Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Summer Visit to Vallø Castle Park

Entrance to castle yard.

green-veined cabbage


In the summer-season is it lovely to visit one of the many fine castle parks in the country. I like to walk in a pretty park with soft green lawns and old trees - and there is always a shady place with a bench in the warm sun. In the park at Vallø Castle are many fine and beautiful old trees and also rare trees, like a gingko tree, which I had never seen before. And others, foreign to the Danish landscape, like Hjertetræ, (Cersiphyllum, commonly called Katsura, from Japan and China), Vingevalnød,  (Caucasian wingnut); ægte Tulipantræ (Liriodendron tulipifera = American tuliptree, yellow poplar) Manna-ask (Manna-ash) and many more. In the castle moat were yellow water-lily and flowering rush. A heron stood beside the little duck-house, which was far too small for him, but I suppose he was waiting for a fish. Some ducks were swimming among the water-lilies, sometimes  almost walking upon their large leaves. A green-veined cabbage and a red admiral butterfly were seen. The bees were humming in the mid-day sun, and it was a lovely place to be.

ducks among yellow water-lilies

Red Admiral

flowering rush
Heron in the moat



The park lies like a pretty frame around the castle. It was landscaped in the 1700s in French style and from that time are still some old  yew trees behind one of the lakes. They were plant out  in order to give shelter to the orangeries. Later was the park changed into an English landscape park . At that time it was fashion to collect rare trees in the parks.


The Vallø estate is actually one large coherent landscape, where extensive fields, solitary trees and lime avenues alternate with forests and meadows. It is one of Denmark's prettiest manor landscapes with a castle, a castle-town, an impressive park and a deer park, which was totally listed in 1981. The Renaissance castle was built by Mette Rosenkrantz in the 1580s. South of the castle, which was bought by the king in 1708 and in 1739 made into a royal residence for daughters of the nobility, lies a small town with yellow-chalked employee-homes. Here is Vallø Castle-Inn and the old horse-stable, which is a history-museum of the castle and the local area.

Valløs history is known back to the 1300s. In 1708 bought Frederik IV Vallø og gave it to his wife of "left hand", the later queen Anna Sophie Reventlow. After the king's death was Anna Sophie banished to Clausholm castle, and the new king Christian VI transferred Vallø to his queen Sophie Magdalene. In 1737 founded the queen Vallø Stift (diocese). The original instrument of foundationh was to help and support unmarried daughters of the danish nobility, who were registered in the diocese.
Vallø castle is the natural center of the diocese. As the castle looks today its history goes back to the middle of the 1500s. In 1893 was a castle fire caused by a candle, no one was seriously hurt but incredible cultural values burst into flames. The walls of the castle were not damaged, but everything else burnt out.

Overgrown moat



The rebuilding of the castle lasted 10 years. The red castle-section, which was earlier a royal residence, has now 9 apartments for the ladies of the diocese. The white building (The White Stift) , which held all the apartment for the ladies, is now furnished in only two apartments.

Castle Inn

In the castle town
Close to the castle is the castle town with a Castle Inn and a museum in the old horse stable, which shows an exhibition of the history of the castle and the local area. Nearby is a fine camping place with cabins,  close to the sea and to the town Køge. The park is open to visitors from 8.00 till sunset. The castle is not open to visitors, since it is a private home, but the castle yard is open for visitors between 10.00-18.00. there is a parking place east of the castle.  

Source: Politikens store Danmarksbog; Se dit land Danmark, Vallø Stift.  

photo Vallø July 2007: grethe bachmann


Marilyn said...

What a wonderful castle; how sad that so much of value was lost in the fire. I can only begin to imagine the extensive grounds with all the trees, I would love to see them. Your photos show a lush green world. I think the Castle Inn is gorgeous. The castle certainly is impressive and grand but it's the Castle Inn that has captured my heart ;-)

Thyra said...

Hej Marilyn! I think I know what you mean. The Castle Inn has a special attraction. I had actually wondered - when I heard about those 9 apartments in the castle - that they cannot be very cosy. Too big, too cold. I would prefer to go to the inn. That's where the good and friendly atmosphere is I suppose. ´)

Teresa Evangeline said...

Your images of the moat, through both photographs and word, is very nice. What a fun and interesting place it would be to visit.

Thyra said...

Hej Teresa! Right now I could really imagine to go to such a place. I'll have to look out for spring-signs today - and they are few, but suddenly it all comes.....
I have thought about your story of the buffalos. That's so wonderful. Since late in 2010 are some bisons in a National park not so far from us. I would like to see them this summer.

Kittie Howard said...

I've always wanted to spend a weekend in a castle. In the fall. With a blazing fire in the sitting room. And go for morning walks. Stop at the village eattery. Then what? Return to the sitting room and another fire and more Jane Austen? I think the Inn would be much more fun.

For some little reason I thought about the Watermill Restaurant.

Ahh, thank you, Grethe, for a lovely read, as always. See you at the inn one day!

Thyra said...

Hej Kittie! Lovely to see you again!!
Yes, that would be nice. I think I would like to be in Jane Austen country too. But they drive in the wrong side of the road there, (Sorry I love you Englishmen though!), which makes it more difficult to cope in traffic for us!!
The inn is cosier than the castle I'm sure. The castle with the high-lofted rooms might be cold except near the fireplace!
See you and have a drink by the fireplace at the inn one day!