Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gisselfeld and Bråby church/ Bråby kirke, Ringsted herred,Sorø amt, Zealand.

Gisselfeld, Bråby parish, Ringsted herred, Sorø amt.

Gisselfeld is built upon an islet in the socalled gårdsø.( farm lake)The three-storeyed plan is built in red monk bricks under a red tiled roof. It has three wings with a protruding gate to the north, a stair tower in the yard at the west wing and a barrier wall to the south. The north wing with gate is the earliest and was the main building of Gisselfeld. Two side wings, the east- and west wing, were added and they were finished before 1575. 

Gisselfeld is similar to contemporary manors at the island Funen, like Hesselagergård and Egeskov. Some defense devices are similar, like the watchman's galleries with scalding holes and arrow slits and a decorative frieze under the roof. The Gothic glares are similar to Egeskov's and the stepped gables are seen in many Danish manors of Gothic Renaissance, like Østergård in Salling (North Jutland) and Vallø at Stevns (Zealand).

Gisselfeld, café and restaurant at the entrance.

Peder Oxe let the plan surround by an outer wall to the northwest with three towers, from which two towers, parts of the wallwork and Peder Oxe's big farm building by the road are preserved.  Upon the castle bank on the islet was built a low wing to the east in the late 1600s.

Gisselfeld was restored in 1869-74, which removed the addition from the Baroque, and in another restore in 1915 Peder Oxe's Gisselfeld was brought to light by using modern restoration principles with respect for the original building material,most of all the burnt monk bricks.

Avenue with special cut trees.

The three wings of Gisselfeld contain magnificent cultural treasures, mainly connected to the Danneskiold- Samsøe- family, which resided at Gisselfeld since 1699. First of all the collection of porcelaine, a collection which was established in the late 1700s. Danish, German and Chinese porcelaine. The Flora Danica takes up an entire room.  Chinese and Ostindian porcelaine dominate the socalled "porcelænsgang" in the north wing, and Louis XV and Meissen-porceleina  complete the lavish collection, which is spread in many rooms and halls.   The furnishing , Gustavian and Baroque, but also modern, is exquisite, like the collection of paintings, especially portrait paintings of the family Danneskiold-Samsøe and its close connection to the royal family.

Paradehuset and the orangery.

One of the most beautiful manor parks in Denmark lies here at Gisselfeld, in a lovely, hilly landscape with lakes. The park was founded already in Peder Oxe's time, where the little lakes by the main building was made into carp ponds. The landscape garden was established in the 1890s by the English landscape architect Milner, who is known from his work at Knuthenborg at Lolland and Tranekær at Langeland. Fountains and arbors and waterfalls make the background of the florals, the rare trees and bushes. The fine and protected glasshouse Paradehuset with orangery from 1879 lies close to the entrance. It is open to the public at the same time as the park. The orangery is filled with exotic and beautiful plants, and some are for sale.

Gisselfeld is mentioned already in the 1300s, but it was probably only a lesser main farm which was situated ab. 2 km northwest of its present place, where the castle bank Spegedynen is still seen as a square surrounded by a moat.When Peder Oxe became the sole owner of G. in 1547, he broke down the old main building and built the present. Upon the castle island in the lake was in 1898 by the National Musum found the base of an ab. 15 m long rectangular building from an early farm Valgestrup, which, possibly between 1527 and 1541, and probably in the civil war  - was destroyed,  whereafter the land came under G.

