Vedbygaard is situated in the south western part of the main Island Zealand in Denmark – only an hour and a half from the Danish capital Copenhagen and the northern royal borough Elsinore, home of Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet and his castle ‘Kronborg’, one of Europe’s most important renaissance castles.
The manor dates back to the 12th century and has had many royal owners throughout history (firstly owned by the crown in 1247) – amongst others: Queen Margrethe the first (1387-1397), the famed Danish king ‘Valdemar Atterdag’ (1340-1375) and a long line of members of the Danish aristocratic family named ’Rud’ (the namesake of the small town in which Vedbygaard is situated: ’Ruds Vedby’).
Acclaimed hymn writer/poet and bishop Thomas Kingo, whose work marked the high point of Danish baroque poetry, was a live-in teacher at Vedbygaard from 1659-1661. This was during the Swedish Wars, and it is said that the young poet was shot through his cheek when the Swedish soldier he fought sensed defeat, dropping the rapier and drawing a gun. The fight began when the soldier tried stealing a horse from Vedbygaard’s stables. Though Kingo survived the gun shot (the bullet exited through his mouth) it was an incident that stayed with him his entire life. They say the Swedish soldier was later killed by one of Vedbygaard’s huntsmen, shot and dragged from the tail of his horse into a water hole not far from the manor.
Vedbygaard was destroyed during the civil war of Denmark (‘The Count’s Feud”) during the years 1534-36, and was rebuilt circa 1540 as the three-winged gothic building we see today. Inside the manor you’ll find original and uniquely preserved frescos from the 1500s as well as the ornately painted ceilings from that time. The furniture, interior decor and building itself has been carefully curated and preserved to present itself as it did in the late 1800s.
Since 1917, the manor and its surrounding acres of lush woods and fertile fields have been used as a place of recreation for local Copenhageners and in 1923 the Danish Deaconeses foundation inherited the place. Today the foundation uses the location as a therapeutic recreational option for senior widows and widowers (‘Life management courses’) as well as a conference center and meeting facility for smaller businesses.
Vedbygaard is surrounded by its original moat and faces a large park area full of lakes, paths, huge flowering rhododendron bushes, a greenhouse and an outdoor ampitheatre. There is parking outside the courtyard near the old stables.
4291 Ruds Vedby