feud. Although Niels Bugge owned other farms in Jutland, his name is especially connected to Hald. From here he lead in the 1350s the large rebellion of the mispleased Jutland nobility against Valdemar Atterdag , after the king in vain had tried to bring the nobility on his own side. Niels Bugge was not only the richest nobleman at that time, he was also the most masterful, and he dared to oppose the king. This resulted in king Valdemar's siege of Hald, which is also mentioned in the folk song, where Niels Bugge finally says that he will be able to keep the king away from Hald for nine winters.

at Niels Bugge's Hald

Niels Bugge succeeded in keeping his independence, like he did against grev Gert. The king had to leave without having achieved anything, and at the big danehof (Highest Court-meeting/Denmark's mightiest men) in Nyborg 1354, the reconciliation took place between Valdemar Atterdag and the Danish people, but it did not last for long. The displeasure soon burst into flames. In the end of 1358 Niels Bugge went, granted safe passage, together with two other noblemen to Slagelse (Sjælland) in order to come to an agreement with the king. No reconciliation came off, and already in January 1359 the noblemen went back with no result. When they came to Middelfart (Funen) on their journey home, they were murdered by some fishermen. Was the king responsible?This has always only been a guess, but it is worth to notice that the king solemny disclaimed any guilt. The inhabitants of the houses in Vestergade in Middelfart, where the perpetrators lived, had to pay a yearly tax or blood-money, the so-called Buggespenge, a tax, which was first lifted over 500 years later, in 1874.

at Hald with the tower in the background
photo 1999: Kai Bachmann

In his second marriage to Ingeborg Pedersdatter Vendelbo Niels Bugge had a daughter Lisbeth, who was married to the Mecklenborg knight Gotskalk Skarpenberg, who for a period had been in service by the Swedish king Magnus Smek and was chief at Båhus. He was now the owner of Hald, but sold it soon after to king Valdemar Atterdag. He did not get any payment for it from the king, and first under queen Margrethe's rule the payment came to fru Lisbeth and her son rigsråd Johan Skarpenberg of Gammellund and Højriis. Already in 1377 was Hald pawned to Timme Limbek, from whom queen Margrethe paid it in 1387 with 600 mark silver. In 1393 the queen gave Hald castle and estate to Viborg bishopric on the condition that the buildings were broken down and the material used for building the Viborg-cathedral, furthermore she wanted a yearly mass to be held for her and her parents' souls in the church.

In the 15th and 16th century are no informations if Hald was fortificated. The latest Catholic bishops resided sometimes at Hald, and they had probably a farm-building, where their bailiff lived. But the last Catholic bishop in Viborg, Jørgen Friis, lived at Hald. He moved here in 1529 from Viborg and thereby placed the large estate of the bishopric under Hald Castle. Hans Tausen had begun his reformatory work in Viborg in 1525, and there was a lot of trouble around this, so maybe Jørgen Friis preferred to withdraw to his fortificated farms in the bishopric. He was a great building-master at Hald. He built the still preserved bank at a low foreland in Hald sø, northeast of Niels Bugge's castle, with strong embankments towards land, from where the attacks might come.

Jørgen Friis' Hald

Only a rest of one of the buildings is preserved, namely the circular tower, which is partly built into the western bank; it is built in red monk bricks, and its full diameter is ab. 12 m. The bottom room was probably used as a prison-cellar, above this were at least two storeys, and round about were narrow light-openings. Unfortunately the tower is partly destroyed by a heavy-handed "restoration" in the beginning of the 20th century. At the southeastern corner of the bank were found a couple of bricked rooms and the rests of a secret passage or gate, opening a little above the surface of the lake. The castle was as to fortifications an early example of a consistent use of heavy earthworks as a protection against larger calibre fire-weapons.

