Harridslevgaard is the prettiest Renaissance castle and a manor that has been the home of Vikings, kings and skilled noblewomen!
Harridslevgaard Castle near Bogense is a beautiful Renaissance building.
Harritslevgaard or Harridslevgaard?
The castle name is spelled in different ways, but it is pronounced the same way. We spell it the Funen way, so for us, it's Harridslevgaard. The castle was once a manor house, which with the name Hareslæf in the Danish Census Book in 1231 was recorded as being part of the king's property.
Haræslef belonged to the Crown until 1560 - with a few exceptions - so Denmark's old kings and queens have also been able to live here.
We know the old Viking hero Palnatoke lived here in the 10th century. However, the old medieval castle is no longer here. It was demolished when the king's adviser Breide Rantzau bought the manor in 1589-1606, he built the beautiful Renaissance castle that you can see today.
Anne, Christiane and the other owners
Breide Rantzau's son Cai inherited Harritslevgård, and after Cai Rantzau's death, his widow Anne Lykke was the owner of the manor. She had a relationship with a prince - the eldest son of King Christian the 4th. The king was not thrilled about that! Anne Lykke was, among other things. accused of being in contact with a witch and imprisoned. However, she escaped, married a new husband and lived here for years.
Harritslevgaard had different owners, before the noble woman Christiane Hoppe in 1740 inherited the castle from her husband and built Denmark's largest stud farm, a dairy, a beautiful garden and a very successful farm. After Christiane's time, however, things went worse for the changing owners, who sold more and more parts of the land. In 1829, the manor was placed under the Gyldensteen Estate. The estate later sold the castle itself, but still owned land and some of the buildings.
In 1829 the manor was sold to Andreas Erich Heinrich Ernst Bernstorff-Gyldensteen from Gyldensteen. For the next 150 years, Harritslevgaard was often empty. In 1963, Carl-Johan Bernstorff sold the main building and garden to Frank Nicolajsen, while the breeding farm and land remained part of the Gyldensteen estate. In the 1980s, Harritslevgaard was sold to the Schimko family and was in the family's possession until 2023.
Are there ghosts on Harridslevgaard?
Christiane Hoppe owned Harridslevgaard from 1740 to 1769 and created the manor's heyday with a large stud farm selling horses to Austria, France and Italy, a large dairy and successful farming. Bailiff Niels Hunderup helped create this, but unlike Christiane he was very unpopular and was considered a fraudster who scammed the farmers for money. He was also a very strict man who reportedly killed his sister because she became pregnant out of wedlock.
After Niels Hunderup died, he did not go to heaven - he stayed at the manor as a ghost, and you saw him in his old office and on his gray horse. Several priests tried to excorcise him without success, but a chaplain was stubborn and had him excorcised forever.
Christiane Hoppe is also supposed to be seen in the manor as the White Lady, but she is somewhat more peaceful - having had a more peaceful time in the manor when she was alive.
Today, the castle is privately owned by businessman Christian Stadil.
The impressive great hall is the largest of its kind in private ownership in Denmark. The medieval cellar was constructed before the present castle building. It has attractive vaulting and also contains the castle’s large kitchen.
Harridslevgaard is not open to the public.
The building can be seen from the road.