Impressions & Insights:
A world class royal hunting landscape

Board 1:

A world class royal hunting landscape – impressions and insights

The photo exhibition consists of 26 beautiful pictures of the royal hunting grounds in Gribskov forest, Store Dyrehave near Hillerød and Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave. The photos are from different parts of the year: the green summer, the golden autumn, and the white winter. Many of the photos were taken by a drone, which gives the pictures an amazing perspective.

The aerial perspective reveals the unique layout of the landscape and showcases the international outlook of Danish absolutism as well as its ability to control nature. The photos also reveal the grandeur and the historical importance of the par force hunting landscape.

The photo exhibition is relevant to everyone as it showcases our common UNESCO World Heritage.

Through the photos and some “point to ponder/questions”, we hope that the exciting history of the hunting landscape and UNESCO’s values can help you to create new reflections on our past, present and future.

We hope you will enjoy this historical time travel.

 

Best regards
Peter Leschly, photographer
Liv Thøger-Aldahl, General Manager
The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand
World Heritage Site since 1915

Point to ponder/questions

Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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Traveling photo exhibition: From North to South in UNESCO World Heritage

The exhibition can be seen from 3 of June – 22 of August at Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød. From the 6th of November – 30th of November the exhibition is placed near The Hermitage in Jægersborg Dyrehave. The 6th of November is also the day the annual drag hunt is staged.

UNESCO World Heritage in your living room: 10 of these amazing photo motives are for sale as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: www.ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

A special thanks to:
Nationalpark Kongernes Nordsjælland Sportsrideklubben

Collaborators:
Rudersdal Municipality
Hillerød Municipality
Lyngby-Taarbæk Municipality
Gribskov Municipality
Fredensborg Municipality
Ministry of Environment of Denmark – Nature Agency
Museum Nordsjælland
Det Grønne Museum

Board 2:

The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand:

An important part of Danish history
In the 17th and 18th century, there was an international outlook among European rulers, who were inspired by each other, for instance on their grand tours. It was on such a grand tour, visiting Louis 14th of France, that crown prince Christian (5th) experienced the chasse à courre (par force hunt) for the first time.

World famous mathematics and science
Shortly after Christian 5th became king in 1670, he established a par force hunting landscape in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave, Store Dyrehave, and Gribskov. The many kilometers of hunting roads shaped like geometrical patterns were constructed by hundreds of soldiers equipped with wheelbarrows, pickaxes, shovels, and axes. Thus, Christian 5th managed to transform the wild forests and bogs into an orderly hunting landscape inspired by the symmetrical garden and landscape architecture of the baroque.

In the 1670s and early 1680s the famous Danish astronomer Ole Rømer lived in France where he made several scientific discoveries and assisted in the construction of the fountain systems at Versailles. In 1681 he returned to Denmark and was appointed royal astronomer. He is believed to have constructed the geometrical layout of the par force hunting grounds as well as the construction of a winch system in Christian 5th’s Eremitageslot (The Hermitage hunting lodge) used to elevate food from the kitchen up into the royal dining room through a hole in the base of a dining table.

Royal self-staging: Power, hunting & splendor
The par force hunt was a magnificent spectacle of splendor and power, where the king was presented as an elevated, autocratic ruler. By taming the wild nature and by killing the red deer the king showcased his divinity and excellence. In the 17th century the royal hunting grounds were also an important source of game for the court. Some hunting disciplines even worked as a kind of military training.

The par force hunt was a royal ceremony designed to impress the spectators in all its splendor with countless trained hunting dogs, expensive horse breeds as well as luxurious costumes and weapons. It was a remarkable and costly event – especially the demanding construction of the vast and symmetrical hunting landscape, which was expected to correspond with the king’s ambitions regarding science and international outlook.

Board 3:

UNESCO brings places, people, and societies together

Other par force hunting areas exist around the world, yet the royal hunting grounds in Northern Zealand is the only one of its kind on The World Heritage List. The areas were selected for the list in 2015, which means they are deemed to be of “Outstanding Universal Value”. With the selection comes certain obligations such as protecting and preserving the hunting areas as well as developing and conveying the heritage site’s history and potential.

