The Throne Chamber
When Hereditary Prince Frederik assumed the palace after the fire at Christiansborg in 1794 he didn’t have any political influence, but one doesn’t notice this when one stands in the throne chamber he had furnished for himself.
The paintings above the doors symbolise the corners of the world known in antiquity. Simultaneously the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – are symbolised by the room’s decor, as two paintings of the Greek gods Rhea and Poseidon represent earth and water, while a painted starry sky above the throne and a red throne throw symbolise air and fire respectively. The Hereditary Prince is thus made the symbolic centre of the universe.
The Throne Chamber stands almost exactly as it was conceived by Nicolai Abildgaard, with strong colours and strict symmetry.
The museum in Christian VIII’s Palace is a recent addition to Rosenborg’s royal collections, which were founded by Frederik III in the 1660s. At the beginning of the 19th century the idea of opening Rosenborg to the public arose, and in 1812 the principle, which is still current, was established that the historical interiors chronologically follow the changing generations of the Royal Family. The Danish Royal Collections was founded in 1833, and Rosenborg was opened to the public in 1838. A tour of the palace thus became a journey through Danish history from the time of Christian IV to the present moment, since there at the opening was a room furnished for Frederik VI, who lived until the following year. In 1868 a room was furnished for Frederik VII, who had died five years previously, and Christian IX was also given a room at Rosenborg in 1910. The limited space at Rosenborg was now utilised to the full, and if later kings were to be added, it would have to be somewhere else. At first Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg presented itself as a possibility. The palace had been left as good as untouched since the death of Christian IX in 1906, and in the 1950s Christian IX’s study and Queen Louise’s salon were preserved on the initiative of Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid. Furthermore, it was ensured that Christian X’s study in Christian VIII’s Palace, which was packed away following Queen Alexandrine’s death in 1952, was preserved. In 1956 Frederik IX created by royal resolution the juridical basis for the establishment of The Royal Danish Collections at Amalienborg. Thus in 1977 a museum for the House of Glücksburg opened in part of the ground floor of Christian IX’s Palace, but it already closed again in 1982, as running a museum in the Royal Couple’s palace of residence proved in practice to be inexpedient. After an extensive restoration of Christian VIII’s Palace the opportunity arose to re-establish the museum on the ground floor of this palace, which more than doubled the previous exhibition space. In 1994 the museum was reopened here, and remained true to the original idea: to exhibit a series of historical interiors which trace the royal generations. At the opening the museum included Christian IX’s study, Queen Louise’s salon, Christian X’s study, as well as Christian X and Queen Alexandrine’s dining room. The large exhibition space also afforded the opportunity to reconstruct Frederik VIII’s study, and more rooms were made available to the museum, which are today known as The Garden Room, The Costume Gallery, and The Golden Cage. In the 1990s the museum was entrusted with Frederik IX’s study as it had looked on the king’s death in 1972. The room was opened to the public on the occasion of the King’s 100th birthday on 11 March 1999. Since its opening the museum has arranged guided tours on the palace’s piano nobile, where you can see Nicolai Abildgaard’s magnificent neoclassical interiors, which he created at the request of Hereditary Prince Frederik after the royal assumption of Amalienborg in 1794. Since July 2013 the piano nobile has been open to the museum’s visitors every Saturday.
The Royal Representation Rooms
The museum visit includes access to the piano nobile (except for the period 29 August – 21 September where there is no access to the beletage). The piano nobile features some of Amalienborg’s most beautiful interiors and is used for official functions by HRH Princess Benedikte as well as TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Large parts of the piano nobile were created by the painter Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard (1743-1809), who mastered several arts. He was responsible for renovating the palace following the royal assumption of Amalienborg, as a result of the fire at Christiansborg, in 1794. The palace, which was originally known as Levetzau’s Palace after its noble owner, was taken over by Hereditary Prince Frederik (son of Frederik V and Queen Julianne Marie) and his wife, Hereditary Princess Sofie Frederikke. Their son Christian VIII later resided in the palace, which later became known as Christian VIII’s Palace. Abildgaard’s interiors are neoclassical in style and characterised by columns, pilasters, straight lines, and strict symmetry with a fairly bold choice of colours – both by the standards of the time and today. Parts of the interiors were recreated according to Abildgaard’s watercolour sketches of the decor during a thorough renovation of the palace in the 1980s.