On the 4th of July North Sealand achieved another distinguished place on the UNESCO World Heritage list with its landscape of par force hunting. Store Dyrehave close to Hillerød, Gribskov, and Jægersborg Dyrehave are now officially part of the cultural heritage of the whole world.
The landscape design of King Christian 5th
The king, inspired by the magnificent palace of Versailles, shaped the royal hunting grounds in North Sealand to fit the par force hunting system. In par force hunting the riders and dogs hunt a royal stag to its exhaustion whereupon the king or his distinguished guest have the honour of killing the animal by sword or spear. The landscape was shaped with ruler-straight forest roads in a star shaped pattern surrounded by squares in the Baroque style. It was thus a magnificent staging of the absolute monarch’s power over Nature.
The UNESCO committee's motivation
The UNESCO committee motivates the admission of the par force hunting landscape in North Sealand with the argument that it is “an unusual and well-preserved example of the values of the European Baroque being presented in the shaping of Nature”.
The Carmelite monastery with the Sct. Mariæ church is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in Northern Europe. The monastery was founded in 1430 when King Erik of Pommern invited the Carmelite monks to Elsinore.
Esrum Abbey was founded by the Cistercian Order in 1151 and was of great importance as their spiritual centre in Denmark. Nowadays Esrum Abbey is a cultural centre featuring various exhibitions, among other things. Æbelholt Monastery was founded around 1175 by Augustinian friars. Rumours about miracles at his grave spread far, and through the Middle Ages, ailing people poured into Æbelholt.
Frederiksborg Castle is an imposing blend of manor house and hunting castle – showing off heaven-defying spires and secret passages. It was built on three islands, connected by bridges.
Fredensborg Palace - The Queen's royal retreat, an elegant baroque palace with a peaceful atmosphere, was named the Palace of peace to commemorate the end of The Great Nordic War in 1722.
The ruin of Gurre Castle lies north of the country road between Gurre and Tikøb. The outer wall was built during the 1300s under the reign of Valdemar Atterdag. The king was often in residence at the castle, and he died there. While the castle was in use it was situated on an islet in Lake Gurre with a pile bridge across to a gate in the middle of the south wall.
Søborg Castle has played a role in Danish history and was Denmark's strongest fortified castle and was used as a dungeon.