UNESCO works for peace, education, and preservation of cultural heritage
UNESCO is an organization under The United Nations, which was founded after the 2nd World War. Its purpose is to create peace. In other words: ”Building Peace begins in the minds of men and women”. UNESCO’s core values are freedom of speech, democracy, equality, preservation of culture, nature and education. Thus, UNESCO wishes to promote corporation between nations within four areas: Education, science, communication, and culture.

UNESCO is a strong global brand
UNESCO has a strong international brand. It´s a brand with a significant status that creates pride and contributes positively to local areas, cultural life, and nature. When a location is nominated for inscription to the list, it means that the site has universal cultural value. Therefore, the par force hunting landscape in North Zealand is yours, mine, and our UNESCO World Heritage.

Board 4:

Par force hunting and drag hunting

The drag hunt is a symbolic continuation of the old par force hunt. The yearly drag hunt in Dyrehaven also commemorates Saint Hubertus’ – the saint of hunters – feast day the 3rd of November. In the 17th and 18th century the same date marked the end of the par force hunt season.

A royal tradition
The drag hunt has some similarities with the par force hunting, e.g. the breathtaking pursuit. Furthermore, the drag hunt is staged in Dyrehaven – one of the old hunting areas where the Danish par force hunt was usually performed. Finally, the par force hunt and the drag hunt are both a royal tradition. With regards to the drag hunt the royal participation is almost as old as the first hunt. From Christian 10th up until today the royal family has participated with several members although primarily as presenters of the prizes. Today the winner of the drag hunt receives Her Royal Majesty Crown Princess Mary’s Honorary Prize.

History of the drag hunt
The first Danish drag hunt was arranged the 5th of November 1905 by Sportsrideklubben. The club organized a wide range of hunting tournaments like paper hunts, where you navigated by different strips of paper laid out by a rider known as the “fox”. Hunting types like paper hunting resemble some of the elements in the drag hunt, which is as combination of a pursuit and obstacle race. Today all drag hunt riders are dressed in beautiful red jackets with a black collar, white shirts, riding breeches, plastron (a special type of tie), and gloves. The leader of the hunt is called a master, who wears a top hat and follows shortly after the two “fox” riders.

Point to ponder:

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#1: Stjernen in Gribskov near Hillerød

A ROYAL VIEW: If you place yourself in the middle of Stjernen (a center from which eight hunting roads radiate) in Gribskov you will get an impressive view of the hunting landscape. The hunt showcased the king’s strength and power. It was important for the king to prove his courage as a god-given, autocratic ruler of the kingdom.

Point to ponder: What obligations do you think are attached to power?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#2: Ottevejskorset in Gribskov near Hillerød

AXIS BETWEEN GRIBSKOV AND FREDENSBORG: A couple of kilometers to the east of Ottevejskorset (another center of crossroads) one finds the viewpoint Dronningens Bøge. From the lake shore you sense how Fredensborg Slotshave on the other shore connects with the hunting areas on this side of Esrum Lake. The star formed palace garden and the par force hunt area were both established in Baroque style.

 

#3: The Royal Star in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød

AN INTERNATIONAL HUNTING DISCIPLINE: Christian 5th was the first Danish absolutist king to anoint himself in Frederiksborg Slotskirke. He also established the first par force hunt landscape in Denmark. He got the idea from a grand tour he undertook as crown prince. On his voyage he visited the court of Louis 14th. The Sun King invited him to participate in a par force hunt in the forests of Saint-Germain-en-Laye outside Paris. He became fascinated by the ostentatious hunting style and drew inspiration from it, when he as king in 1670 established his own par force hunt in 1670.

Point to ponder: What kinds of grand tours exist today? What do we mean by formation today?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#4: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød

SOLDIERS BUILT THE HUNTING LANDSCAPE: Exhaustive accounts from the 17th century reveal that the par force hunting grounds were built with pickaxes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and rope – e.g., for measuring. The soldiers, who built the hunting roads, received 4 shilling extra a day for their troubles.

