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Reasons to visit Jægersborg Dyrehave

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Reasons to visit Jægersborg Dyrehave

Discover an ancient hidden gem north of Copenhagen. Head just 10km outside of the Danish capital and you will find the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dyrehave with its 1,000 acre, or 10km2 woodland deer park and Royal Hunting Lodge – The Hermitage. 

The Dyrehave dates back over 350 years and is much loved by locals and visitors alike.  It is a place where you can enjoy open space, beautiful landscapes and wildlife right on the doorstep of one of Europe’s premier capital cities.

Three reasons you must visit

  1. Simply put, it is a photographers paradise
  2. Rich history of painters and poets being inspired by Jægersborg Dyrehave
  3. Amazing hot chocolate to be had on a cold winters day

PS… did we mention it’s great all year round! Here is a full overview of all you can do.

The Hermitage Hunting Lodge

Photo credit Thomas Rousing

Located on a small hill in the centre of the park, the Hermitage Royal Hunting Lodge was built in the baroque style in 1736 by the architect Lauritz de Thurah for The Danish King was an introvert, and was unpopular with his subjects.  He did however have a liking for architecture and oversaw the building of some great palaces one of which was the Hermitage Royal Hunting Lodge.  Its purpose was to host par force hunts, a type of medieval hunt, which would take place in the extensive grounds, Jægersborg Dyrehave.  Large parties would spend the day hunting in the grounds and would then be entertained in the sumptuous surroundings of the Hermitage.

The grounds of Jægersborg Dyrehave are distinctive for their intersecting paths allowing the hunters to track down their prey more easily. The ground forms part of a collection of grounds known as ‘The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand’ which were recognised and added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015. The house itself was ornate and decorated to the highest standard with rich colours and fabrics.

The dining hall was the heart of the hunting lodge and no expense was spared on its decoration.   The room is truly splendid and decorated with real gold leaf, mirrors and marble.  The original room even featured an ‘elevator table’ which could be raised and lowered so the guests had complete privacy and did not need to be interrupted by waiting staff.  Unfortunately the mechanism of the table was unreliable and it was decommissioned many years ago sadly leaving no trace of it today.

As part of the hunt, guests would stay overnight in the comfortable accommodation on the first floor.  Leading up to this floor you will find an elaborate staircase covered in blue and white tiles painted with hunting scenes.  The tiles on first glance look Dutch but they are in fact Danish.  The royal chambers themselves were the most elaborately decorated and included delicate silk carpets from China, lacquered furniture and beautiful fabrics such as silks, satins and taffeta.

If you wish to visit the Hermitage Hunting Lodge, it is open over the summer months, every Saturday in June, July and August and tickets can be purchased online.  

Jægersborg Dyrehave

Wildlife

Jægersborg Dyrehave parkland was opened to the public in 1746.  It is home to some 300 red deer (the largest breed), 1,600 fallow deer (a smaller breed with distinctive white spots) and 300 sika deer (similar to fallow deer but a little darker).  The deer play an important part in shaping the landscape of the park as they graze the land, both maintaining the open grassland and also creating a clear ‘browse line’ at about 1.5m on all of the trees.

The park is also home to other birds and creatures including owls, woodpeckers, tree creepers and bats and even medicinal leeches in one of its waterholes!

Although the Dyrehave was originally beech forest, the land was cultivated around 6,000 years ago and the beech forest was replaced by grassland for cattle.  Today it is known for its isolated oak trees, plus a range of other tree species native to Denmark, including Denmark’s tallest chestnut tree.  It also has a diverse range of mushrooms which may be hard to spot as they get eaten by the deer.  The park is an important habitat to many insect and invertebrates as dead wood is left undisturbed to provide a home to many species including beetles.  In fact four stag beetles, which have not been seen in Denmark for many years, have recently hatched in the Dyrehave after larvae were introduced as part of a conservation program four years ago.

