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17.10.2020

Frederiksberg Gardens, Copenhagen

Frederiksberg Gardens (Danish : Frederiksberg Have) - one of the largest and most attractive green spaces in Copenhagen, Denmark . Together with the adjacent Søndermarken, it forms a green area of 64 hectares on the western edge of Inner Copenhagen. It is a romantic landscaped garden, decorated in the English style.

Fredericksberg Gardens was founded by King Frederick IV in connection with the construction of Fredericksberg Palace as his new summer refuge on the hilltop of Valby Hill. Work on the project began in the second half of the 1690s under the influence of Italy and France, which Frederick, then still Crown Prince, repeatedly visited. He commissioned the outstanding Swedish architect Nikodemus Tessin to draw up a proposal, and the final plan was subsequently made by Hans Heinrich Scheel, captain of the Royal Corps of Engineers.

The plan was to create a parterre with complex cascade system on the sloping surface in front of the new palace. It was powered by a complex but inefficient system of pumps that had never worked properly.

After all, Johan Cornelius Krieger, who at the time was also working on the expansion and adaptation of the Fredensborg Palace, north of Copenhagen, was called upon to redesign the parterre. Ironically, he completely abandoned the parterre and instead turned the slope into a series of terraces.

In the 1790s, when the fashion changed, the park was transformed into an English landscaped garden. P. Petersen created a new garden plan in 1795. He created a typical English style landscaped garden with winding lawns, lakes, canals and water pipes, as well as caves, temples, pavilions and pergolas. The final result may well have been based on a book by Johan Ludwig Mansza on English style gardening, written in 1798.

Frederick VI especially loved the garden. Since 1804, he walked the canals on the gondola. Later it was moved to Fredericksborg Castle and Esrum Lake.

Although it was a palace park, the general public had access to the territory, but the sailors, dogs and people in bad clothes or with large knots were rejected by the guards at the only entrance to the park. Only in 1865, access to the park became unlimited, in accordance with what happened in other parts of the city, such as Langelini . Smørrebrødsplænen (Smørrebrød lawn) on the corner of Roskildevej and Saw Alle, where the KB tennis halls are located today, became a popular place for family picnics.

Frederiksberg Gardens is a romantic English style landscaped garden with winding paths, canals, lakes, small islands and magnificent trees. Here you can see a great variety of plants and birds, including hip swans, grey geese, mallards, grey herons and Canadian geese.

Typical of a romantic landscaped garden, the park has two madness, waterfalls, grottoes and other garden elements.

The main entrance to the gardens of Frederiksberg in its present form was built in 1755 after a fire that occurred two years earlier in the House of the Prince, the predecessor of the palace Frederiksberg, which used to be located on this site. The gate was designed by Lauritz de Turach, who after Eigtved's death became the main builder. The vases on the top of the two sandstone pillars were made by the sculptor Johann Friedrich Hennel.

The gate opens onto a path that runs between two long yellow buildings with white details. These are the two surviving wings of the Prince's House. The south wing, located on the left side at the entrance to the park, was converted by Nicholas Eggtweden into a greenhouse in 1744 and is now part of the garden of the Royal Danish Horticultural Society. North wing, located on the right side, is used by the administration of the park.

Chinese pergola was built in 1803 as a replacement for the pavilion, which stood in the center of the garden in the Baroque style, but was demolished in 1799. It was located on a small artificial island, accessible through a bridge, which was built for the same Chinese.

The summer house was built by the court architect Andreas Kirkerup, and like the other buildings in the park, it was well known for its English garden. 

In the gazebo there was a hall, two cabinets, a kitchen and a bathroom. The only window in the toilet was in the form of a crescent of red glass. The furniture partly consisted of copies of Chinese furniture, as well as a set of authentic Chinese bamboo furniture, purchased through the company Asiatic .

Both the exterior and interior have rich decorations in Chinese style, images, characters and other ornaments, and on the roof were bells. The ceilings used imitation bamboo. 

Apis Temple is located on the border with Copenhagen Zoo. It was designed in the style of a Roman temple by the artist Nikolai Abildgaard and built in 1802. It is named after the Egyptian bull god Apis, depicted in the front panel. The temple facade consists of 10 columns, 8 of which were reworked after the reconstruction of Moltke Palace, and the last 2 columns are exact copies. Among the decorations are the frieze of the bull's skull and the relief of the bull carved from sandstone. 

Inside the temple is a vaulted room with a cylindrical vault and two windows, which originally had stained glass windows. The room was equipped with a sofa, chairs and console tables that could be used for tea-drinking. From 1874 to 1970, the temple was used as an entrance to the zoo, built in 1859, and its decor was changed. The temple is sometimes open to the public and was used for art exhibitions.

Like the temple of Apis, Swiss Cottage is in the part of the park that was included when the park was rebuilt in the romantic style. Designed by Abildgaard and built between 1800 and 1801, it contains a hall, a study and several small rooms where the royal family could enjoy an afternoon coffee or stroll through the garden. In 1894, the house was converted into the Castle Gardener's Residence, and the interior was radically changed.

This style has nothing to do with Switzerland, but the name testifies to the passion for mountainous regions of that period. The cottage was built next to a small lake, and the vegetation around the cottage was adapted using conifers instead of deciduous trees to create the right atmosphere.

Next to the Swiss cottage is Fazanarium (Da. Fasangården), which was designed by J.K. Krieger and built in 1723. As the name suggests, the building was originally built in connection with the pheasanarium, which grew pheasants for the royal court. When around 1800 the park was reconstructed, the house was planned to be demolished, but instead it was turned into the residence of the personal secretary of King P.K. Jessen, who had already used it in summer since 1798. The building was adapted. in 1828 by Jorgen Hansen Koch . It served as the summer residence of Adam Olenschleger and his family from 1842 to 1850. 

Another feature of the romantic garden is an artificial waterfall. The waterfall is 7 meters high and partly made of marble blocks on the site of the Marble Church. The waterfall for many years lay in ruins, but was reconstructed in 2004. 

When Norman Foster, in collaboration with Danish landscape architect Stig L. Andersson, designed the new Elephant House for the neighbouring Copenhagen Zoo, it was an extension of Frederiksberg's gardens. The three-meter wall that once separated the two was replaced by a simple fence, so that visitors to the public park can now watch the elephants and elephants can watch them from afar. The fence slowly rises from the park, rising to the height of the domes. From afar they seem to be buried in the ground, surrounded by ferns and trees. 

Next to the northern entrance to the park there is a pacifier tree on which children who have outgrown the need to use pacifier leave their pacifiers, hanging them on a branch, sometimes with a letter.

Every year on the eve of the summer solstice, the park becomes a gathering place for thousands of people who attend public singing, performances, music and a fire that kindles a witch on the lake shore in front of the palace.

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