The earliest known owner was Bo Falk, who is mentioned of G. in 1370, he had probably taken it over from his father Peder Falk.  The next known owner was Eskil Falk, who is mentioned of G. in 1384. He was succeeded by his son Peder Falk, who is mentioned of G. in 1410.  After him came the brother Eskil Falk (+ earliest 1421), whose daughter Ida married hr. Mogens Axelsen Gøye of Krænkerup (+ earliest 1450). Their son, the marsk hr. Eskil Gøye (+ 1506) inherited G., which after him by a siblings' exchange in 1508 came to his youngest son hr. Henrik Gøye (+ 1533), the wellknown supporter of Chr. II and the defender of Copenhagen in 1523-24. Henrik Gøye had to borrow 4650 mark lybsk ( for pawn and first right to buy G.) from his brother, rigshofmester hr. Mogens Gøye and Otto Holgersen Rosenkrantz. He sold G. however in 1527 to his relative, rigsråd Johan Oxe of Nielstrup (+ 1534), and this ended in a long-winding feud between the Gøye- and the Oxe-family, since Mogens Gøye stood firm on his first right to buy G. A judgment at the King's Thing was mostly in Mogens Gøye's favor, but it brought no final solution. A new judgment of 1539 and an agreement in 1541 brought a final decision, whereafter G. belonged to Johan Oxe's heirs, represented by the son, the wellknown statesman, rigshofmester Peder Oxe (+ 1575),who became the sole owner of G. in 1545.

Peder Oxe improved G. by extension of the land and the farms, and carried through several operational improvements and laid out the still existing carp fishing. During his exile in 1558-66 his estates were taken by the Crown, but in 1566 he got his property back; G. was even improved with judicial rights (birkeret). Peder Oxe died in 1575, he left no children, and G. came to his widow, Mette Rosenkrantz of Vallø (+ 1588). In the following exchange G. - which was reduced from the inherital dividing of the estate - came to Peder Oxe's sister's daughter Karen Banner (+ 1616), who in 1580 married Henrik Lykke of Overgård (+ 1611), after whom it was taken over by the son Christian Lykke (+ 1619) and his brother, the later rigsråd Frands Lykke (+ 1655), who by inheritance and buy gathered the divided estate - and after him it went to his son, the famous Kaj Lykke (+ 1699), after whose decrease G. was taken over by the Crown in 1661.

Frederik II left G. to his son arveprins (crown prince) Christian (later Chr. V.), who often resided at G. After his accession to the throne he transferred it in 1670 to the famous general from the Swedish wars, Hans Schack (1671 lensgreve of Schackenborg + 1676), who the same year transferred it to his son-in-law, oberstløjtnant Ditlev Rumohr of Röst (+ 1678), who 7/1 1671 by Chr. V got an exchange-deed of G., but after his wife's death the same year he transferred it back to Hans Schack, whose widow Anna Blome (+ 1688) owned it until 1682, where she transferred it to her son Otto Diderik greve Schack (+ 1683), whose widow Sophie Dorothea Marschalk (+ 1707) in 1689 sold it to Adam Levin Knuth  (+ 1699), who also owned the nearby Assendrup (in Tybjerg herred). A village Hesede had been abandoned, and Knuth established in 1691 the farm Hesedegård from its land, a farm which stayed under G., but later was leased out as an independent main farm. In 1699 his heirs conveyed G. with Assendrup to Chr. V.'s son with Sophie Amalie Moth, Christian greve Gyldenløve of Samsø (+ 1703), ancestor of the Danneskiold-Samsøe family. The family is connected to Gisselfeld from 1699 up till the present day.

Gisselfeld Kloster (formally Gisselfeld Adelige Jomfrukloster in Zealand) is a foundation, which was established in a will by Christian V.s illegitimate son with Sophie Amalie Moth, Christian Gyldenløve in 1701-1702. The foundation is not a "kloster" in a traditional sense, but a socalled jomfrukloster. The inscribed kloster-ladies - konventualinder at Gisselfeld - had to be unmarried and of noble status and birth, but contrary to the ladies at Vallø and Vemmetofte jomfrukloster they did not reside at the kloster. Gisselfeld kloster is managed and directed by an overdirektør, who according to the original fundats is elected among male grever of the family Danneskiold-Samsøe. The gender discrimination in the fundats is however declared invalid according to the Gender equality Act. The overdirektør of Gisselfeld has his private residence in the main building of the kloster (the castle).

