Monday, September 11, 2017

Harridslevgaard/Harritslevgaard Slot, Skovby Sogn, Nordfyns Kommune

Harridslevgaard slot/ photo gb

Harridslevgaard slot is mentioned the first time in 1231, where it belonged to the king." Haræslef" is mentioned in King Valdemars jordebog of 1232 as one of the king's castles. It had then a value of 144 mark gold.

In the early Middle Ages "Haræslef " was according to the legend a sørøverborg (pirate's castle) . At that time the sea went right up to the castle with a free view across the sea and the pirates hang out lamps to fool the ships to come close to the coast, where they could enter the ships and rob everything they wished for. But there were so many complaints about the pirates at Harritslevgaard that the king took action and had them all executed.

 In 1542 Jørgen Svave got a livbrev of the manor (royal guarantee for ownership for life) and he succeeded in buying it as a free estate in 1560, where the document says that it was sold to the king's vasal Jørgen Svave by Frederic 2.

Harritslevgaard slot/wikipedia
Rigsråd Breide Rantzau (1556-1618) bought the old royal administration-center Harridslevgaard in 1589 from Jørgen Svave. The deal went possibly on under shady shapes. The Svave family led process about the sale still ten years after the sale. Breide however did not care. The spirited aristocrat was one of the young Chr. 4's loyal followers and also a good  svirebroder ("feasting brother"). It was always a great feast when Breide accompanied the young king on his travels to Norway and England around year 1600. Breide Rantzau belonged to the wealthy and powerful Rantzau-family who came to Denmark in connection to Grevens fejde in 1533-36, where Breide Rantzau's grandfather Johan Rantzau was Chr. 3's army chief.  The family was - especially at Funen -  rewarded for its loyalty to the king with several manors like Rantzausholm (Brahetrolleborg), Hellerup, Hindemae and Harridslevgaard. Breide Rantzau broke down the old castle and built a new Renaissance building which was finished in 1606,in three storeys and with a large octagonal stair tower by the castle yard.

medieval feast/wikipedia
Breide's daughter-in-law, the beautiful fru Anne Lykke received her royal lover, Chr. 4's eldest son (the chosen Prince) on Harridslevgaard, while she was the owner in 1623-31. Anne Lykke lived in 1623 at Harritslevgaard after her husband Kaj Rantzau's early death and the rich widow cast her pretty eyes on the Crown Prince, the young Christian, while his father Chr. 4 without luck took part in the 30-years' war in North Germany. 

 At his homecoming after the painful defeat at Lutter am Barenberg Chr. 4 let in 1626 Anne Lykke arrest and put in prison at Kronborg. The acussation was that she by "druk og letfærdighed" (drinking and frivolity) had disturbed the Crown Prince in his leadership of the government in the absence of Chr. 4. After in vain having tried to start a case against Anne Lykke the king had in 1628 to set her free, if she would promise to stay at her manor. On her release in 1628 she settled at the manor Hellerup at east Funen, while her other estates were left to members of the Ulfeldt and Rantzau family. She married in 1629 one of Jacob Ulfeldt's many sons,  the learned Knud Ulfeldt. Anne Lykke died in 1641. After her came several owners to Harridslev, until the castle in 1829 was sold to greve Bernstorff-Gyldensteen. The big adjoining land still belongs to Gyldensteen, while the main building was sold to other side.

The owner Christiane Hoppe Hagedorn expands in ab. 1750 the adjoining land, rebuilds the main building (1753) and establishes a stutteri. She was a diligent lady of the castle and she now haunts the castle as the white lady. Harridslevgaard came after the introduction of the absolutism  in 1660 soon in bourgeois hands and changed owners up till 1829 where grev Bernstorff at Gyldensteen bought the castle, and it was combined with the neighbouring estate Gyldensteen northeast of Bogense. 1922 At the county's transition to a free estate was sold 800 tønder land from Harritslevgaard's earlier adjoining land for the founding of 66 smallholdings. 1963 Director/Antique dealer Frank Nicolaisen buys Harridslevgaard with park, but without farming from grev Carl Johan Bernstorff of Gyldensteen. While Frank Nicolaisen was the owner he started from 1963 a thorough restoration.

