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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Castle. Palace. Fortress. Chateaux. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear those words? Usually, it’s a majestic building with intricate details or a mysterious ruin that’s half crumbled by an ancient battle. All of these castles have so much history behind them which is what makes them so beautiful. However, the one castle that many people think of is Versailles: the palace of the Sun King just west of Paris. It’s well known for its Baroque architecture, expansive garden, and, of course, the famous Hall of Mirrors. But what about other castles? I feel like we don’t hear about castles in other parts of Europe aside from the popular ones in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. While Versailles dominates the castles of Central Europe, what about up north?

This summer, I went to Copenhagen, Denmark, on a 3-week study abroad trip. I’ve always had a small obsession with castles, so of course, I had to do some research on whether there were medieval castles in Denmark. I honestly assumed there weren’t any, mostly because I knew nothing about Danish history. After reading article after article, I was surprised to find there were several castles in Denmark, all preserved extremely well and absolutely stunning. I narrowed them down to my three personal favorites: Kronborg, Egeskov, and Frederiksborg. 

However, there was something special about the last one. Frederiksborg Castle stood out to me in a way the others didn’t. There was something incredibly beautiful about it, and its grandeur drew me in. It was in almost perfect condition, and the severe look of the castle contrasted the whimsical nature of the gardens. I immediately knew that I would have to visit it. 

The first step was to meet everyone at the train station. There were four of us: myself, Karenna (my roommate at the time), Sydney and Georgina, whom I had met earlier that week in my study abroad class. We caught a passenger train to a small town called Hillerød, which happened to be at the very end of the train line. When we got off the train, we were so confused. It was practically deserted, with only a few people waiting around for the next train, and Google Maps said we still had a kilometer to go. Since it was a Sunday, there were not many people out in town, so it was eerily quiet. But as soon as we turned down the main street, my heart stopped. I will never forget the feeling of seeing Frederiksborg Castle for the first time. Sure, I had seen images online, but I had never seen a castle so close to being out of a fairytale. It rose out of the center of a lake, which mimicked a moat, and it had a symmetrical style that made it so visually pleasing. Behind the castle was a beautiful Baroque Garden that went on for acres, contrasting the Renaissance style of Frederiksborg. 

We walked along a sandy path that bordered the lake, getting closer and closer to the castle. There were families having fun with their children, friends having picnics, and older people just sitting on benches, enjoying the morning. There was even a small dock that had a perfect view of the castle, and I made a mental note to enjoy lunch there later. But it was just such a beautiful contrast to see people going about their daily lives while this stunning, majestic castle stood right across the water. 

As soon as we walked into the courtyard, I could feel the excitement among the four of us. Although I had been to Europe before and seen other castles, I still got this sort of high every time I visited a new one. We were so eager to go inside, but I had to take a moment to just look at Frederiksborg. If there was a word for excitement, awe, and gratitude, that would be me in that moment. 

There were over forty rooms to explore, as well as an art exhibition on the fourth floor. It would take us at least two hours, but I was prepared to go all in. In 1859, a fire destroyed much of the interior castle, but luckily, all had been restored to its original condition, including the furniture and decorative arts. As someone who loves art and interior design, walking through the different rooms was such a surreal experience because we don’t have rooms, let alone castles, like this back in the United States. Frederiksborg even had an entire floor where each room was assigned a specific color. There was a pale pink hallway with marble and gold inlays on the ceiling, a green bedroom with a magnificent canopy bed with walls covered in tapestries, and even a cobalt room dedicated to portraits of past Danish royals. 

However, the crown jewel of the palace has to be the Frederiksborg Castle Chapel. Filled with intricate gold and silver carvings, beautiful murals, and an impressive vaulted ceiling, it was one of the most incredible churches I have ever seen. We were able to walk around the perimeter, looking down into the pews, and it was just so surreal. It amazes me that people used to design interiors like this for the sake of it being beautiful. This was the same with the Baroque Gardens, which were designed to have symmetry and an aspect of control. There were fountains, hedges, and beautiful flowers everywhere. As you walked further back, the style bled into a romantic English-style garden with forests and open fields to explore. It was just such a contrast to the natural areas and gardens that I see back home. 

Being able to visit these castles and have these experiences is so special to me. I love discovering places that are completely different from the United States because we don’t have incredible monuments like these. Castles are steeped in history and it’s amazing how people put in so much effort to create something extraordinary. That is one of the reasons why I love castles so much; you can truly see the hard work and passion that the architects and designers put into creating these beautiful buildings. Especially with Frederiksborg, understanding the dedication behind the design of the castle is one of the reasons why it makes the visit so meaningful. This castle truly is a hidden gem of Denmark and every aspect of the castle is breathtaking. If you have the chance to visit, definitely put Frederiksborg at the top of your list!

Madison Moss

CU Boulder '26

Madison Moss is a member of the Her Campus chapter at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is also on the executive board as a member of the social media team. She not only writes articles, but she also creates new content for the Her Campus CU Boulder Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, as well as collaborating with the other members of the social media team to optimize each of these pages. Beyond Her Campus, Madison is a sophomore at CU Boulder majoring in Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Media Design. She also is minoring in French and wants to earn a certificate in International Media. She hopes to go into luxury branding, specifically in the fashion or travel industry. In high school, she was in upper level English classes and won English Student of the Year her sophomore year. Her Campus CU Boulder is Madison’s first official writing organization that she has been a part of. In her free time, Madison enjoys reading books, spending time with her friends, and watching movies and tv shows, preferably romantic comedies and Disney. She also is an avid traveler and has been all over the world. Some of her favorite places she’s been to are the Czech Republic, Austria, Hawaii, Peru, and Denmark. Madison also enjoys spending time with her family. They go to Denver often to see musicals, ballets, and plays. They also enjoy going to different restaurants and trying new foods together.