Christian VI would rest during his hunting trips at the Hermitage Royal Hunting Lodge. Photo: Kongernes Samling Rosenborg

The King’s Hunts

Hunting in the Deer Park with Christian VI’s hunting party

Horses’ hooves rumble on the path. The leaves on the trees give way to the huntsmen as their horses gallop through the Deer Park. Hunting horns blare. The huntsmen's dogs bark noisily in the woods. In front of them, a stag runs for dear life.  

The hunting party has been pursuing the stag for four hours along the forest paths. Finally, the stag’s legs give way as it collapses on its side. The dogs lunge at the stag, their mouths frothing and their teeth sinking into the flesh - just deep enough to keep the animal at bay.

The king kills the stag

The head of the hunting party, Christian VI, has been waiting for this moment. He dismounts from his horse and strides resolutely towards the stag. A servant hands him the sword - hirschfængeren (the stag scabbard). He thrusts it deep into the animal's heart.  

The party then leave the dead stag and ride towards the Hermitage. An exquisite meal awaits them in the fairy-tale surroundings of the dining hall.