Some oak trees of note include:

  • The Forester Oak – believed to be 850 years old and the oldest tree in Jægersborg Dyrehave
  • King Christian V’s Oak – witness to the king being kicked and wounded by a stag during a parforce hunting event in 1698 which led to his death the following year.  Perhaps the inspiration for one of the Game of Thrones storylines?
  • The Oak of the English – located near the Magazine Pond or Magasindammen and believed to hide treasure from a British Regiment which was buried during the siege of Copenhagen in 1807
  • The Wolf Valley Oak – a 600 to 700 year old hollow oak tree in the Wolf Valley
  • The Blå Bomme oak alley – north of Peter Liep’s House

On the western side of Jægersborg Dyrehave you will find the Fortunen’s Enclosure, or Fortunens Indelukk.  The habitat is much denser than the rest of the park as the deer are not allowed in this area.  It is left as an example of the natural forest that would occur in the area was not grazed and has different species such as beech growing.

Activities and how to get around the park

Today Jægersborg Dyrehave sees around 7.5million visitors annually.  Most people go to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.  Access around the park is fairly easy due to the range of roads and paths that criss-cross the area.  Walking, dog-walking (dogs must be kept on a lead where there are deer) cycling, kite flying, and horse riding are all popular pastimes and you can even take a trip on a horse-drawn or hackney carriage from the Klampenborg Gate if you like.  You may take a picnic, but you are not allowed to light fires or barbeques and fishing is allowed if you have a licence.

Different areas of the park and sites to visit

As well as the Hermitage Hunting Lodge,  there are numerous other places of interest throughout the park:

The red gates

The park is enclosed with a number of distinctive ‘red gates’ which originate from the 18th century.

The Bakken Amusement Park

 

Photo credit Thomas Rousing

Originating from an annual spring market in 1583 the Dyrehavsbakken, or Bakken for short, is the world’s oldest amusement park.  It is home to a wooden roller-coaster, built in 1932, which was the longest in Europe at the time.  The Bakken free to enter and opens from March to September and is popular with the Danes as a nostalgic day out.  The opening and closing is marked each year by a cortege of around 4,000 motorbikes travelling from Copenhagen up the Strandvejen to Klampenborg.

Peter Liep’s House or Hus

Nestled under the trees towards the southern end of the park you will find Peter Liep’s House which is straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale.  Peter Liep was the first and most famous gamekeeper of Dyrehaven.  He infamously became rather overweight and in his later years took on the role of an inn-keeper.  Today his house is home to a popular restaurant serving local produce and traditional fare.

Kirsten Piils Spring

A spring that was discovered in 1583 by a devout woman called Kirsten Piils.  Springs were part of midsummer rituals as they were believed to have special powers.  This one in particular was believed to have special healing powers and drew sick people to visit when the spring markets were open.

Other things of interest in the park

On the first Sunday in October the park plays host to the Eremitage Run which originated in 1969.  Today this popular event sees 25,000 runners take on a 13.3km course through the park, watched by 50,000 to 60,000 spectators!

The first Sunday in November sees the Hubertus Hunt where around 150 horses and riders dressed in traditional red jackets and white jodhpurs undertake a symbolic hunt watched by thousands of spectators.  This historic event has been running since the year 1900 and the most popular vantage point is the Magazine Pond or Magasindammen, a lake where riders sometimes fall in!

Photo Credit Stig Nygaard

Getting to the Dyrehaven from Copenhagen

You can easily reach the Jægersborg Dyrehave from Copenhagen by train.  Just head to Copenhagen Central Station and trains run to Klampenborg every ten minutes.  The journey will take you around 17 minutes and you can easily walk into the park through the red gates.

If you are driving you can park at any of the red gates.  Generally you can’t drive though the park apart from every Wednesday when you can drive from the Trepileporten gate to Hermitage Palace.

Where to stay near Jægersborg Dyrehave

If you are looking for accommodation near to Jægersborg Dyrehave we recommend Living Suites, a brand new Copenhagen apartment hotel in Nærum and in walking distance from the Dyrehave.  These apartments come in a range of sizes and they all feature a fully-equipped kitchen, a living area, a large private balcony and superior quality beds.

Nærum in Copenhagen North is also close the major companies, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and the Science and Technology Park (Scion DTU).

The apartment hotel is situated just off the highway and next to public transportation links making it easy to reach the hotel from the airport, the Copenhagen city centre or your work place.

For all the latest information and news on Living Suites, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn like us on Facebook.  We look forward to welcoming you to Copenhagen North sometime soon!

 

 


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