Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Hermitage North of Copenhagen

In Denmark, there is another Hermitage (Eremitageslottet), a former hunting lodge, located north of Copenhagen in Dyrehaven (Deer Park).

Aerial View (below) of the Hermitage

Photograph (below) of the Hermitage c1890s

Map (below) of Dyrehaven and the Eremitage (note Bernstorff Slot to the southwest and Charlottenlund Slot to the southeast)

In 1736, the hunting lodge’s architect, Lauritz de Thurah, built an elevator device to hoist the tables  up through a hatch in the floor of the kitchen to the dining room, allowing the company to eat without waiters ”en ermitage”. However, the hoist was plagued by many technical problems and removed completely in the late 18th century. Was this the prototype for Catherine the Great’s dining table in the Small Hermitage in 1766?

The hunting lodge was renovated in the 1890s. On Thursday, September 2nd, 1899 while staying at Bernstorff, Nicholas II wrote “… We had a good walk to Dyrehaven …”

Photographs (below) of the Hermitage interior c1919 and today

On Saturday, September 20th, 1919 Empress Marie wrote “…  At 3 Elena and I went out for a little ride to the formerly closed section of Dyrehaven, where the road was impassable due to wetness and we were forced to go part of the way on foot to the Hermitage, where a downpour had just started. We walked around the palace and looked over Erslev’s charming apartment, appointed with beautiful, antique furniture, which, according to his words, he had inherited from his aunt…”

The Hermitage was restored in 2013 (below).


  1. How charming; I had no idea this existed! So glad to see it so well preserved.

    I wonder about the names in the second to last paragraph. "Elena"? Only Elena I can think of is Princess Nicholas of Greece; I suppose, in the Greek royal family's first exile, she could have been in Denmark? And Erslev? The only person I come across with that name, in the right time frame, is Kristian Erslev, an important Danish historian. But it seems unlikely that he'd be given an apartment in this palace.

    As to the map, I see that Hvidøre is on there, too. At water's edge, below Dyrehaven. : )

  2. Thank you very much. Elena is 'Tinkin' the daughter of Grand Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna. She was invited to stay at Hvidore when she first arrived in Copenhagen.

    Erslev may have been a Royal Court Official who was granted a state apartment. Like the Yellow Palace today which is used by the Court.

  3. Oh, yes, Elena (or Hélène) Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess Albert of Saxe-Altenburg, to be exact - the one who is always misidentified in photographs taken at the coronation of Nicholas II! ; )

    I forgot about her. Thanks! : )