The family Schimko bought Harridslevgaard in 1985 and continued the restoration. In 1995 they opened the castle to the public.

Harridslevgaard slot/ gb
Only a little is left from the original manor except the sandstone fireplaces and the room divisions. In the reconstructed manor environment you can walk from the  Pigekammer (servantmaid's chamber) in the basement and the large kitchen and via beautiful rooms and living rooms up to the magnificent riddersal (Knights Hall), which fills out the whole upper storey of the east wing. The present pretty and right inventory are new antiquities, bought with a sense of a castle's historic inventory.

The knights hall of 400 kvm  is the largest privately owne in Denmark and is very imposing. From the Knights Hall is access to two hemmeligheder ( medieval toilets in the wall).  In the north wing is "the blue room" with marbled, handcarved panels in an exceptionel blue room -  and the modern hemmelighed is also in blue. The Winter Hall in the east wing with its original richly ornamented sandstone fireplace is remarkable. In the north wing is also "the red living room" with a well preserved vaulted ceiling and pretty red wallpapers. In the basement are among others two rooms called "jagtstuen" (hunting room) and "badstuen" (bath room). Here was originally laundry and bakery . It is now furnished into an  exclusive bathroom and hall. In the medieval cellar is a vaulted kitchen which still 400 years later is serving its original purpose. From the kitchen is a downturn to a socalled dungeon, which probably was the old cold storage and wine cellar. At the kitchen wall are the traces of a spiral staircase, which connected the kitchen to "the red room" above.

Mysteries at Harridslevgaard.
Harridslevgaard has - together with other mysterious happenings on Funen - made the background of a book "Guide til det okkulte Danmark" by the author Bo B. Hamilton-Wittendorff. Peculiar occassions sometimes happens.A visiting woman was scared to death by a little girl who had been chasing her, until she suddenly disappeared out in the blue. The woman described the little blonde girl, dressed in something which looked like an oldfashioned nightgown.Rumbling from a wagon is heard in the castle yard and the sound of horse hooves, attributed to a former bailiff who rides a horse with luminous red eyes. The white lady is walking around in the castle guarding her goods and gold. She is said to be fru Christiane Hoppe who lived from 1687 till 1769. She was the lady of the castle and the owner of a stutteri.

Mill House, Harridslevgaard slot/gb
The present owners , Inge Lise and Hermann Schimko, took over the castle in 1985 and made it open to the public. Harridslevgaard was rather dilapidated at that time, but after 15 years of restoration the castle looks like Breide Rantzau's pretty Renaissance castle. The buildings are now listed and each repair has to be done by appointment with the National Museum. Some details came up during the restoration -  in the red living room was a hatch in the bottom of a cupboard, under this a spiral staircase leading down to the dungeon and a secret passage, which was an escape way for the lord and lady in the Middle Ages.  The secret passage went 500 meters out into the field to Loddenhøj or Palnatokehøj where Palnatoke supposedly was buried. It was said that Palnatoke owned "Haræslef" in the first half of the 900s.

Palnatoke was a legendary hero from Funen who is mentioned in Saxo Grammaticus and in the Icelandic Jomsvikingernes saga. According to the last mentioned Palnatoke was the man who founded Jomsborg and created the laws, and also according to Jomsvikingernes saga he was a son of Palne Tokesen and his wife Ingeborg, a daughter of Otto Jarl. Palnatoke is possibly a historical person who was added a series of vandresagn.(walking legends)
Palnatoke was probably a nickname for Toke Pallesen (also: Toke Palnesen), another possibility is den polske Toke (the Polish Toke) or den polske tolk (the Polish interpreter). The name is not a usual Nordic name. 

(see my blog: Medieval Danish and European families for Toke Palnesen , Palne Tokesen and  Toke Trylle Palnesen, who was the father of Skjalm Hvide.)

