Just 35 minutes from Copenhagen you will find Havreholm Slot – a historic property with an exciting history and a proud tradition in the restaurant, hotel and conference management sectors. Haveholm Slot is surrounded by 30 acres of listed parkland, forest, meadows and lake. This splendid complex is directly adjacent to Klosterris Hegn, one of the most beautiful areas in North Zealand, and with Hornbæk golf course just 5 minutes away.
It all began in 1837
The name “Havreholm” is not particularly familiar. It is a small village, located about 4 kilometres south west of Hornbæk close to Gurre Creek. From 1837 this was the location of the Havreholm Paper Factory. However, largely because of the reorganisation of the Danish paper industry, the factory suffered the same fate as many other factories in the 19th century and only survived for a short period.
It was more than 100 years ago that the flame was extinguished under the factory’s boiler and the paper machine ceased operation. Today, there are only two things left to remind us of that time. Havreholm, which is the same idyllic North Zealand village as it was at the time of the paper factory. And the Castle. Havreholm Slot was built in 1872 by the merchant, Valdemar Culmsee. The Castle was built in magnificent style compared to the standards of the time, and placed on the elevated ceremonial site opposite Gurre Creek.
The Culmsees were an enterprising family, who had run paper factories for generations, and there were many stories about the patriarchal relations that prevailed between the factory workers and family. In her memoirs, which were published in 1925, F.L. Culmsee’s daughter, Emmy Drachman described her father: “We always called our father, ‘Our Lord’. It jarred on my childish ears, and one day I attempted to explain to one of the people that there was only one Lord and he lived in Heaven. ‘That may be true,’ replied the man, ‘but Mr Culmsee is our Lord here in Havreholm.’”
Holger Drachman and Havreholm
Denmark’s great poet, Holger Drachman was a frequent guest of the son in the factory owner, Valdemar Culmsee´s
large hospitable home and was very much captivated by the daughters. “I have actually been in love with all the Culmsee sisters one after the other,” he allegedly said. This was no mean feat. There were seven of them.
The evening that Polly Culmsee was engaged to one of Drachman’s rivals, he was reportedly “irrepressibly and dizzily merry.” With hat in hand, he said goodnight to the company while, at the same time, jumping out of the first-floor window and getting off with just a fright.
Later, however, he began a love affair with Polly, “the only major ill-fated passion of his life”, as Professor Poul v. Rubow describes it in his book, Holger Drachman’s Youth. This period made a substantial mark on his writing, but he ended up marrying Polly’s younger sister, Emmy.
On the drive there was a copper beech tree, which Valdemar allowed the famous poet to plant at the time. It was destroyed in a storm some years ago. For many years it was a reminder of Havreholm’s literary past. Subsequently, a new red beech tree was planted on the drive.
The story goes that the great Danish author, Henrik Pontoppidan wrote his immortal novel, Lucky Per in the tower of Havreholm Slot.
For a short period of time Havreholm was owned by a Swedish playboy, Mr. Persson. He installed some magnificent tiled stoves from Sweden, which are a reminder of that fun time. But now for the artistic period.
A Golden Age painter was given free rein
The Castle started a new chapter when Holger Jantzen, owner of the Soembadadi on Java, took over Havreholm and the adjacent fields. With great sensitivity the property’s scenic location, Holger Jantzen extended the grounds by acquiring lots more land.
The beautiful park was enhanced with stone circles and the waterfall by the lake was constructed using rocks from the boundary between two farms in Bøtterup.
But the most notable change took place in the actual Castle. The painter and art professor Joakim Skovgaard worked for more than 3 years on the decoration of the large Garden Room. The artist chose to depict the ancient creation myth in six large and six small murals. At the same time he decorated the entire room, so that the paintings created a continuous horizon all the way around the Garden Room. Once we stood in the garden of Paradise, and we still do today. We have shown the greatest respect for these invaluable art treasures by placing them once again in their original environment, where they symbolise the peace and harmony, which still prevail at Havreholm.
The book, Joakim Skovgaard’s Paradise Paintings at Havreholm traces the artist’s long road from concept to final result. In 1917, Joakim Skovgaard wrote a letter to Holger Jantzen, a letter that expressed something of his expectation and job satisfaction: “My walls are full of large canvases all in a row. Quite something for a painter.” Later he wrote, “I can imagine that you are longing to see and try out a painting at home. I can assure you that you could not be keener than I am, but it is going to take some time.”
It took 3 years for Skovgaard to complete his paintings. They were first exhibited at Den Frie, and a little later at the Academy of Fine Arts. Finally in Stockholm. At these exhibitions it was very evident to experts how much the paintings were in harmony with the special lighting conditions in the Garden Room at Havreholm. Here is a quotation from the book about Skovgaard: “There is a certain dimness in the room, to which Skovgaard expertly adapted his concept. He worked on the foliage in the usual way, but there is a certain lightness in his treatment, which only comes into its own, when one sees the paintings in the Garden Room, which has now been rechristened ‘The Paradise Room’. Joakim Skovgaard decorated the ceiling with the Zodiac – the 12 signs of the Zodiac, surrounded by magnificent characters, which depict the four seasons. The entire ceiling is surrounded by wonderful stucco, which helps to create an entity and an exceptional vision of artistic beauty.”
In the same family for more than 70 years
Holger Jantzen enjoyed his retirement years at Havreholm until his death, after which his wife took over the property and upheld the brilliant traditions with Havreholm as a gathering place for the whole Family.
After Louise Jantzen’s death, her niece Helvig Thal-Jantzen continued the traditions, when she inherited the Castle. In collaboration with the garden architect, Erstad, she transformed the garden into a beautiful entity with the house, garden and lake. She also had the less than fertile soil replanted to create a profitable fruit orchard. Up to and including the period of the last owners, Erna and Valdemar Thal Jantzen, the Castle had been owned by the family for more than 70 years. It was then sold to Havreholm Slot A/S.
The start of a new adventure
In the late 1980s, there were major plans to establish a Country Club at Havreholm. The main building was renovated. Tennis courts, swimming pools and other sports facilities were constructed.
The roofs were re-thatched and comfortable cabins were placed in the Park for accommodation. But the time was not ripe for a Country Club, and in 1989 Inge Correll took over Havreholm Slot – with an insurance company as co-owner of the buildings and land.
In 1991, Havreholm Slot was expanded and converted into a modern hotel and conference centre with attractive party facilities.
The classic virtues were cultivated with the highest respect and regard for both past glories and more contemporary demands for comfort, a high level of service and professional management.
The Castle and the park were carefully preserved, maintained and restored in some areas. A 9-hole golf course was established in the Castle’s grounds. In 1994 the garden architect, Torben Thim was given free rein to recreate the Rose Garden using old-fashioned, historic, fragrant roses.
The years around the turn of the Millennium were good ones for Havreholm Slot and helped to set the standard of high service and exemplary etiquette. But suddenly the financial crisis struck Denmark. After difficult times in the economic landscape, once again there was a change of ownership at Havreholm Slot.
Today, the two managers, Charlotte Høyer and Bjarke Sørensen are in charge of operations at Havreholm Slot.
Everything is as it always has been. But at the same time nothing is quite what it was. The Castle’s main building still comes across as a large private home with unparalleled professionalism in terms of service. The new owners have managed to respect the roots and continue to regard their management of Havreholm Slot as a precious gift. It gives them a sense of commitment.
The private golf course was removed to pave the way for an exciting parkour course in the park’s treetops. This is operated by an independent company. The gastronomy has taken an upward direction and now focuses entirely on organic ingredients using herbs, onions, cabbage and mushrooms gathered in the castle’s own forest.
So, while the content has been updated, the atmosphere and quality are still of the same invariable lquality.
Welcome to Havreholm Slot.