‘Romantic’ is the word visitors most frequently use to describe Frederiksberg Gardens, with its many paths, trees, bridges and streams. And it is romantic – it’s supposed to be!
The gardens are from the 18th century, and were designed for the royal summer residence, Frederiksberg Palace. At the time, landscape fashions were changing. Previously, parks and gardens had been in the French baroque style, with symmetrical paths and strictly ordered beds, a style still visible in some parts of the park, but these baroque features were to be replaced by the romantic English style.
The gardens strove to imitate nature, and were replete with inspiration from distant lands – Chinese-style teahouses, ancient temples, waterfalls and mysterious grottos.
Frederiksberg Gardens still offers all of this. Many of the romantic elements have been preserved, helping to create the impression of being far from the city. The exotic air is intensified by the fact that the elephants in the nearby zoo are visible from the gardens.
The gardens were created for the royal family, but have been public since 1749. Next door is the Southern Field (Søndermarken), which was originally part of the park but is now Frederiksberg Gardens’ wilder twin.
Activities abound. During the summer, one of the most popular ways to enjoy the park is by water. For a small fee, a rowing boat can be yours from which to enjoy the big trees and abundance of flowers as you glide around the gardens at a leisurely pace. This was how King Frederik VI, who loved the place, liked to travel and greet the people.
Perched on top of the hill, Frederiksberg Palace has been an officer training school for the army since 1867. Regular public tours provide an opportunity to visit the palace and get a sense of how a royal home looked in the 18th century.
Photo: Scanpix/Torben Huss