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Adorable Chick

NORWAY & DENMARK diary : Day 03 - 2nd April 2019

Hillerod is a thriving town in Denmark, lying to the north of Copenhagen city at a driving distance of about a hour. Often referred to as a "Castle Town", it is surrounded by pretty forests. In ancient times, Hillerod played the role of a hunting ground, to the Royals. Today, the flourishing town offers great connectivity to the entire region. The place grew to fame due to the unbeatable FREDRIKSBORG castle and the beautiful CASTLE GARDENS attached to it. Fascination for castles, architecture and history placed Hillerod automatically in our Itinerary, as a half day tour.

Day 3 began with visiting the Grundtvig Church in Copenhagen. A short walk on the streets from the Grundtvig's church, took us to a nearby bus stop. A bus reached us from there to the HELLERUP ST. metro stop, in less than 10 minutes. We boarded the 'A' Line from the station and reached Hillerod in 25 minutes. Outside the Hillerod station, there were plenty of buses departing to the Fredriksborg Slot. Bus No. 301 ensured that we got off in front of the Castle. Each one of us was totally feeling like a local.

Standing proud and tall in its own territory was the Robust Castle, greeting us with open arms. The 17th century, castle was residence to the reigning Danish Kings , for centuries. It is the largest Renaissance building in all of the Scandinavian region. With 500 years of stories in its possession, today it is the MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY. We instantly gathered why the 'Fredriksborg' is a worldwide, tourist attraction. Strong fortress walls secured the Castle and we could only view the upper portion from the bus stop. Wind seemed to blow incessantly leaving us shivering in cold, despite the bright sun. The waters of a little lake curved itself around the exterior castle walls, filling a moat.

Tidy Desk

This is referred to as the CASTLE LAKE. We entered the main gate and found a small winding pathway leading us to inner gate. The path continued to wind its way, till we reached the central square. The massive red bricked structure, standing decorated in green around its edges and the top, was right out of a fairy tale. In the foreground of the castle lay a circular, richly sculpted fountain occupying the central area. We walked around in admiration for a while, taking as many pictures as possible, relishing the works of art all along. A fancy, rear entrance here, prompted us to the castle interiors. A huge, squarish courtyard welcomed us inside. The perimeter of this courtyard was surrounded by corridors. We walked through the corridors to get to the reception-cum-office. The entry tickets to the castle interiors, were pre-booked on the Fredriksborg website, in advance. We were ready to explore the the Royal chambers through a self-guided tour.

Greeted by varied ancient Armours & Royal costumes at the doorway , we entered the inner chambers of the Royal Palace. Passing from one enclosure to another, continuously reading stories of the then Kings and Queens, fed our curiosity. The Dashing interiors left us spellbound. The castle is said to be rebuilt after an intense fire in 1859. Most of the rooms were recovered and maintained as they are seen today, with very few modifications.

The Castle owns & displays around 300 stunning paintings. These paintings include giant size portraits of Royal families, Individual portraits of Royal members belonging to different periods, scenic view of the Castle exteriors & and most importantly, stories from the Bible. The entire collection is distributed across many chambers, on different floors. We were totally smitten by The Great Hall, the Valdemar Room, The Chapel and an Audience Chamber. The intricate & exquisite relief art on roofs and pillars, that were coloured lavishly in golden, shared stories of prosperity and craftsmanship. There were 4 floors to be covered in all. The tastefully decorated castle literally sang songs of its past glory.

The museum aims to narrate the entire 500 year history, through every single bit of the display. Of course, these included stories of war, revenge & remorse too. As a part of its cultural history, the castle walls (in the Chapel of orders) displays umpteen number of COATS OF ARMS, as per the Royal Danish Orders of Knighthood. The COAT OF ARMS is a hereditary European symbol in the form of a shield, using armorial bearings on it, that changes according to identity of the royal family/country. These have been hung continuously over 300 years on the walls here, to honour knights belonging to the two royal Danish orders of knighthood - the Order of the Elephant & Order of Dannebrog. Each piece has the name of the Knight with his date of death, printed on its edges. Its central portion, slightly bulged, holds a specifically painted heraldic design, corresponding to his identity.