Rosendal is small village situated in the Hardangerfjord, between majestic mountains and beautiful valleys. Rosendal is famous for having Norway’s only Barony, the smallest castle in Scandinavia, which dates back to 1665. It is surrounded by a beautiful renaissance garden with around 2000 roses. During the summer season the Barony frequently have events like concerts, theater plays, art displays, and guided tours around the castle. A guided tour of the castle takes visitors through the different periods of occupation from 1665 up to 1927. The rooms are influenced by 250 years old design, and the castle is preserved in the same authentic way as it was when the last owners left in 1927. The oldest room, the library, is still decorated with French wallpaper as it was in the 17th century. In the Red Room there are paintings by the greatest Norwegian landscape painters from the National Romantic period, by J.C. Dahl and H.F. Gude. There is also a female portrait painted in the 1880’s by Edvard Munch. The Yellow room in Norwegian Empire style, is my favorite room.
In 1658 Ludvig Rosenkrantz a Danish nobleman, married Karen Mowatt, sole heiress to the largest fortune of the country at the time. They were given the farm of Hatteberg in Rosendal as a wedding present, and in 1661 they started building their own manor. It was completed in 1665, and in 1678 King Christian V of Denmark, gave the estate the status of Barony. Around 1850, an expansive romantic landscape park with trees, dams and bridges, was laid out around the manor.
The property remained in private ownership until 1927, when the last owner donated it to the University of Oslo.
First time I visited the Barony, I was fascinated by the castle and the history. I was 10 years old and this was the beginning of my love for castles and old buildings. I have visited the Barony several times since then, and now I bring my kids there every summer. We always take the tour inside the castle, but unfortunately it’s not allowed to take pictures inside. We also love the garden, one summer we had a picnic there, surrounded by roses and trees. This summer we had lunch in the Greenhouse, were they serve fresh ingredients from the Kitchen & Herb Garden. I am dreaming of an evening at the manor with dinner in The Blue Dining Room. I need to come up with a suitable occasion…….
Thank you for reading!