The Viborg-bishop built a large and strong castle, and his thoughts were not only about the beyond, but he also claimed his position as one of the great lords of Nørrejylland. The castle was undoubtedly his work. There is also a written source from that time saying that the bishop built a fortificated castle at Hald. In spite of the thick walls and towers it ended sadly for the strong bishop. The reformation came quickly to Viborg, and when the grevefejden broke out, Jørgen Friis had to join Christian III, but this connection to the Lutheranian king was probably not meant honestly. There were several lawsuits against the bishop, and in 1536 he even had to be imprisoned in his own prison tower at Hald.

Jørgen Friis' Hald

Hald became, like many other manors, a royal vasalry after the reformation. All church- and kloster estate were confiscated by the Danish monarchy. Most of it was transferred to the Crown; the nobility had to be content having the estate back, which during time had been given to the church as soul mass gifts; the king got all the bishops' estate, the kloster estate and the bishops' taxes. The economic advantages by leaving the Catholicism and join the Lutheranism probably weighed heavily in this change of belief. Hald became a main vasalry, it was transferred to the Crown's estate in Fjends and Nørlyng herred and upon Mors, later came Rinds and Middelsom herred. The vasals had Hald transferred as an account-vasalry, they got wages for governing, while the other income went to the king. The position of the vasal was like a modern official, he could also be removed on the king's wish.

at Hald sø and inside the tower.

Up till 1660 a flock of the best noblemen of the kingdom were vasals at Hald. Some only a few years, others for decades. The first vasal was the Holstein Henrik Rantzau of Nienhus and Eskildsmark; he achieved several vasalries, since the king had borrowed money from him. From 1541 till 1544 was Christoffer Stygge Rosenkrantz vasal at Hald, and after him came the famous rigsmarsk Otte Krumpen, who had the vasalry until his death in 1569. In Frederik I's rule Otte Krumpen had an influential position. When the grevefejde broke out, he showed like many other Catholic noblemen an insecure and failing attitude; he joined Christian III and was therefore imprisoned by Copenhagen's citizens together with other rigsråd, i.e. Anders Bille, Oluf Rosenkrantz and Knud Pedersen Gyldenstierne, but after grevens fejde was in 1540 a reconciliation between the new government and the old Catholic noblemen. In 1544 Otte Krumpen achieved Hald as an account vasalry.

Successors at Hald were i.e. Corfitz Viffert 1569-73, the owner of Næs, the present Lindenborg; later Niels Skram and Jørgen Skram of Tjele, Henrik Below, Knud Gyldenstierne, who during the years 1627-29 stayed in Copenhagen under the enemy-invasion in Jutland, when Wallenstein's lansquenets robbed and plundered the Danish manors, churches and cities. It was Europe's wildest hordes of Croatians, Germans and Cossacks, who made their entry into the Danish kingdom, and everything was confusion, noblemen and citizens took flight, many to Norway, while the peasants took cover in forests and moors; money and treasures were buried to hide them from the enemy. Later in the 1600s Christian IV's son with Vibeke Kruse, Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve, became vasal at Hald.

Hald sø seen from Dollerup bakker

The kings have visited Hald from time to time, many letters were issued here by the king. Christian III stayed at Hald for a period in 1558 and Frederik II in 1567, 1578 og 1587. The hunts in the forests of Hald were probably attractive. Frederik II announced his arrival to the vasal and ordered to make good rooms ready for him and the queen and enough food, beer and bread for him and his entourage. During this period a drawbridge led from the land to the castle. There was a bricked house in two storeys with east and west gables, besides was a bath for the royal visitors, a two storey half-timbered house with offfice and two bed chambers, a building, which contained kitchen and servant's hall and the large bricked tower. Upon the opposite land was the vasal's stables , the smitty and a high corn house, and farther away was the farm building, a four winged building with cattle house and barn.

Hald sø near Niels Bugge's Hald

After 1660 Frederik III pawned Hald to the Dutch jews, the brothers Jacob Isak and Samuel de Lima, and in 1664 they got a deed on the farm. The firm de Lima was one of the king's largest creditors , especially in the difficult years around the Swedish war, where the king often had to borrow money from them. The brothers hardly stayed much at Hald. During their old age they had economic trouble and had to sell some of the land. When the last brother died in 1687 and left the farm to his wife Rachel, she had through all her life to fight creditors and reminders . At last she gave it all up and sold in 1703 Hald for ab. 10.000 rigsdaler to generalmajor Gregers Daa.

