Glücksburg Castle

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Aerial view of Glücksburg Castle in Glücksburg
Northeastern view
View from the courtyard

Glücksburg Castle (German: Schloss Glücksburg, Danish: Lyksborg Slot) is a water castle (Wasserschloss) in the town of Glücksburg, Germany. It is one of the most important Renaissance castles in northern Europe.[1][2] It is the seat of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and was also used by the Danish kings. Situated on the Flensburg Fjord the castle is now a museum owned by a foundation, and is no longer inhabited by the ducal family. Its board of directors is chaired by Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, the current titular duke and head of the House of Glücksburg and House of Oldenburg.[citation needed]


The castle was built from 1582 to 1587 by Nikolaus Karie for John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg (1545-1622) at the site of an former monastery, which was partly used as building material. The terrain of the monastery was then flooded to create a large pond surrounding the castle entirely.

Floor plan of the upper floors, the grey part marking the area of the chapel on the ground floor.

The castle is built on a 2.5 m high granite foundation that emerges from the water. The bricks used for the construction were mainly taken from the demolished monastery. The base area is a square with nearly 30 m length, consisting of three separate houses with their own roofs. While the great halls and the vestibule are situated in the middle house, the living space is in the two side houses. The chapel is the only room that is part of two houses.

On each corner a tower with a diameter of seven meters was built. On the court yard front, two stair towers are situated. They form they only connection between the floors.

The building had typical renaissance adornments, that were removed in the 19th century. Except for changes in the ornamentation, the exterior has remained more or less unchanged for more than 400 years.[3]

Castle Gardens[edit]

The kitchen garden created in 1622 was the castles only garden until the 18th century, as the old monastery garden was lost with the construction of the pond, that was built as defence structure, but also used for fishing. Between 1706 and 1709 a small pleasure garden was created in the area of today's rose garden. From 1733 on, a baroque garden was laid out in the main park in front of the outer buildings, where an orangery was constructed in 1743.[4]

In the 20th century, the formal gardens were remodeled into English landscape parks, though the sections of the older garden remain. The orangery was renovated in 1827 into a neoclassic building, and is now used for art expositions and concerts.

The Glücksburger Rosarium was created in the area of the former castle nursery in 1990/91, and grows more than 500 different roses. In contrast to the castle gardens, it is a private garden and has an admission fee.[5]


  1. ^ Hans u. Doris Maresch: Schleswig-Holsteins Schlösser, Herrenhäuser und Palais. Husum Verlag, Husum 2006 (German)
  2. ^ Homepage of Schloss Glücksburg
  3. ^ Dehio: Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein [Reference book of German art monuments Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein] (in German). München: Deutscher Kunstverlag. 1994. p. 285-287. 
  4. ^ Adrian von Buttlar (Hrsg.) Historische Gärten in Schleswig-Holstein [Historical gardens in Schleswig-Holstein], Boyens & Co., Heide 1996 (German)
  5. ^ "Rosarium" (in German). seaside-garden. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 

Coordinates: 54°49′54″N 9°32′37″E / 54.83167°N 9.54361°E / 54.83167; 9.54361