This stunning photo is among the ten you can buy as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

#5: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød

AMAZING SUNRISE AT THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE: A peaceful morning in the UNESCO par force hunting landscape. The shadows are dancing, and the light show the way through the morning mist at Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød.

Point to ponder: What is the result of this calculation: Sun + nature + historical buzz?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#6: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød

THE KING’S MONOGRAM: Kongestjernen is placed in an intersection where eight hunting roads meet. It consists of a little earth mound with a granite rock on top shaped as a sixteen-pointed compass rose.

This stunning photo is among the ten you can buy as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

#7: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød  

THE 5 STEPS OF THE HUNT: A hunting company was not meant to continually ride up and down the long straight hunting roads. Therefore, the par force hunt was arranged into five steps. Step 1 was the search, where the hunters located various red deer stags. At step 2 – or the morning meeting – the king chose the animal to be hunted. Step 3 was the actual hunt. Step 4 was the climax of the hunt where the animal was killed by the king by means of a short sword, a hirschfänger. And finally step 5 where the dogs were rewarded and fed on the intestines of the dead stag.

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk

 

#8: The fold in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød

MAGNIFICENT HORSES: The long straight hunting roads were created for high speeds and fast horses. Christian 5th demanded strong and magnificent horses, who were bred at Esrum Kloster and Esrum Møllegård. The Frederiksborger (also known as “The Danish Horse”) was the pride of royal Danish stud.

Point to ponder: Back then, the par force hunt meant courage, speed and excitement. What can it be compared with today?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#9: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød  

KONGESTJERNEN AS A STAGE: This particular place was a site for the king’s exercise of power. Here the king held the so-called morning meetings or “rendez-vous” where he chose the prey of the day. The place was also a viewpoint where spectators could admire the bravery of the king. It was however difficult to determine where the prey would run of to. Therefor the hunt rarely ended at this particular place.

Point to ponder: The par force hunt was self-staging. How do we stage ourselves today?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#10: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød  

KONGESTJERNEN COVERED IN SNOW: The hunters needed good resting places. These were known as “relais”. At the “relais” new batches of horses and dogs were stationed. Therefore, the “relais” needed to be easily accessible in order to quickly substitute tired horses and dogs during a hunt.

This stunning photo is among the ten you can buy as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

#11: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød  

THE TREES IN THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE: If you stroll away from Kongestjernen you will notice several beautiful tree formations and forest clearings. During the heyday of the par force hunt there were no conifer. Instead, the forest primarily consisted of ash, elm, hazel, and juniper. The conifers were brought to Denmark by the German forester Johann Georg von Langen. He was hired by Frederik 5th’s master of the hunt to transform the royal forests into a more sustainable forestry. Therefore, he introduced useful species such as spruce, fir and larch

Point to ponder: What kind of tree in the forest is your favorite?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#12: Kongestjernen in Store Dyrehave near Hillerød  

NAVIGATION IN THE HUNTING LANDSCAPE: Eight straight hunting roads radiate from the center of Kongestjernen. Many believe that the purpose of the par force hunt is to hunt the game into the center of the intersection of the eight roads. This is not the case. Each road is a viewpoint and has a number from one to eight. By means of signals from a hunting horn and the road numbers the hunters could navigate through the forest and tell the other hunters and spectators where they were at any given moment.

 

#13: Stjernen near The Hermitage in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave 

VIEW OF THE HUNTING PALACE AND HUNTING GROUNDS: The Hermitage is situated on an artificial hill in Jægersborg Dyrehave. From the hill there is a beautiful view over the par force hunting landscape. Seen from above the hunting roads are very noticeable in the beautiful summer landscape.

