1 Christian IV’s Winter Room
ROOM 1: The Winter Room is the best preserved room from the original Castle, and it was the most important of the King’s three private chambers. The bays are from 1758; in front of the bay to the right stood Christian IV’s mechanical arrangement for raising and lowering the drawbridge. Christian IV lay in state here and the exhibits are mostly from his time.
The rich panelling was begun by Court cabinet-maker Gregor Greuss and were completed around 1620. The inlaid paintings were purchased in Antwerp and constitute a unique collection of art from the Netherlands; however, most of the artists are unknown. The original stucco ceiling was replaced around 1770 with Pieter Isaacsz’ mythological paintings, including The Feast of the Gods and The Fall of the Giants, which were moved from the room above.
A speaking tube connects the Winter Room to the Wine Cellar, to the room above and to the gable room at the opposite end of the Castle. In the cupboards on the south wall, Frederik IV kept his private chamber of curiosities, which included spoils of war from the Palace of Gottorp. It later became part of the private collections of Frederik V in Christiansborg Palace and Kunstkammeret (The Chamber of Curiosities).
A magnificent example of an astronomical clock, with a carillon and moveable figures, made by the Swiss watchmaker Isaac Habrecht in 1594. Habrecht was one of the main figures behind the famous cathedral in Strasbourg, where he spent most of his life. The clock which stands at Rosenborg was constructed in part as a replica of it — though on a smaller scale, since the astronomical clock in Strasbourg was among the world’s biggest, before it was rebuilt and became unrecognisable. That the clock is astronomical means that apart from the time it also shows the days of the week, months, years, and lunar phases. The clock has an hour hand to show the time for both the 12 and 24 hour clocks, but no minute hand, as the technology wasn’t advanced enough for this until the introduction of the pendulum. As a reminder of the cycle of life and the inevitability of death, the four ages of man (childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age) are depicted around the clock’s quarter hour hand, just as it is death who rings the bells of the carillon. There is also a weekly calendar, symbolised by the seven gods who have lent their names to the days of the week. The melody played by the carillon is a recreation of a melody from Habrecht’s time, since we do not know how the original sounded. The clock was never in Christian IV’s possession, being made for the Cabinet of Curiosities at Gottorf in 1764 on the orders of Frederik IV. That the relocation was possible was because Frederik IV had captured Gottorf Castle in 1713 during a military operation in the Great Northern War (1700-1721). After capturing it, the king ordered that spoils of war, in this case the art collection, should be moved from Schleswig to Copenhagen. The relocation was made in several rounds, and it wasn’t until many years after Frederik IV’s death that the clock reached its destination. At first the clock was placed in Christiansborg Palace, before being sold in several parts, and it wasn’t until 1846 that Rosenborg was able to purchase and reassemble the clock.