Here’s the funny thing about museums in Copenhagen: you get plenty of information on the usual suspects. The big stuff, like the Glyptotek, or the Louisiana, or the SMK (all favorite haunts of ours). But then there is this more mysterious collection of smaller museums – they might be castles or might be estates or might even be new builds altogether. There’s not as often written up as the big guns, but there will certainly be information on them if you go looking. Gamle Holtegaard is one of those places…
I thought we had covered the ground in the northern part of Zealand pretty well here, but then a girl friend who was fresh off the airplane from Tokyo introduced me to this place, which wasn’t even a half an hour from us. The former residence of a baron, the house looks like it was quite something back in the day.
Today, it’s home to a little museum and I wish I had actually gotten on the ball about writing this place up sooner since they had a pretty awesome Art Deco exhibit that not only had some fun pieces from the era of Gerda Wagoner (now all the rage with the Danish Girl – if you haven’t see her exhibit at the Arken yet, go see it stat), but also one of the best overall exhibit curation and displays with all the silver striped painting they did in the halls (see what they normally look like here). Since color is usually pretty minimal here in Denmark, this combo of bling and pastels had me staring at it almost nearly as much as the art. Also, this one of those museums where the gift shop is also top notch, especially for children’s items.
But the real kicker here at the Gamle Holtegaard is that the back door acts as almost a magic door, opening up on an expanse of Baroque gardens you would hardly know are there if someone didn’t let you in on the secret (and thank you, dear girl friend, for that!). Plus, as we were there in fall, we were getting a riot of colors against the backdrop of the still ever-present greens. The thought of winter was getting closer, but still pretty far off. You can easily spend just as much time outside as in, if not more – top it off with a hot chocolate from the cafe and you’ve got a pretty perfect afternoon. And you don’t even have to tell anyone the secret.