Park, Harridslevgaard slot/gb
The family Schimko opened ten years ago the castle to the public by an arrangement and the interest from the public was overwhelming. Since then there have been permanent opening hours and arrangements like firm parties,conferences and weddings. People can rent historic lackeys uniforms for the servants and they can dance in Denmarks largest privately owned Knights Hall.

The old mill house lies at the driveway to Harridslevgaard. The manor is surrounded by a small park with pretty peacocks.

Each year Harridslevgaard has a Christmas market. The castle is by appointment open all year for tours of large groups. And it is possible to get married at the castle. The various rooms can be rented for conferences, meetings, weddings and dinner parties. 

Danmarks slotte og herregårde , Niels Peter Stilling, Politiken, 1997, 
Slotte og herregårde i Danmark, Jytte Ortmann, 2000 
Harritslevgaard, wikipedia

photo: grethe bachmann

photo mm: wikipedia

Monday, August 28, 2017

Allerslev church, Vordingborg Kommune, Sjælland

Allerslev kirke/ photo gb

Allerslev church is situated high in the village of Allerslev. The country road between Præstø and Mern runs past the church. South and west of the church are beautiful large lime trees. The church yard itself is also rather closely plant. The church is placed in a hilly terrain, where the village is surrounded by fields and the white-washed church is very visible in the pretty landscape and functions as a significant point of orientation. 

Allerslev church belonged in a period to king Christian V. who gave it to the queen's courtmaster-lady Sidsel Grubbe. The church had various owners during the centuries; three owners were Jungshoved, Engelholm and Oremandsgaard, before the church in 1914 was transferred to freehold.

Allerslev church has a Romanesque choir and nave with a late Romanesque extension, a late Gotic west tower, a sacristy north of the tower and a porch from the second half of the 1800s. The white-washed tiled church is built in limestone ashlars, while the tower is built in monk bricks. The choir has to the east and north a double bevell-edged plinth, while the possibly older nave to the south has a cornice frieze upon a bevell-edged plinth. The round arched northdoor stands since 1915 and in the east frame are two interesting runic inscriptions: "Jordan ristede runer; tyde dem, den som kan?" og "?Gyrth ristede sit navn på ? messe?"
Allerslev kirke/photo gb

The south door is vaguely visible. The choir had to the east and north some broad and low, now bricked-in windows, while none of the other light-openings of the nave are visible. In the late Roman period the nave was extended to the west and in the extension were placed two new doors, the north door seen inside with planks and the south door has been changed but is in use. In the late Gothic
period  was built in two cross vaults and the choir arch was changed. In late gothic period the choir had built in two cross vaults and the choir arch was changed. 

The nave has still  a flat ceiling. From the same period as the vault of the choir is the sacristy which is unusually large - and from the beginning it was equipped with a sadkle roof parallel with the saddle roof of the choir.  Upon the wall of the sacristy is a wall-cupboard from 1700s. Both church bells are late Gothic, probably cast by the same craftsman. The tower in monk bricks has belts of limestone  ashlars and the cross vault has a bottom room and a triangular tower arch and a stair-house in the southeast corner. A medieval gravestone was used twice ca 1630 and 1758. All the present windows are from 1868 and the neogothic porch somewhat younger.

