Egeskov Castle, the house as we see it today, was built by Frands Brockenhuus and was completed in 1554. A few years prior to this, he had married Anne Tinhuus who had taken over the original estate from her parents.
In those days, political unrest, the Reformation and the Counts’ Feud caused many landowners to build their houses as well-protected castles, and Frands Brockenhuus was no exception. He built his castle in the middle of a lake on a foundation of oak pilings, according to legend, in such quantities that “it took an oak forest to do it”.
The building, which looks so peaceful and idyllic to today’s visitors was built for defence purposes. It consists of two long houses connected by a thick double wall – the first house could be abandoned and the fight continued from the second house. The double wall is so thick, it contains hidden stairs and a well to secure a water supply during a siege. The outer walls have machicolations for dropping solids or liquids on the enemy and embrasures, and the enemy’s flank could be shot at from the towers. In addition, the only access to the house was across the drawbridge.
In the more than 400 years that have passed since it was built, various families have lived in the castle. In 1784, Egeskov was sold to Henrik Bille whose descendants have owned the castle ever since. In 1883, Julius Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille moved into Egeskov and, during his time at the castle, it was restored by Helgo Zettervall, a Swedish architect, who also made the tower roofs higher, re-established the corbie gables and built the gatehouse you pass through when visiting the castle.
During this period, the castle was developed into an up-to-date model farm with its own dairy, power station and railway track to Kværndrup, and this formed the economic basis for the large, modern farm that Egeskov is to this day.
The park has been open to the public for several generations and has remained unchanged since 1959 when restoration of the historic grounds commenced.
In 1967, the Veteran Car Museum was opened in the impressive building which used to be a barn and, over the years, the museum has been extended to include several of the surrounding farm buildings.
The Banqueting Hall was restored in 1975. Since 1986, the Hall and many of the other rooms in the house have been open to the public daily throughout the season.
Facts about Egeskov
Castle and park: 20 ha.
Number of rooms in the castle: 66
Number of windows in the castle: 200
Number of panes of glass in the castle: 2,062
Number of bathrooms in the castle: 6
Number of doors in the castle: 171
The depth of the moat max.: 5 metres
Number of mazes: 2
The age of the hedges max.: 280 years
The height of the hedges max.: 8 metres
Fuchsia, number of varieties in the garden: 1.375
Tree Top Walking, length: 100 metres
Tree Top Walking, height: 15 metres
Number of employees on the estate in season: 120
Veteran Car Museum, large effects: 350
Museum exhibition area: 10,000 m2
Museum, elevation to ceiling max.: 20 metres