Dragsholm Castle – Magnificently Haunted Castle (History & Travel Tips)

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Dragsholm Castle is a must-see for all history and architecture enthusiasts! Originally built as a medieval fortress, the structure was transformed into a magnificent palace and then converted to its current Baroque form. The glorious castle is situated in the town of Odsherred, connected by a thin piece of land (known as a “drag”), to the island of Zealand in Denmark. There is a fantastic view of the waterfront from the castle grounds. Dragsholm Castle has played an important role in the development of its surrounding community through the ages. There are stories of mystical and magical experiences when visiting the castle–even alleged hauntings!

Interested in touring this mysterious and beautiful site? Read on for our helpful tips and advice on how to make your trip effortless!

The Dragsholm Castle Shop has homemade delicacies for sale for you to take a piece of Denmark culture home with you!

The courtyard of Dragsholm Castle.
The courtyard of Dragsholm Castle. Niels Elgaard Larsen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Frequently Asked Questions

FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TRAVEL TIPS

Early History

The pristinely white Dragsholm Castle (Danish: Dragsholm Slot) is one of the oldest historical landmarks in Denmark. It was built in 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde. During the Middle Ages, additional building work was done on the castle site, including substantial fortification. The additional constructs ensured the castle withstood the Count’s Feud (1534-1536).

From 1536–1664 the castle belonged to the Crown after it had been seized during the Reformation. During the Crown’s ownership of the site, it was used as a prison for aristocratic and more affluent criminals. Each prison cell had a toilet and windows, and privileges were afforded to the prisoners in accordance with the severity of the crime they had committed against the King. During this period the daughter of the powerful and noble Bolves family was imprisoned at the castle.

An old illustration of Dragsholm Castle.
An old illustration of Dragsholm Castle.

After 1665, the castle became a ruin when it was blasted during the wars against Sweden. In 1694, the nobleman Frederik Christian Adeler (1668-1726) became the owner of the castle, which had only been minimally restored. He had the castle rebuilt in the Baroque style. Throughout their ownership of the castle, the Adeler family was responsible for much development and restoration work at the site. When there were no more family successors, the site passed to the Central Land Board and was later sold to J.F. Bøttger.

Hauntings

The castle is alleged to be haunted by up to 100 ghosts! There are many visitors and psychics who have described seeing and hearing the spirits of deceased people at the castle. It is worth mentioning some of the so-called “identified ghosts”. Reportedly, the spirit of the late Bishop of Roskilde can be heard woefully crying at night. The Bishop, who commissioned the castle’s construction, was imprisoned there later in his life.

The former owner of Dragsholm Castle, nobleman Frederik Christian Adeler.
The former owner of Dragsholm Castle, nobleman Frederik Christian Adeler. German School, 18th century, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There is also a story about a sad woman roaming the hallways, seemingly desperate to find someone – her lost love. Known as “The Lady in White”, she is said to have been the daughter of the wealthy Bolves family. After falling in love with–and becoming pregnant by–a hired laborer, her disapproving father had her imprisoned in a cell within Dragsholm Castle during the time it was functioning as an elite’s prison. She died whilst imprisoned.

Current Times

Today, Dragsholm Castle is an exquisite tourist destination filled with history and magical mystery! The grounds of the castle include a gorgeous herb garden and a beautiful lake. You can take a guided tour of the castle, or partake in various activities such as golf, yoga, running, and mountain biking.

A luxurious hotel is housed in the castle building, with modern suites and chic decor. The castle also boasts a wonderful restaurant featuring locally sourced produce. You are able to eat at the quaint bistro, or enjoy some traditional, local street food at the eatery on the terrace. Engulfed by the ambiance of the region’s history and culture, this is one of the most pleasurable ways to dine!

Dragsholm castle from across the river.
Dragsholm castle from across the river.

The picturesque castle is available to rent for special functions and occasions (wedding bells in Denmark, anyone?), as well as for business meetings and conferences. Truly, Dragsholm Castle has something for everyone to enjoy.

Interesting Dragsholm Castle Facts

  • The hotel restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Star Nordic in 2017, and has maintained the rating to this day. Meals are described as a culinary delight by visitors.
  • The castle was used as a location to film the movie “Babette’s Feast”.
  • There is a spa facility at the castle.
  • The Dragsholm Castle Shop has homemade delicacies for sale for you to take a piece of Denmark culture home with you!
  • Dragsholm Castle became associated with the “Relais & Chậteaux” (world-famous prestigious hotel guide) in 2018.

Visiting Dragsholm Castle – Tips and Tricks

Are you excited about planning a trip to visit Dragsholm Castle after reading about it here? Use our helpful tips and tricks as you make your arrangements!

Stable building at Dragsholm Castle.
Stable building at Dragsholm Castle. Niels Elgaard Larsen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to get to Dragsholm Castle?

There are flights into Copenhagen’s main international airport – Kastrup Airport – most days of the week. 

The recommended travel method is a combination of train and bus. The trip takes around three hours and nine minutes on the train with two transfers along the route. The bus collects travelers at Fårevejle Station with an eight-minute ride to the castle stop. This route costs around €1.75 ($20 USD).

Another option is to rent a car at the airport and drive to the castle, around a one-hour trip at a cost of €11.5-€17.5 ($13-$20 USD) in fuel.

Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips

Accommodation prices at the Dragsholm Castle Hotel start at around DKK 1381 ($213 USD) per night. Check-in time is between 3pm and 5:30pm. The Castle Hotel offers free Wi-Fi and other amenities. There are also various hotel packages available including meals at the restaurant. Free parking is available at the site for guests. The hotel is pet-friendly and children are permitted.

Guided tours are available in Danish and English, with prices dependent on the number of members in the group. Guided tours must be booked in advance and ticket prices are available on request.

The gourmet restaurant requires bookings and prices for a meal are between DKK 1400-1600 ($216 – $247 USD). The castle bistro is open from noon to 10pm most days, bookings are also required there. 

How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?

With so much to see at the castle site, plan for a visit two to three hours long. Even better, stay over at the hotel for a night or two!

Some words of advice and tips: 

  • Check the weather forecast for the date/s you will be visiting the castle. Be sure to dress appropriately as part of your tour experience will be outdoors.
  • COVID: Check for any regulations, opening hours, and restrictions on the official Egeskov Castle website, as rules have been changed and adapted several times since the pandemic started.

Quick Video Tour of The Main Dragsholm Castle Areas

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Charmaine Waterston
Charmaine Waterston
After studying Law and Industrial Psychology, I went on to start my own ICT data recovery business. Some years later I qualified locally as a Financial Advisor and ran my own business with a portfolio of clients. Throughout my life, I traveled extensively to many interesting countries around the world. While enjoying my life’s adventures, I absorbed the rich history of various cultures and experienced the beauty of so many different places! Today, I am an author. I combine my career and travel experience with my thirst for knowledge about our captivating world and the remarkable people in it. My writing is an expression of my passion for personal growth and my love of communication. I am truly fulfilling my dream through my work!

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