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History

A unique and modern retelling

Augustenborg Garden started as a project when the Augustenborg family bought the yellow mansions and the former psychiatric hospital in January 2021.

The family wanted to create a cultural area and an oasis in the middle of the city that would attract locals as well as tourists.

They divided the project into three parts: A_Food_Project, A_Art_Project and A_Stay.

The first part, A_Food_Project, was a café and bistro to serve delicious meals and drinks to visitors. The café was built in the former psychiatric hospital, and opened in June 2021 under the name Café Downstairs. At the same time, A_Art_Project, an art gallery that presented works by local artists, opened.

Later that year, in September, A_Stay was added as part of the project. Gem Suites was opened, offering visitors a unique experience staying in beautifully decorated suites.

In January 2022, Café Downstairs was renovated and expanded, and now became Augustenborg Garden Café & Bistro. It became a popular destination among locals and tourists, and it was also possible to rent the premises for private events.

The summer of 2022 featured A_Terrace, a pop-up wine bar on the roof terrace overlooking the city. The project attracted many visitors and was a great success.

Projektet tiltrak mange besøgende og var en stor succes. The program attracted many international talents and guests were able to enjoy seeing and experiencing the works of art created in these inspiring surroundings.

In January 2023, the group of owners will expand, Gem Suites and Augustenborg Garden Café & Bistro will be nuanced.

Art residency becomes Rooftop Apartment and this large apartment was designed to function as a gathering point for several guests for larger events and parties. Guests could now book the Rooftop Apartment and enjoy the fantastic view of the city and the comfortable facilities. This was an exciting addition, and enabled Augustenborg Garden to offer even more to its visitors.

A unique and modern retelling

Augustenborg's unique historical narrative hides many layers, all contributing to a diverse experience of the city.

The story begins with the Duke’s founding of the Augustenborg we see today. It extends right up to the present day and comes to life in the many little stories and anecdotes associated with places in the city.

In addition to the larger historical stories about the Duke, the Civil War of 1864 and later the peaceful reunification and coexistence, there are stories about the people of the town and the time after reunification, such as when Augustenborg Castle was converted into a psychiatric hospital.

Today, as then, Augustenborg Garden places great value on what nature can do to help you unplug, escape the stresses of everyday life and simply enjoy the chirping of birds, the wind in the trees and using nature for what does you good.

Particularly important is the basic story of the Dukes, which makes Augustenborg Garden and the other sites in the city unique. The Duke was a modern person who followed modern developments on a European level. At Augustenborg Garden we follow in the Duke’s footsteps and recreate stories from the past in our modern times, as the Duke himself would have done. And that is precisely what sets the course for Augustenborg’s potential as a cultural heritage site today.

Dive into the story of how the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderborg-Augustenborg, Johann Friedrich Struense, H.C. Andersen and the until recently (in historical terms) psychiatric hospital department have shaped the narrative of Augustenborg Castle and how Augustenborg today is on its way to a designation as a cultural heritage.

Duke of Augustenborg

Since its construction under Duke Ernst Günther and Duchess Auguste, the castle has given its name to six generations of the Augustenborg family, who owned the area for centuries.

The Duke was an innovative man who always stayed on top of fashion in Europe. As the castle lost its modernity over time, he built the castle as we see it today. This was the meeting point of the high nobility, politics and culture. Duke Friedrich Christian was in regular contact with the German Romantic poet Friedrich Schiller and among the frequent guests at the palace was H.C. Andersen. Today, the Duke’s modern thinking lives on in the modern Gem Suites and the local flavours of Augustenborg Garden & Bistro with international inspiration, as well as visiting art and sculpture exhibitions that retell history in modern and innovative ways.

The orchard - the little oasis

The old orchard contains many stories from the time of the Duke as a Baroque garden with frequent visits from the world-famous poet H.C. Andersen to a natural oasis that to this day provides a framework for tranquillity and recharging for the garden’s visitors.

The orchard was originally in the Baroque style, but was later redesigned by the Duke in the English style in line with modern developments. Nature was allowed to flourish and transform the garden into a small oasis. The original garden can still be traced and experienced today, around the garden and especially in the surviving trees – including H.C. Andersen’s Lime, one of the most beautiful and oldest trees in the garden. Here H.C. Andersen found shade and inspiration for his fairy tales during his visits to the Duke.

Today, the Fruit Garden is part of Augustenborg Gardens’ retelling. Here, bistro guests dine during the warmer months and host parties in beautiful, natural surroundings that provide an opportunity to relax and recharge in the lively chirping of birds and the soothing breeze of the trees.

The royal weddings in the palace church

Augustenborg Castle Church bears witness to ducal as well as royal events. Baptisms and confirmations of the ducal children and fine weddings took place here, with particular mention of the later Christian VIII and his wife Queen Caroline Amalie (who was the daughter of the House of Augustenborg), whose wedding took place in the palace church.

Today, the church is the parish church of the town and baptisms, confirmations and weddings are still held here and celebrated in the historic surroundings of Augustenborg Gardens.

Augustenborg Garden - part of potential world heritage

When you visit Augustenborg Garden you will step into a history that is retold in the buildings, the garden, and the art and sculpture exhibitions in a modern way. Making the place unique.

Augustenborg is proud of its great cultural heritage and the retelling of Denmark’s history through the Duke of Augustenborg in a way that creates historical synergy throughout the city and keeps pace with modern developments for a retelling in sustainable development. This brings with it potentially great international prospects as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.