This stunning photo is among the ten you can buy as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

#14: Christian 5.’s oak in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave  

A FAMOUS OAK: The myth goes that this oak was the scene of a serious hunting accident involving Christian 5th. Although the accident was very real it is difficult to determine if the accident happened at the oak.  During a par force hunt on the 19th of October 1698 Christian 5th was hit by the hind legs of a red deer when he attempted to kill the animal with his hirschfänger (a short sword). The king was seriously injured but survived. He died on the 25th of August 1699 and was subsequently buried in Roskilde Domkirke, which is also on The UNESCO World Heritage List.

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk

 

#15: The Hermitage in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave

THE ROYAL HUNTING LODGE AND SUMMER RESIDENCE: The Hermitage was used for the royal hunt and as summer residence. Here festive gatherings as well as gatherings of a more private character took place. For example, the king could eat alone or with a few guests undisturbed by the presence of servants. This was accomplished with a winch system used to elevate food from the kitchen in the basement up into the royal dining room through a hole in the base of a dining table. It is believed that the famous astronomer Ole Rømer invented this winch system.

Point to ponder: Science and international outlook are important because …?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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This stunning photo is among the ten you can buy as posters at Museum Nordsjælland, Rudersdal Museer or online: ArtShopScandinavia.dk/parforce

 

#16: Area where the village Stokkerup was located

THE ROYAL HUNTING ENTUSIAST: Christian 5th became king in February 1670. He quickly began to establish a hunting area for the par force hunt in Denmark. In doing so, he removed the village Stokkerup and expanded an older royal hunting area northwards. The whole area is known today as Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave.


#17: The road star at The Hermitage in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave  

FROM DECAY TO GLORY: It was the architect Laurids de Thurah who erected the current Eremitageslot in 1734-36. After the disbandment of the par force hunt in 1777 it fell into decay. The Hermitage was however saved from demolishment by Frederik 7th, who used it for state meetings. Afterwards it was once again used as a hunting estate for the royal family. In 2013 it underwent an extensive restoration.

Point to ponder: A majority agrees that it was a great decision to abolish the par force hunt. How has our view of nature changed over time?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#18: Close-up: The Hermitage in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave  

A CLOSE UP OF THE PALACE DECORATIONS: In 1885 Christian 9th hired the architect Ferdinand Meldahl to recreate The Hermitage’s original exterior. The original hunting decorations above the cornice height were still well-preserved, especially the sculptures in two of the niches depicting the Greek hero Meleager and the hunting goddess Diana.

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk


#19: Spectators of the drag hunt on their way to The Hermitage

A HUNT STEEPED IN TRADITION: The drag hunt is staged every year the first Sunday in November. The first drag hunt appeared on the 5th of November 1905. The hunt is called “Hubertusjagt” in Danish and named after Saint Hubertus. The par force hunt used the saint’s feast day (the 3rd of November) to mark the end of the par force hunt season.

Point to ponder: Do you think the drag hunt is a good tradition and why do we keep it?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#20: Spectators of the drag hunt next to The Hermitage  

DYREHAVEN’S RED GATES. Today there are over 7,5 million visitors in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave. Access is unrestricted but this was not always the case. When Christian 5th began to use the area for the par force hunt he fenced the area and blocked all roads leading into the area with large gates. There were two reasons for this. One was to keep the game in. The other was to keep his local subjects out. The local farmers were not particularly happy about the restricted access, which also resulted in some peculiar and still present toponymics such as Kørom (drive around), Rundforbi (pass around), and Springforbi (leap around).

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk

 

#21: The drag hunt: A horseman jumps over an obstacle

MAGNIFICENT HUNTING CLOTHES: Magnificent hunting attire has always been an essential part of the royal hunt. Throughout times the royal hunters used suits fitted with gold and silver thread. One example is the royal physician of Christian 7th Johann Friedrich Struensee, who used a yellow hunting suit with a blue vest, when he, the king, and queen Caroline Mathilde participated in the par force hunt. Research has revealed that there was also a strict dress code for the hunters, who were dressed in a red hunting suit with a green collar and trousers with silver ribbons.