A case around Gisselfed is still pending these years. The overdirektør Erik greve Danneskiold-Samsøe was suspended by the former management, and he has lead a trial since, he wants to get his job back, but he also wants to have the court's words for that Christian Gyldenløve's over 300 year old fundats should be followed still today, he has not been upheld by the court though. During the years there have been case after case and it is  much too complicated to describe. The Gisselfeld-case ended in the supreme court in 2011. (Not finished)

The Ugly Duckling
Hans Christian Andersen wrote during a stay at Gisselfeld the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling (Den Grimme Ælling.

Listed prehistorics: At Hesede the dolmen chamber Kejshave Stendysse, in Gisselfeld Dyrehave 6 hills, of which one is rather large.
Demolished or destroyed: a long dolmen west of Bråby and 9 hills in the fields of Gisselfeld.

Names in the Middle Ages: Bråby (1342 Broby østræ); Sø Torup (1456 Tordrop, 1561 Søtourup); Gisselfeld (1370 Ghyselfel, 1410 Gislæfællæ); Hesede (1290 Hyrsæt, 1342 Hirsædæ).

Source: Trap Danmark, Sorø amt, 1954; Danmarks slotte og herregårde, Niels Peter Stilling, 1997.  

landscape near Bråby.

Bråby church/ Bråby kirke, Ringsted herred, Sorø amt.
The church in Bråby has a Romanesque nave with Gothic additions: tower, north chapel and porch and longhouse-choir from ab. 1570. The Romanesque nave - from which are kept the longwalls and a little of the gable - is a limestone building. There is only preserved one detail, a walled window east of the door-place to the south. A big chapel was added ab. 1500 in tile and limestone, furnished for a herskabsstol ( manor stool) and burial chamber ab. 1695, restored in 1903.The tiled gable-field has a rich glare decoration in South Zealand type, from the same time is the belt-walled western tower, which has a straight-running stair in the north wall, and the porch to the south in tile and like the tower very rebuilt with small stones. The longhouse-choir was built ab. 1570 by Peder Oxe in tile with two vaults, which have been renewed like the vaults of the nave. Restoration in 1877 and 1880.

The altarpiece is a painting, signed Constantin Hansen 1833 in contemporary neo Gothic frame. A house-altarpiece from 1579 with an alabaster-relief and portrait-paintings of Peder Oxe and Mette Rosenkrantz, which were in the church for a period, but is now kept at Gisselfeld. Chalice given in 1681 by Hans Schack. Strange, profiled altar candelabres upon a square foot, given by Adam Levin Knuth 1698. Upon the chasuble an embroideret crucifix and year 1722. A Romanesque limetone font, Gotland work from ab. 1180, a unique scuplture work by the master "Anonymus Calcarius" with rich symbolic reliefs A baptismal dish, south German ab. 1550 with engraved coat of arms of Frands Lykke and Lisbeth Brok 1626. A pompous late Baroque choir rail from 1695 with double-doors and crucifix. a pulpit from 1938. In front of the manor stool in the north chapel is a closed gallery from 1695 with the coat of arms of Adam Levin Knuth. Two cast steel bells, 1874 and 1880.

A magnificent epitaph ab. 1560 in Gotland limestone for Peder Oxe (+ 1575), which is a very important work of art, from Copenhagen or Skåne. (Scania). Peder Oxe is not buried here. In the porch 5 gravestones from the 1700s. In the burial chamber 3 coffins: 1) Adam Levin Knuth, +1699, a splendid coffin, dressed in copper;  2) Sophia Ulfeldt + 1698 and 3) Hilleborg Holck, + 1724. Upon the churh yard is a strange monument, a pyramid with inscription: "Maria was always virtuous".

Source Bråby church: Trap Danmark, Sorø amt, 1954.      

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