Very few people know what “par force hunting” is. Yet, the unique – and extinct – hunting form ensured the beautiful landscape in Northern Zealand a place on the prestigious list UNESCO World Heritage sites in July 2015.
The parforce hunting landscape in Northern Zealand includes the nature reserve Dyrehaven (our “back-garden”) and The Hermitage Palace.
”Unusual and well-preserved”
The UNESCO committee says that the par force hunting landscape in Northern Zealand is an unusual and well-preserved example of how the European Baroque principles are applied to forested areas. UNESCO is the UN’s organization for education, science, culture and communication.
The par force hunting forests are wide spread and include the southern part of Gribskov, The Greater Dyrehaven and Jægersborg Hegn & Dyrehave.
King Christian V separated the forests into sections, divided by numbered straight lanes in a combination of star formation and square grids, which cut over each other. This way, hunters on horseback were able to overview where the game was situated.
The royal hunting party would then, on horseback and with specially trained dogs, chase a large red deer stag for hours until it was totally exhausted. At this point the King, or one of his privileged guests, would kill the deer with a hunting knife called a hirschfænger (stag-catcher).
Hunting Lodge for Resting and Intimate Dinners
The Hermitage Palace was constructed between 1734 and 1736 by Architect Laurids de Thurah under orders from King Christian VI. The King would use the palace for resting when hunting in Dyrehaven and for entertaining his guests with well-presented and intimate dinners. From the windows of The Hermitage Palace the hunting party was able to enjoy the view over the ocean and follow the hunt.
Today the palace is used by the royal family for hunting lunches and other special occasions.
From 2010 to 2013 The Hermitage Palace has been thoroughly renovated. The work has now been finished and the small hunting castle’s unique, well-preserved interiors are presented with the same splendour as in the 18th century.
Experience the Par Force Hunting Landscape and The Hermitage Palace
The Hermitage Palace and the unique par force hunting landscape is a leisurely ten-minute bike-ride (3.4 kilometres) from our front-door. If you would like to experience the par force hunting landscape on your own we invite you to rent bicycles at our reception.
You can also participate in a guided tour at The Hermitage Palace – or arrange a private showing – from 1 June to 31 August.