Point to ponder: What are the most magnificent garments today, if one wants to signal power and splendor?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#22: The drag hunt: Riders in the open land

THE ROYAL GAME IN KING’S HUNTING AREAS: Throughout history, the right to hunt in Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave belonged solely to the royal house of Denmark. It still does today. In the 19th century the red deer was nearly exterminated because it damaged the forests and crops. The only surviving red deer were the ones in the enclosure in Jægersborg Dyrehave – descendants of the local red deer, that had been herded together here when the hunting landscape was established, and of small herds of beautifully colored red deer, which had been introduced from Germany and Bornholm.

 

#23: The drag hunt: Close up: The two foxes

EXPENSIVE HUNTING DOGS: Imagine a large pack of dogs next to the horsemen. In older times hunting dogs were an important part of the par force hunt. Christian 5th bought several different hunting dog breeds from abroad but also bred his own hunting dogs. One of the breeds is known today as the ”Francais Blanc et Noir”. It varies in color and is the size of a German Wirehaired Pointer.

Point to ponder: Hunting isn’t just for kings and men. A growing number of women are taking a hunting license. What’s the purpose of hunting today?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#24: The drag hunt: Close up: The Master

A NEW PURPOSE FOR THE HUNTING ROADS: The Danish par force hunt was disbanded in 1777. After the disbandment the royal forestry began using the hunting roads, whereby many of the old roads were preserved. Approximately 85 percent of the old hunting roads still exist, and they tell the story of the heyday of the Danish par force hunt. For over 100 years the drag hunts have been held in the old hunting areas, and thus the royal hunting grounds live on.

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk

 

#25: The drag hunt riders passing by The Hermitage

THE ROYAL HOUSE’S HONORS: The drag hunt riders passing by H.K.H. Crown Princess Mary on the balcony. After 800 meters run-up ride the winner receives H.K.H. Crown Princess Mary’s honorary award in 2021. Christian 5. also loved all the honor and splendor surrounding the par force hunt. One of his most famous ornaments was “the hunting elephant”, where the tower on the elephants back could be used as a whistle. He always carried this order on par force hunts in North Zealand.

Point to ponder: Does honor mean anything today, and what does honor mean to you?
Feel free to share your reflections and a picture of you at the photo exhibition here:
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#26: Gladsaxe hunting horn orchestra at the drag hunt

A FESTIVE SHOW: It was a great honor to be invited to hunt with the king, which was certainly not for everyone. It was most often the elite of the kingdom which was invited to the magnificent show. Today there is free admission to the festive drag hunt. In the past the par force hunt was a royal ceremony, showcasing golden hunting horns and richly decorated hunting swords, which can be experience today at Mothsgården, Rudersdal Museer. Here you can also learn more about the history of the par force hunting landscape.

Read more at www.parforce.dk/en/ or follow us here: Facebook: parforce.dk or Instagram: parforce.dk

Planche 1

Velkomstplanche: Introduktion til fotoudstillingen
Illust. Peter Leschly

Planche 2:

Velkomstplanche: Introduktion til Parforcejagtlandskabet
Illust. Peter Leschly

Planche 3

Velkomstplanche: Introduktion til UNESCO World Heritage
Illust. Peter Leschly

Planche 4:

Velkomstplanche: Introduktion Hubertusjagten
Illust. Peter Leschly

Illustration:

Parforcejagtlandskabets fotoudstilling 2022
Foto: Peter Leschly

UNESCO verdensarv Parforcejagtlandskabet:

Kongestjernen, St. Dyrehave v. Hillerød
Foto: Peter Leschly

UNESCO verdensarv Parforcejagtlandskabet:

Stjernen ved Eremitageslottet, Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave
Foto: Peter Leschly

UNESCO verdensarv Parforcejagtlandskabet:

Stjernen i Gribskov
Foto: Peter Leschly

UNESCO verdensarv Parforcejagtlandskabet:

Sidevej til Kongestjernen, St. Dyrehave Gribskov
Foto: Peter Leschly