Bygdøy Royal Estate
|Bygdøy Royal Estate|
Bygdøy Royal Estate in 1903
|Town or city||Oslo|
The estate originally belonged to the Cistercian monastery on Hovedøya. At the end of the thirteenth century, Bygdøy was purchased from the Hovedøya monastery by King Haakon V of Norway as a gift for his wife, Queen Euphemia of Rügen. Their daughter, Ingeborg of Norway, later returned the island to the monastery.
It was acquired by the king during the Protestant Reformation to supply Akershus Fortress and garrison. The King would also use the estate for hunting and a hunting lodge. A zoological garden was set up by King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway.
The current main building was erected in 1733 as a summer residence for Danish official and Governor of Norway, Christian Rantzau (1684-1771). King Christian Frederick lived on the estate in 1814 after he was forced to give up the throne and before he left for Denmark. Kings Haakon VII and Olav V also used the estate as a summer residence. 
A comprehensive restoration of the main building and gardens began in 2004. The buildings and gardens have undergone extensive refurbishments and the estate is again set to be the regular summer residence of Harald V and Queen Sonja.
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