The Hermitage, April 2013. Photo: Roberto Fortuna

The History of the Hermitage

The hunting lodge that got its name from its elevating dining table

Christian VI built the Hermitage in the Deer Park in the 1730s. The Hermitage overlooked treetops and the Sound, which is the stretch of water separating Denmark from Sweden. Christian was able to rest at the lodge during his hunting expeditions and would invite close confidants to dinner in a private and secluded setting.

The king’s hunt lunches at the Hermitage were unique because the king was able to wine and dine his visitors without being disturbed by prying servants. At a signal, a fully laid table replete with wine, game and delicatessen would emerge from the floor into the dining hall. The Hermitage had a table that was able to move up and down through the building like a lift.

Down in the basement kitchen, the servants would prepare what the king wanted and were then able to dispatch it up through the floors of the hunting lodge into the dining hall. The king and his guests could then enjoy their meal en eremitage – in solitude – and could speak in confidence without the servants being able to listen in.  

The Royal Family’s lunches at the Hermitage

The Royal Family still uses the hunting lodge for their hunt lunches, but the elevating dining table is no longer there. It was scrapped in 1759 due to teething mechanical problems.
Visitors to the Hermitage can still enjoy the atmosphere of the dramatic royal hunts from that bygone era – in the peaceful but flamboyant surroundings of the Hermitage’s exquisite rooms.