Hørsholm Church (former Hirschholm Palace)

In Hørsholm (formerly Hirschholm) in North Sealand you will find the beautiful white Hørsholm Church in the heart of Hørsholm Palace Garden, where Hirschholm Palace once stood.

Here in this remote place one of Denmark's largest royal scandals played out - the affair between Queen Caroline Mathilde and hoflægen Johan Friedrich Struensee.

Hirschholm Palace was built in Baroque style in the years 1730-44 by architect Lauritz de Thurah and functioned as the summer residence of the royal family.

The palace had four wings in two floors and was surrounded by moats. It is said to have been one of Europe's most beautiful palaces, often called the Versailles of the North. King Christian 6 and Queen Sophie Magdalene both died in the palace, whereafter in 1770 it was handed over to the schizophrenic King Christian 7.

The Hirschholm Summer 1771

In the summer of 1771 King Christian 7's court spent the summer in Hirschholm Palace, north of Copenhagen. The summer has since gone down in history as The Hirschholm Summer.

Christian 7 at that time was too ill to govern. Thus his physician and advisor Johan Friedrich Struensee had taken over power and undertook major reforms on behalf of the king.

But that was not the only scandal. Struensee had simultaneously an affair with the king's wife Queen Caroline Mathilde, and in Hirschholm Palace they could live together isolated from the gossip in the city.

However it did not go unnoticed, and the scandal was even greater when Caroline Mathilde gave birth to a girl, Princess Louise Augusta, whom Christian 7 acknowledged as his daughter, but all knew she was Struensee's.

Struensee was arrested and executed in 1772, after which Caroline Mathilde was banished to Celle, where she died of an epidemic a few years later. She never saw her children again.

The palace died of shame

The magnificent Hirschholm Palace was then abandoned by the court, and was demolished in 1810 after decades of neglect. Some say it died of shame.

In 1822-23 was instead Hørsholm Church erected, designed by architect C. F. Hansen. It is located on an island in the middle of Hørsholm Palace Garden.

When the church bells ring, it is the sound of Hirschholm Palace. The bells are all that is left of the scandal-ridden royal palace.

You can visit the church during weekdays in the daytime and for worship on weekends and public holidays. Or just go for a stroll in the surrounding Hørsholm Palace Garden or stop by Hørsholm Museum, which has a Struensee collection.

Opening hours
01/10/2012 - 31/12/2013 Monday - Friday 09:00 - 13:00
01/10/2012 - 31/12/2013 Thursday 16:00 - 18:00

Last updated by

Wonderful Copenhagen redaktion@woco.dk



Kirke Alle
2970 Hørsholm

Correo electrónico


+45 4586 0097


  • Type

    • Lake

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  • Coordinates

    Longitude : 12.500150399
    Latitude : 55.875715799

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