Voergaard Slot is brimming with art treasures. With everything from Napoleon’s dinner service to valuable Ming vases, Denmark’s largest private art collection is wide ranging.
Voergaard is not a museum. It is decorated and furnished just as it was by the last owner, Count Oberbech-Clausen. It was he who created the large collection of furniture, antiques, paintings, porcelain and silverware from his possessions in France, including treasures from Louis XIV, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette’s personal effects as well as works by Rubens, Raphael, Goya and El Greco.
The castle’s many rooms are an exciting study of how affluent manor houses were furnished through the ages. Come and see for yourself.
The Danish/French Count Ejnar Oberbech-Clausen purchased Voergaard Slot in 1955 and it is very much to his merit that we are able to enjoy this culture historical gem today.
As a young man, he travelled to France where, in 1907, he began work at Count de Chenu-Lafitte’s chateau in the Bordeaux region. In 1908, he married the widowed countess. She died, however, in 1941, after an air raid in Bordeaux. With the inheritance he received from his wife, Oberbech-Clausen was able to acquire a Danish manor house, which turned out to be Voergaard. Ejnar Oberbech-Clausen initiated an extensive and costly renovation project on the castle spanning many years.
He set up the Count Oberbech-Clausen-Péan Family Foundation, which is charged with the task of preserving Voergaard and the valuable art collection the count inherited from the countess and her family, while serving as a family grant. Ejnar Oberbech-Clausen died in 1963, aged 80.
Guldstuen (the gold room)
Peder Reedtz inherited Voergaard in 1732. Thanks to his restorations, today we can enjoy guldstuen, which is his work. The walls in this room are covered with tan leather wallpaper, made of the skins of wild boar shot in the castle’s own woodland and hung in c. 1750.
Voergaard’s renaissance section, the east wing
In 1578, Voergaard changed hands between Karen Krabbe and its then owner, Frederik II. Karen Krabbe left Voergaard to her daughter, Ingeborg Skeel. Ingeborg Skeel is the best known and most legendary owner ever to have been at Voergaard. The castle underwent major renovation under Ingeborg’s ownership. It is Ingeborg Skeel’s work we can see today, when we admire the sandstone-adorned east wing at Voergaard. The ornate and richly detailed wing is one of the most beautiful and lavish renaissance edifices we have in Denmark.
It is not known for sure who the architect behind Voergaard’s renaissance wing was, but there is much to suggest that it was the Dutch sculptor Philip Brandin.
Voergaard’s late gothic section, the north wing
Voergaard was often used by Stygge Krumpen and his lover Elsebeth Gyldenstjerne, much to the indignation of their contemporaries. Despite the bishop having taken a vow of celibacy, he and the noble Elsebeth Gyldenstjerne lived more or less as man and wife, with all the parties and hunts this entailed.
The bishop’s private chambers consisted of a few rooms with gothic cross-rib vaulting, which can still be seen in rooms such as the dining hall.
The sandstone portal
The portal is adorned with the initials of Frederik II and Queen Sophie.
Voergaard’s main portal is the culmination of 16th century Danish stonemasonry.
Ingeborg Skeel was given the portal by the king on a visit to Voergaard.
Musiksalonen (the music room)
In the music room stands one of the two sideboards at Voergaard made by Louis XVI’s head cabinetmaker Riesener, with gilt bronze fittings and decorations by Gouthière. Above it hangs a landscape painting of the Pyrenees by Gudin (1802 – 80) and in the corner, a French watermill by Corot (1796 – 1873).