|Area||5.5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|Pop. density||6.7 /km2 (17.4 /sq mi)|
Gavnø is a small Danish island off the west coast of Zealand in Næstved Municipality. Located some 6 km south-west of Næstved, it has an area of 5.6 km2, and, as of 1 January 2010, it has a population of 57. Gavnø is now associated mainly with Gavnø Castle, an impressive Rococo building with an attractive park.
The first historical mention of Gavnø is in King Valdemar's census book from 1231 where a "house on Gavnø" is mentioned. The house was apparently a castle built to defend Denmark's western coasts. In the 15th century, Queen Margaret I opened St Agnes' Priory there, catering for nuns from aristocratic families. The chapel can still be seen in the castle's southern wing although it has since been extended.
In 1737, Count Otto Thott acquired Gavnø. He renovated and substantially extended the castle, creating today's three-winged, yellow-façaded building in the Rococo style where he was able to house his large collections of paintings, manuscripts and books. At his death, his library collection contained over 120,000 volumes, exceeding that of the Danish National Library. The park surrounding the castle is known for its rare trees, rose garden and, above all, its extensive display of bulbs.