The Golden Age
In 1802 Adam Oehlenschläger wrote the poem "Et Sankt Hansaftens-Spil" (a game on St. John’s evening) which tells the story of a family that leave the "nauseating walls" of Copenhagen to spend a day at Dyrehavsbakken amusement park. The poem describes the entertainers and young lovers, who eventually go into the forest to find tranquillity under an old oak.
In 1823, Oehlenschläger wrote the Danish national anthem, "Der er et yndigt land”, which describes Denmark as a wonderful country, with wide beech trees, hills and valleys along the salty eastern beach where the trees are reflected in the blue sea. It is said that inspiration for the song was found in Dyrehaven, but people from the island of Langeland and eastern Falster claim that the inspiration came from their area too.
In his memoires, Oehlenschläger writes about his childhood, and that he and his family went to Dyrehaven every summer, where they carved their names into a large beech tree. Unfortunately, "Oehlenschläger's beech" died from old-age a few years ago. Adam Oehlenschläger is a leading exponent of the Golden Age in Danish art and cultural life in the first half of the 19th century. The Golden Age also included painters such as C.W. Eckersberg and P.C. Skovgaard who, among many others, depicted the untouched nature and life in Dyrehaven.
Dyrehaven and cultural life
The term Dyrehaven painters is not only positive; there are many "production-line" paintings of roaring red deer, gnarled oak trees and of Peter Lieps Hus (Peter Liep’s House). However, great artists such as David Monies, Paul Fischer and Theodor Philipsen, and in our time, Niels Strøbek and particularly Jeppe Eisner have also been inspired by Dyrehaven and Bakken.
Poets such as Ambrosius Stub, Ludvig Holberg, Christian Winther, H.C. Andersen, Johannes V. Jensen, H.C. Branner and Knud Sønderby have written about this national natural area.
In February 1900 a duel with pistols was fought in Dyrehaven between Edvard Brandes; a theatre critic from the Danish newspaper Politiken and later editor in chief, and Robert Schyberg; an actor. Robert Schyberg had slapped Brandes on the face in public because of a bad review, and the theatre critic therefore challenged Schyberg to a duel. The duellists and their seconds met on the 10th of February in the morning and each fire two shots. None of them hit their targets, but as duelling was unlawful, they were both imprisoned for 14 days.
Edvard Brandes' brother, the writer, Georg Brandes, who died in 1927, had his ashes scattered near Slesvigske Sten in Dyrehaven.
In 1910, the Royal Danish Theatre starting organising grand outdoor performances in the valleys of Ulvedalene in the summer. This tradition stopped in 1949 but was revived in 1996. "Robin Hood" was performed in 2013.
Sports in Dyrehaven
Whether you walk, run, cycle, horse-back ride, rollerskate, ski, fly a kite or play golf, exercising in Jægersborg Dyrehave is a wonderful experience.
From 1860 to 1910, there was a horserace on Eremitagesletten. This is where the first football match on Danish soil took place in 1897, and since 1900, Sportsrideklubben has held its Hubertus Hunt each year on the first Sunday in November. From 1896 to 1939, the Fortunløbet run took place each year on the third Sunday in March and since 1969 the Eremitage Run has taken place each year on the first Sunday in October.
Since 1962, in the third weekend in August, the scouts have battled in strange, home-made boats on Mølleåen, ending at Raadvad.
Initially, the foresters in Dyrehaven were entitled to serve alcohol at their foresters' houses near the gates, and many of these later became small restaurants. A forester in Klampehuset outside the Klampenborgporten gate even used the hollow of the forester's oak as a bar.
The last restaurant, Trepile Porthus, closed in 1987. However, even today, there are many restaurants at Bakken and in Dyrehaven itself, of which the most famous is Peter Lieps Hus, which is one of the places where you can bring your own picnic basket. Other restaurants include Kongekilden, Studenterkilden, Raadvad Kro, Fortunen, Piil & Co and just outside Dyrehaven, among others, Den Gule Cottage, Den Røde Cottage and Strandmøllekroen.
The valley of the Mølleåen stream has been called the cradle of Danish industry, and three of the nine mills along the Mølleåen stream are located in Jægersborg Dyrehave. These are Stampen, Raadvad and Strandmøllen.
Today, all that remains of the original stamp mill is the bridge leading across Mølleåen. The building located on the site today is a stamp mill from Himmerland in Jutland, and it was moved here by the National Museum of Denmark in the 1970s. However, there has been a mill at Stampedam since the 13th century; first to grind corn and later for fulling (tucking) cloth. The wool was hardened by felting it.
The Raadvad Mølle mill is from the 17th century and is especially known for its knives, but hand weapons, agricultural tools and gunpowder were also manufactured here, as well as fulled cloth, and an entire town was built around the mill for the employees. In 1973 production was discontinued, and the National Museum of Denmark took over the site, which, since 1986 has been run by an independent institution for the preservation of old Nordic crafts. The mill at Raadvad Mølle has received the Europa Nostra award for preservation of old buildings.
Strandmøllen is the last mill before the estuary of Mølleåen into the sea at the Sound. In 1599, this was Denmark's first paper mill and it functioned as such for 250 years. Today, the mill houses a modern business, Strandmøllen Industrigas A/S.