In 1661, a debt-ridden King Frederik III had to hand over to one of his creditors, the Dutch merchant Gabriel Marselis, one of the crown properties in Jutland-an estate called Havreballegaard. Two of the merchant’s sons moved to Denmark and settled in the Aarhus area. One son, Constantin Marselis, later got Havreballegaard raised to the status of a baronetcy called Marselisborg. He died childless and entrusted the baronetcy to Christian V. The king gave the estate to his son, Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve. In the following centuries, there was a series of different owners.
The city of Aarhus bought the Marselisborg estate in 1896, and in 1898, a portion of the park was given to the newly-married crown prince couple, Prince Christian (X) and Princess Alexandrine, as a wedding present from Jutlanders. As a part of the gift, the architect Hack Kampmann built, between 1899 and 1902, the existing Marselisborg Palace, which became the crown prince couple’s summer residence.