Frederiksborg Castle Gardens are an important part of the experience you get when visiting Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. The Castle Gardens consist of two very different gardens: The Baroque Gardens and the Landscape Gardens.
The Baroque Gardens is a strict symmetrical design with terraces, cascades, formed trees and royal monograms. The romantic landscape gardens have free-growing woodscapes, large grass areas, lakes, streams and meandering paths. Frederiksborg Castle Gardens are a fantastic experience all year – whether you are a garden nerd or simply like to enjoy the beautiful recreational areas.
The Baroque Gardens are the most famous and conspicuous part of Frederiksborg Castle Gardens and also the ones that many people associate with the castle. It was established by Frederik IV in the 1720s with Johan Cornelius Krieger as the landscape designer. The Baroque Gardens are characterised as magnificent within landscape design.
The garden is established in four terraces which declines towards the Castle Lake. The strict lines and ruler-straight hedges, the nicely cut grass-covered slopes and the formed bushes and box trees demonstrate how man’s control of nature was the ideal in the 18th century.
In the continuous central axis, water cascades splash level for level before ending in the Castle Lake. At the top, you find Runde Dam (the Round Pond). On the two middle terraces, there are formed shrubberies and fountains and on the lower level, the four royal monograms, nicely formed box trees.
In the Baroque Gardens you find a number of decorative zinc sculptures originating from Frederiksborg Castle and other castles and gardens. They are copies of original sculptures made of sandstone and were created in the 19th century.
Find a map of the Baroque Gardens here.
At the bottom level, the parterre, you find four royal monograms, one for each of the regents who have played a role in the gardens’ history.
No less than 65,000 box trees were used to form the monograms. In the narrow beds around the monograms, there are 166 pyramid shaped yew trees with an under planting of historical flowers and bulbous plants. When the Baroque Gardens were planned, tulips were an extremely precious and popular bulbous plant. The price of one tulip bulb corresponded to the price of a house in the high-class areas of Amsterdam!
Tips, tricks and optical illusions
Landscape architects worked competently and consciously with optical illusions so the gardens seemed larger. Several places in the Baroque Gardens, the paths narrow so it seems as if they are longer from certain angles. You can also get a good impression of the effects by standing at the top of the cascade. From here, the grass-covered slopes narrow towards the pond called Runde Dam (the Round Pond) and create an illusion in terms of distance.
If you want to know more about the history of the Baroque Gardens while walking around, you can make use of the gardens’ mobile guide. In the Baroque Gardens you find six signs with a telephone number which you can call to get the background about the history, design and planting.
It is also possible to order a tour in the Baroque Gardens with a skilled guide from the Friends of the Baroque Gardens (Barokhavens Venner). Duration is approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes. The tour can be in Danish, English, German, Spanish or French. Order a tour for groups by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Indelukket (the Enclosure) and Lille Dyrehave (the Little Deer Park), you can see the romantic Landscape Gardens which became fashionable in the 19th century. Here, they practised the free nature as an ideal for landscape gardening. Frederik VII laid out the charming sections of the castle gardens around the small castle called Badstueslot (the Bath House Castle) with meandering paths, canals and small lakes, shrubberies and trees. On a small island in Ødammen (the Ødam Pond), you find Louise’s Island where Frederik VII built a miniature version of a Norwegian manor as a place for him and the Queen (Louise Christine Rasmussen also known as Countess Danner).
In the Landscape Gardens you find nice nature experiences for the whole family. You can study the rich bird life around the canals which are filled with goslings and ducklings in the month of May. Listen to the nightingales singing late in the evening. This idyllic place is perfect for a romantic stroll with your chosen one. The large open lawns invite for a picnic. You can also have your lunch served at Café Havehuset or at restaurant Spisestedet Leonora.
Find a map of the Landscape Gardens here.
Cafe Havehuset is the castle gardens’ idyllic café where they have indoor and outdoor service with food and beverages. In the patio, you find a large model of the Baroque Gardens and a poster presentation of the history of the gardens. Here, you also find the public toilets of the Castle Gardens.