Egeskov is the biggest tourist attraction on Fyn – an experience you simply must not miss when you visit our delightful island. Egeskov Castle is the best-preserved moated castle in Europe, and enjoys an idyllic location in a giant park that has won a variety of garden awards.
There is so much to see and do at the castle that it can keep all members of the family happily occupied for days. Visit the numerous collections and museums which house unique exhibitions of rare aircraft and vehicles, for example. Even though the count and his family still live in the castle, visitors are welcome to step inside and admire many of the sumptuous rooms.
Egeskov is also an excellent venue and regularly stages events such as midsummer parties, concerts and special exhibitions. Check the castle website for details of special events.
Titania, the most magical dolls’ house in the world, is a delight for children and the young at heart. See if you can spot the Faerie Queen in one of the richly decorated rooms. Dracula’s crypt serves up chills and thrills for courageous souls.
Egeskov is open from the end of April until the end of October. However, it takes a break from its ‘hibernation’ in November, when the doors of the castle are thrown open for a special Christmas Market. Click here for details of prices and opening hours.
Pack a picnic basket and seek out a prime spot to enjoy lunch al fresco. Surrounded by old beech trees, you will find a delightful playground featuring playthings made by Kompan. There are benches and tables here, too, so everyone can sit down and enjoy their packed lunch. Egeskov also has an excellent café in its old manor stables, where you can buy delicious sandwiches and Italian specialities.
If you enjoy active pastimes, you are sure to love the idea of challenging yourself with some treetop walking high above the ground. In among the old beech trees, you will find a 100-metre-long aerial walkway at a height of 10–15 metres. Egeskov is also famous for its giant maze, where all members of the family can have fun losing their way.
The history of Egeskov
This fairy-tale castle, which is more than 450 years old, enjoys a delightful setting in the beautiful South Fyn countryside. Egeskov Castle was originally built by Frands Brockenhuus, the king’s lieutenant, and was finally completed in 1554. At that time, Denmark was experiencing a period of civil unrest, which resulted in landowners building castles that were difficult to capture. This most certainly applied to Egeskov, which was sited in the middle of a lake. Legend has it that the oak tree foundations were so huge that they required an entire forest. This gave the castle its name (‘Egeskov’ means ‘Oak Woods’ in Danish).
The magnificent building radiates tranquillity and idyll today, but it was originally intended for defence. The complex consists of two longhouses linked by a thick double wall. If the castle was attacked, the plan was to surrender one building and then continue fighting from the other. The double wall is so thick that there is room for both flights of concealed stairs and a well to provide the defenders with access to a supply of water in the event of a siege. The outer wall features a series of embrasures and machicolations, allowing the defenders to attack their aggressors with boiling water or tar.
A number of clans have lived at Egeskov over the years. It was sold to Henrik Bille in 1784 and has remained in the possession of his family ever since. In 1975 the owners restored the castle banqueting hall, and from 1986 onwards, tourists have been able to visit both this hall and many of the other rooms in the castle. The banqueting hall is also available for hire as a venue for exclusive parties and dinners. If you are interested in the great outdoors, you will surely be fascinated by the Hunting Lounge and the Hunting Hall. As you walk through the castle, take a moment to consider that it was here that Maid Rigborg was confined for five years after finding herself in ‘unfortunate circumstances’ following a tryst with Rosenkrantz, Groom of the Chamber.
Egeskov Castle Grounds have been open to the general public for generations. The current appearance of the historical gardens can be traced back to 1959, when work was begun to restore the old grounds. Some of the trees and bushes are centuries old, however, and in particular many of the hedges at Egeskov are unique. They are looked after by the castle gardeners, who devote the greatest care to them.
The vintage cars roll in
Egeskov is home to a large collection of vintage cars, and a vintage vehicle museum was opened in a former grain barn in 1967. Over the years, the original museum has spread to other buildings and a number of additional museums have been opened. Count Ahlefeldt and his family still live in the castle, and can often be seen greeting visitors in the park or on the Segway track.