Rolighed (the Danish word means "tranquility") had originally been built around 1800 as a one-storey house with a mansard and a large garden. The Jewish merchant Moritz Melchior and his wife Dorothea acquired it in the 1850s as a summer residence. In 1869, they had it completely rebuilt in the style of Rosenborg Castle with a tower and rounded Dutch gables.
Hans Christian Andersen connection
Moritz and Dorothea Melchior entertained a variety of famous guests from the late 1850s when the family business really began to prosper. The most famous of these were certainly Hans Christian Andersen who was a frequent visitor, first in their home on Højbro Plads then increasingly at Rolighed where, in 1866, he was given his own room with a balcony overlooking the Øresund.
Moritz' brother, Israel, a keen amateur photographer was also a frequent visitor. Andersen, who was interested in photography himself, and he became good friends with the result that Israel took many photographs of family gatherings at Rolighed together with Andersen.
Andersen had become increasingly ill after a fall in 1872. He relied increasingly on the care the Melchiors gave him, spending long periods at Rolighed. On 12 June 1875, he arrived there for the last time. A week later he was no longer able to write his diary which instead he dictated to the Melchiors and their children. At 11 a.m. on 4 August, he died peacefully in his bed.
The house was demolished in 1898 to be replaced by today's apartment building. A plaque has been erected, commemorating Andersen's place of death. It contains two lines from a short poem by Andersen, testifying to his feelings for Rolighed:
- Mit hjem i Hjemmet, hvor bag Hyldens Hang
- mit Liv fik Solskin og min Harpe Klang
which can be translated into English as:
- My home in the home, behind the elderflower
- Gave sunshine to my life and made my harp ring
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rolighed, Østerbro.|
This article draws on the Danish Wikipedia article Rolighed (Østerbro).
- "Hans Christian Andersen – FAQ", Hans Christian Andersen Center". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Carl H. Melchior, "H.C. Andersens hjem i hjemmet - artikel fra Jødisk Orientering, marts 2005", Kulturafdelingen: H.C. Andersen 2005, Israeli Embassy, Copenhagen. (Danish) Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- "I Was Posing for The Photographer Today - Twenty Portraits of H.C. Andersen", Odense City Museums. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Nicolaj Bøgh, "H.C. Andersens sidste dage", H.C. Andersen Information. (Danish) Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Ane Grum-Schwensen, "Thank You for the Letters You Sent Me…", Odense City Museums. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- "Mindetavler på Østerbro", Københavns Biblioteker. (Danish) Retrieved 11 December 2010.