Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ghosts and Legends in Danish Manors.

Hindsgavl Castle - 
The white Lady and other ghosts...

Hindsgavl today, with restaurant The White Lady.

Northwest of the present Hindsgavl castle outside the park lies a flat meadow, surrounded by high banks on three sides and with the waters of Lillebælt on the fourth. In the middle of the meadow, close to the water stands a high castle bank. It is the romantic ruins of the castle Gammelborg which was once a strong part in the fortification of the strait of Lillebælt and the island of Funen, but Swedes, floods and decay brought the castle into downfall - and now there are only vague foundations of the proud houses, which once stood on the bank with a view to the town Kolding and up and down the strait. It was said that it was the giant Grim, who built the first houses of the castle - and the place was first called Grimborg. The legend says so! A nunnery was built inlands at the same time. It was well protected by the castle, and between the castle and the nunnery was a church.

The Princess who became a Nun.
Hindsgavl, the castle bank

At the castle lived a knight and his very beautiful daughter - an elderly rich knight courted her, she did not like him, she had other plans. She was in love with a poor young guy and wanted to marry him. But she had to ask her father first. This was a necessary custom, and he told her to marry the rich knight instead. She refused, but when she discovered that she would never be allowed to marry her beloved young guy, she decided to become a nun. Then she would at least be left in peace from the irritating rich knight.

She was admitted novice in the nunnery , but on the day where she had to take the veil in the church, the rich knight appeared with his men to prevent this. They broke into the church just as the ceremony took place, and the young girl took flight together with some nuns and a priest through a tunnel, which lead over to the nunnery. As soon as they were out of the church it sank into ruins with the knight and his men.  The legend says nothing about if the father let his daughter marry the poor young guy or what else happened afterwards! You'll have to finish the story yourself!

The cooks from "The White Lady" has a break.
The White Lady
In the park at Hindsgavl people sometimes met a white lady, and if she caught the sight of a man she went up to him with outstretched arms, but when he came nearer, she disappeared with a sigh. The white lady is said to be the ghost of a bride, who was to marry the lord of Hindsgavl. She arrived to the place in a coach, drawn by four horses, but at a pond near the castle the horses grew shy and run wild so the coach rolled down into the pond. The young bride was squeezed between the seat and the bagage and drowned.
Today there is a restaurant "The White Lady" at Hindsgavl.

Hindsgavl, the Meadow.

The Ghost Coach

The same pond is said to be the place of another accident, which has caused some ghost stories about horses. Some young people from the town Middelfart had paid a visit to Hindsgavl, and in the evening they went back to town. When they had walked part of the way they saw a small coach coming towards them. At first they thought it was sent out to fetch them, but gradually, as the equipage came closer, they discovered it was not an ordinary coach, for just in front of them it turned to one side and disappeared. The youngsters thought this was rather odd and decided to investigate the case. They found out exactly where the coach had turned and disappeared - and they saw there was a small and deep lake behind some thicket.They were told by some old folks that a young lady from Hindsgavl had once taken a wrong turn at this space and drowned.

The Ghost with creaking Shoes. 
At the first floor of the main building - where the course rooms are now - was a room with a ghost. Many  overnighters in this room could tell that they felt there was something invisible in the room. They could even hear breaths and the sound of a person, who went in the room in creaking shoes, whoever it was. Now there are only students at Hindsgavl and the ghost hasn't shown since the room was changed into a school room!
Maybe the ghost hates schools....

Hollow oak, Boller castle park.
The Hollow Tree.
In the park is a piece of a hollow tree. In the old days the hollow tree was visited by people, whose children suffered from rachitis. The little ones were on a Thursday night - of all nights! -  pulled through the hole in the trunk. This was a symbol of the child's rebirth and had to cause that they got ride of the disease.

Gorm Benzon, Spøgelser og Sagn fra Danske Slotte og Herregårde, bd. 2. Syd- og Sønderjylland samt Øerne. Askholms forlag 2007.  

photo Hindsgavl 2011: grethe bachmann



Teresa Evangeline said...

Mysteries aside, the power of belief is an amazing thing. My own experiences have been testimony to it. Life is full of possibility, it seems.

Thyra said...

Hej Teresa, yes, I still believe there is a future. Life is beautiful.
Have a nice week-end!
Grethe ´)