The past, present and future meet at Dragsholm Castle and we offer experiences where nature, gastronomy – and not least history – are in harmony.
The castle is one of Denmark's oldest, and has stood on the beautiful Odsherred peninsula for more than 800 years, as wars have raged, noblemen and women have been married in the castle church and prominent prisoners led over the castle courtyard. Today, Dragsholm Castle is open to the public as a hotel with 41 double rooms, two acclaimed restaurants, as an events, courses and conference centre and a church for weddings and services. Our ambition remains to welcome our guests with a total experience. The art is to preserve and convey the historical authenticity and the character of the region, while also bringing the castle and its cultural history into the 21st century's functionality and aesthetic.
THE NAME DRAGSHOLM
Prior to the damming of Lammefjord, Odsherred was connected to the rest of Zealand by a narrow stretch. A ”draugh” or ”drag” means a small stretch of land, which in this case connected Odsherred to the rest of Zealand. The stretch of land was located east of Dragsholm where the mill, Dragsmølle, lies today. In the Viking Age, “drag” meant that you could drag the ships across the land and thereby avoid the dangerous waters north of Zealand. The islet on which Dragsholm Castle was built is surrounded by lakes and meadows just south of the border moraine deposit, which ends at Vejrhøj (123 m) to the north. Consequently, Dragsholm means the islet by the ”drag”.
Dragsholm Slot is one of the oldest secular buildings in Denmark. The original Dragsholm Castle was built around 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde. During the Middle Ages, the building was modified from the original palace to a fortified castle. During the Count's Feud (1534–36) (Grevens Fejde) it was so strong that it was the only castle on Zealand to withstand the armies of Count Christoffer.
CROWNLAND AND PRISON, 1536-1664
In connection with the Reformation, Dragsholm was passed on to the Crown. As Crownland during the period from 1536 to 1664, Dragsholm Castle was used as a prison for noble and ecclesiastical prisoners. In the large tower at the northeast corner of the medieval castle, prison cells were made and equipped with toilets and windows depending on the prisoner’s crimes, behaviour and the seriousness of his insults towards the King.
Some of the most well-known prisoners at Dragsholm Castle include the last Catholic Bishop in Roskilde, the former owner of the castle, Joachim Rønnow; James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots; and the seemingly raving mad squire, Ejler Brockenhuus.
THE BAROQUE CASTLE
During the wars against Charles X Gustav of Sweden, an attempt was made to blow up Dragsholm Castle, and the place was a ruin until the King as part payment of his outstanding debts gave the castle to the grocer Heinrich Müller, and he started the restoration.
In 1694, Dragsholm Castle was sold to the nobleman Frederik Christian Adeler and finally rebuilt as the baroque castle we see today. Several owners from that family have made a lasting imprint on the development, including G. F. O. Zytphen Adeler, who took the initiative to drain the Lammefjord. The family line became extinct in 1932, and Dragsholm Castle passed over to the Central Land Board which sold the place to J.F. Bøttger, but only with the land belonging to the main estate.
Today, the baroque style of the castle still remains intact, but the interior of the Castle has been subject to restorations and modernisations over the years. The most recent major restoration took place after the first world war, where the Baron aimed for a Late Romantic Style, which still prevails in the salons and ballrooms.
DRAGSHOLM CASTLE TODAY
In recent years, the Bøttger family has managed the running of the castle after a number of minor restorations, which in addition to general conservation of the building has had the purpose of raising the level of quality of the castle as a hotel, restaurant and attraction. The hotel rooms at the castle have been refurbished and modernised, and more rooms have been added in the porter’s lodge on the other side of the moat.
OWNERS OF DRAGSHOLM CASTLE
(1313-1536) Roskilde bishopric
(1536-1664) The Crown
(1664-1682) Henrik Müller
(1688-1694) Manuel Texeira
(1694-1727) Frederik Christian von Adeler
(1727-1757) Christian von Lente-Adeler (son)
(1757-1785) Conrad Wilhelm Adeler (nephew)
(1785-1816) Frederik Adeler (son)
(1816-1836) Bertha Moltke gift Adeler
(1836-1878) Georg Frederik Otto Zytphen-Adeler (daughters daughters husband)
(1878-1908) Frederik Herman Christian de Falsen Zytphen-Adeler (son)
(1908-1932) Georg Frederik de Falsen Zytphen-Adeler (son)
(1932-1936) The genus von Zytphen-Adeler
(1936) The Goverment's Land Board
(1936-1985) Johan Frederik Bøttger
(1985-2002) Flemming Frederik Bøttger / Inge Merete Bøttger
(2002-2015) Inge Merete Bøttger
(2015-) Mads Hylleholt Bøttger