Allerslev kirke/ wikipedia
Upon the bricked, plank-covered communion table stands an altarpiece in high Renaissance with painted year 1590, but it is possibly a little earlier, since the top field has Denmark's and Mecklenburg's coat of arms (the last for Frederik 2.'s queen Sofie.) The great field is divided in six and flanked by Corinthic pillars. The altarpiece looks like it was made by the socalled "Bårse herreds snedker" (joiner). The two bottom pilastres have logos with monograms HB, RH and TC. Upon the great pillars' postaments are small reliefs. The Chatecism-altarpiece was in 1988 restored, directed by church painter Erik Ring Hansen.
The pulpit is Renaissance from 1610 and carved at Abel Scrøders workshop in Næstved. Restored in 1935. The chalice from 1812 is an unusual shape, almost like an urn upon a shaft, surrounded by three hangers  and the contemporary wafer box functions as a lid. A neogothic altar jar is from 1861. The heavy baluster-shaped Renaissance candelabres from ab. 1625 have holes from disappeared feet. An unusual pretty young Gothic choir arch crucifix from the beginning of the 1300s is restored in 1935 with a new metal crown. The Romanesque, rather course granite font with leaf ornaments is related to the font in Køng kirke.
Upon the new upper pews are top pieces from the middle of the 1600s with angel heads. The angel heads upon the upper pews are carved ab. 1650 by an excellent master. In 1993 the artist Bodil Kaalund made an exciting new up-painting upon the other 19 top fields of the pews, she painted small motifs from known verses in Danish psalms. Allerslev kirke's Busch organ is from 1890. In connection to a restoration of the church in 1993 the gallery was decorated with three biblical motifs by Bodil Kaalund. 

Allerslev kirke/ photo gb

Source:  Beskrevne kirker i Danmark,  Allerslev kirke, Præstø .

photo: grethe bachmann

photo: wikipedia.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Farsø church, Himmerland, Vesthimmerlands Kommune

Farsø Sogn is a parish in western Himmerland in Vesthimmerlands Kommune..Until the reform in 1970 it was in Gislum herred (Aalborg Amt). Farsø Kirke is situated in Farsø village 12 km west of the town Aars. The church was restored and had the walls replaced in 1991.

The church in Farsø was possibly inaugurated to Our Lady in the Middle Ages. The choir and nave are Romanesque in finely carved granite ashlars above a double plinth. Both original doors are preserved. The southdoor is bricked up. In front of the southdoor is a Romanesque grave stone. In the southern wall of the choir is a somewhat worn-out chess board ashlar. At the northern wall of the nave is a grave stone for Anne Cathrine Ørum of Farsø, who died in 1726, the grave stone is a re-used Romanesque profile ashlar, around the stone are several Romanesque building remains. The north door is still in use , here is a tympanum with a double lion like the lions on the baptismal font. In the porch is a rune stone; the inscription is: Toste og Esben rejste denne sten over Tue..... in the bottom of the stone is a Viking ship, maybe this is Nagelfar, the death ship in the Ragnarok-legend. (the Armageddon). The tower was built in the late Gothic period, the porch is from present time. Upon the new church yard is an obelisque-like stone, decorated with cross-shaped birds, carved by Erik Heide. 

Upon the church yard south of the church is a grave site for veterinarian Hans Jensen (died 1923) and his daughter, the author Thit Jensen (died 1957). Hans Jensen was the father of the author Johannes V. Jensen and Thit Jensen. Some years before her death Thit Jensen moved to Farsø and lived directly south of the church. Johannes V. Jensen is buried in Bispebjerg church yard in Copenhagen.

The Romanesque choir arch is preserved with a slant plinth. The choir has a beamed ceiling, the nave had a vault in the late Gothic period. The altar piece is from the late 1800s, the painting made in 1943. The original painting is now placed upon the church wall. The pulpit is from the beginning of the 1600s. The Romanesque granite font has double lions and male heads in strong reliefs.

Upon the triumph wall to the north hangs a crucifix, carved by Johannes Josephsen from Viborg in 1965, the figure is carved after the ivory crucitfix from ab. 1250 in Herlufsholms kirke. In the choir is an epitaph from 1651 for Søren Hanssøn Wiborg. A sculpture by Thorvald Odgaard hangs upon the southern wall of the nave from 2004. It shows the angel by the empty grave.

In Farsø is a museum for Johannes V. Jensen  and memorial rooms for Thit Jensen.

Upon the nave was in 1904 revealed frescoes from the middle of the 1500s. The motifs were from the old and the new testament. The frescoes are attributed the Torum master and was paid by Poul Vognsen and wife Anne Hansdatter Bildt of Støtterup. (in the 1500s) The frescoes were washed over again. In 1989 some frescoes were revealed and restored in the first bay of the nave.

photos from wikipedia

Johannes V. Jensen: