The Queen’s summer castle and garden

Gråsten Castle

 In 1935, the castle became the summer residence of the later King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid. Even today, the castle is used by the royal family as a summer castle.

The history of the castle
The history of Gråsten Castle dates to the 16th century. The present castle was built around the year 1700. From that time there is still the richly decorated castle church. The rest of the castle burned down in 1759 and was subsequently rebuilt to its present appearance.The history of the castle divides into three epochs. The first connects to the Count Ahlefeldt family, the middle to the dukes of Augustenborg and the latest to the Royal House. In the 17th and 18th centuries, there was a neat baroque garden with winding paths, square beds, sculptures, and fountains.

The history of the castle garden
During the second half of the 18th century, the baroque garden was transformed into a romantic garden with curved paths, large lawns, flowering shrubs, and wooded areas. Since the middle of the 20th century, Queen Ingrid and after her HM the Queen have further developed the romantic garden into a colourful landscape flower garden. A garden walk on the winding paths in Gråsten Castle Gardens offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape with forests, lakes, and rippling streams varying with flower-rich shrubs, perennial, and rose beds.

Contemporary royal garden art
Flowering begins in early spring with tulips, daffodils, and pansies which are replaced by rhododendrons and azaleas in strong colours. Later, the perennial beds are in full bloom with i.e., fragrant phlox, daylilies, montbretia and peonies. The garden is a living example of contemporary royal garden art. The royal family has for decades spent a large part of the summer at Gråsten Castle, where the kitchen garden has served as a production garden and supplied fresh fruit and vegetables to the royal kitchen.

The Royal Kitchen Garden
In 2015, Sønderborg Municipality and the Palaces and Culture Agency decided to transform the old kitchen garden at Gråsten Castle into a new attraction in Southern Jutland for the benefit of the local community and tourists from home and abroad, who come past Gråsten Castle and Gråsten Castle Gardens. H.M. The Queen and H.R.H. Princess Benedicte inaugurated The Royal Kitchen Garden on Friday, July 24th, 2020. The kitchen garden at Gråsten Castle has not been open to the public before, but now both the kitchen garden and the new buildings are more accessible to everyone. So, in the future, the kitchen garden welcomes its guests, so you can experience a wealth of herbs, fruit trees, shrubs with berries, and flowers.

Many options in the kitchen garden
The gardeners harvest assorted products depending on the season, and as part of the new concept, a large part is used for tastings for the visitors, and if there is anything left over, it is donated to institutions or sold on selected market days in the kitchen garden. It is also possible to have lunch in the kitchen garden’s café, and school classes can learn about gardening and the road from the oily soil to an inviting table.

Who maintains the garden?
The Palaces and Culture Agency runs and maintains Gråsten Castle and Gråsten Castle Gardens, while a partnership consisting of Sønderborg Municipality, local associations, volunteers and the Palaces and Culture Agency run the Royal Kitchen Gardens at Gråsten Castle.

Facts about castle and garden
Castle area: 8,560 m2
Built: 1759
Access: The castle is closed to visitors, but there is access to the church. Provided that the royal family does not stay at Gråsten Castle, the castle- and kitchen garden is open.
Castle garden area: eleven hectares
Style: Romantic landscape garden

© The Palaces and Culture Agency.

Gråsten Slot, Slotshaven, Slotskirken og Køkkenhaven
6300 Gråsten

Phone: +45 74 65 14 54

Opening hours:
See Sønderborg Turistbureau:åsten-slot

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