New times arrived for the old castle. Gregers Daa broke down the old buildings, but let the large tower stand. He built a four-winged main building in one storey in bricks and half-timber upon the high bank down to the lake and established a French garden. But in the Great Nordic War 1710 Gregers Daa was appointed generalmajor in the cavalry. In the battle at Gadebusch 1712 he was wounded and died the same day as the last man of his family. Three days before his wife Jeanne Marie Ruse had died. She had earlier been married to baron Christian Juel-Rysensteen and had in this marriage a son Ove Henrik Juel-Rysensteen, who became the owner of Hald. He sold the farm already in 1717 to amtmand Jens Jørgensen Seerup. After his death in 1736 the owner was his son-in-law landsdommer, justitsråd Enevold Heug, and after his death in 1739 the son, købmand Christen Heug.

In 1745 was Hald sold to baron Vilhelm Gyldenkrone, who was a stiftamtmand of Viborg stift. In 1750 the farm was sold to landsdommer Frederik Skinkel, and now there was again quiet conditions at the old castle, although its owner was an aggresive and difficult gentleman. Skinkel was married to a daughter of the civil regimentsskriver Niels Olsen Molderup, had three children, of whom two died babies, the third was the daughter Charlotte, who was the main character in Steen Steensen Blicher's story "Eneste Barn". (Only child). She fell in love with a young officer Martinus Braëm, but her parents did not approve this relationship and sent her to Aunsbjerg to etatsråd Steen de Steensen, who was a brother-in-law of her father. Blicher met her at Aunsbjerg and heard the sad story of her life. At last she got her officer and as a dowry her father's curse, but her marriage was not happy.

Dollerup kirke

Frederik Skinkel built in 1789 the present main building, the fifth Hald. He probably thought of establishing a private chapel at the farm, but this brought life to a myth that he wanted to make the building a parish church. He was in 1769 allowed to break down Finderup and Dollerup church (this did not happen). After Skinkel's death in 1794 Hald went to the married couple Braëm, who in 1796 had permission to sell the copyhold-estate, but they already sold the reduced property in 1798 to earlier gehejmestatsminister Ove Høegh-Guldberg. He was a skilled farmer, but he was of the opinion that a peasant could only do his work by force; he became a tough master for the peasants at Hald. In his time Skinkel's building was furnished as a main building, but several buildings from Gregers Daa's time were still existing shortly into the 19th century. Two small garden pavillons are still preserved.

After Høegh-Guldberg's death in 1808 his heirs sold Hald to landsdommer Henrik Muhle Hoff. Two years later Hald was sold at auction to Jakob Engerslev Rosbord and C. Tolstrup of Sødal. The State took over Hald in 1847. In 1851 Hald was sold to Frederik Anton M. Krabbe (of Damsgård), and after this Hald was in the ownership of this family until 1918, where it was sold to the Norwegian skibsreder Steen Giebelhausen, and in the following time the farm changed owners, until it in 1937 was bought by godsejer Poul Arkner, who let it repair and modernize and restored the two garden pavillons.

Hald main building and Niels Bugges Kro

In 1943 Hald was sold to direktør M. Mikkelsen, who took over the farm at once, but it attracted attention all over the country that the authorities according to the laws during the war-conditions denied to register the deed. Therefore was the farm resold in 1944 to entreprenør Kristensen, whose father got a deed on it, but after the war the State demanded 1,8 mill kr. from Kristensen because of collaboration; Hald was transferred to the State. An international students' center opened in 1951. Although much have disappeared at Hald during time some have been preserved. Skinkel's pretty old building still stands, and from Gregers Daa's time origins the French garden plan and the four terasses, connected by stairs. In the main building several paintings remind about the earlier owners.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 13, Midtjylland, Hald, af cand. mag. Elin Bach, 1966.

photo 1999, 2006, 2010: grethe bachmann

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