The Hermitage Palace
In 1694, Christian V built a two-story timber frame house in the Deer Park north of Copenhagen. In 1734, that building was demolished, and in the period 1734-36, royal architect Lauritz de Thurah built the existing hunting seat on the hilltop in the middle of the plain.
The palace is an distinguished example of de Thurah’s architectural skills and one of the late Baroque’s best works in Denmark. The ground-plan of the palace is symmetrical on all four floors.
The kitchen is located centrally in the basement under the dining room. Along the south gable, the beautiful staircase goes through the whole house. The stairwell is covered in tiles with hunting motifs. The tiles were produced at the factory on St. Kongensgade.
The bel étage houses the large dining hall, the grandest room with rich decorations in marble, plaster, mirrors and marbled wood. The two southern rooms are in a striking late Baroque style, whilst the three northern rooms, the king’s and queen’s rooms, are in Rococo style. The central room on the top floor is the servants’ sitting room.
In 1736, Johan Jeremias Reusse, a cabinet maker, built a table machine, a mechanical device with table and accessories. This is the famous Hermitage table, which allowed the beautifully laid table to be hoisted through a hatch in the dining room floor so one could dine without servants or, in French, “en hermitage”. A few years later, a new table machine was constructed by order of court architect Nicolai Eigtved. This version had technical problems and needed repairs, and it was entirely removed at the end of the 1700s.
The palace has been renovated several times, most recently when the palace underwent a through restoration of its sandstone exterior from 1979 to 1991.
The Hermitage Palace has, through the years, been the centre for royal hunts. It is at the disposal of HM The Queen, who today uses it for official lunches.
For further information, visit the homepage Agency for Palaces and Cultural Properties.