Nature trails in the state forests nr. 22E
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Jægersborg Deer Park: Royal hunting grounds
In the vicinity of Copenhagen
Jægersborg Deer Park's history goes back more than 300 years. In 1669 the King, Frederik Ill, had a fence put up around the forest and the original deer herd was driven into the fenced-off area. It was the King's private deer park.
When Christian V came to power in 1670 the area covered by the Deer Park was doubled and a village which had previously been situated on the Eremitage Plain was razed to the ground and the inhabitants were moved to other farms in the area. The old village pond, which at that time lay in the centre of the village, can be seen on the map south-west of Eremitage Castle under the name of Stokkerup Kær.
The intention was to use the Deer Park for hunting with hounds. A pack of hounds pursued the deer until it dropped from exhaustion, then a specially chosen hunter was given the honour of killing the quarry with a special hunting knife. Hunting on horse-back with hounds was popular among the nobility in Denmark for about 100 years. In 1756 the Deer Park was opened to the public.
Eremitage Castle was built in 1736 and has been used by the Royal Family in connection with hunting in the Deer Park. In former times there was a dining table which could be raised and lowered mechanically from the kitchen in the cellar to the dining room above. Thus the royal party could avoid the presence of servants during royal hunting dinners.
You can go for a walk or take a horse-drawn carriage
Hackney carriages, which in their time brought the Copenhageners to the Deer Park, are still an essential element of the Park's special atmosphere. To this day you can climb aboard a hackney carriage at Klampenborg Station or at the entrance of the Deer Park amusement park and go for a ride in the park along the broad forest paths.
Rådvad: the cradle of Danish industry
North of the Deer Park is Rådvad village, a former industrial area with well preserved factory buildings and workers' houses, which lies in idyllic surroundings in the forest.
The former factory buildings are used today as a centre for restoration craftsmanship and the houses are occupied by artisans and forestry workers and officials. The old village school has been converted into a youth hostel, whereas the inn has continued to function as such.
Danish industry began here along the River Mølle (which in fact means mill). Rådvad village is one of nine mill villages where an artificial damming of the river has given the possibility of exploiting the water power
Restaurants, a hotel and a youth hostel
In the Deer Park there are many restaurants, one hotel and a youth hostel. All are beautifully situated in the forest or just outside. See the map for further details.
More than 2000 deer
Within the Deer Park there are about 2100 deer during the summer They are fed during the winter but during the rest of the year they forage in the forest. In May and June about 700 fawns are born. In order to keep the herd at an acceptable level it is necessary to shoot about 700 animals in the winter months. The tasty venison is sold to local inhabitans. In the cold months a number of deer are caught and exported live to other deer parks.
One yearly event which the public has the possibility of seeing is the rutting season of the stags. (Please do not disturb the deer in any way).
Royal stags can be seen rutting in the southern part of the Deer Park from the middle of September to the beginning of October. Rutting Fallow deer will usually be on the Eremitage Plain around the end of October and the beginning of November.
The Jægersborg Deer Park deer are considered to be world class. Antlers from a Fallow deer shot in the Park have set a world record, whilst antlers from a Red deer have set a Danish record.
300 Red Deer
Red deer stags are the biggest of all the stags. An adult stag can weigh over 200 kilos. The coat is a reddish-brown in the summer and a greyish-brown in the winter The hinds and their fawns stay mostly in the southern part of the Deer Park, whereas the stags remain more to the north. There are also white Red deer in the Park which were introduced from Würtemberg in 1737.
1700 Fallow Deer
The Fallow deer often keep together in big herds of several hundred animals and can usually be seen on the open plains. Their coats are three different colours: black, white and a brownish red. However the brownish red coats are the most common. The deer were introduced from the Middle East and are mentioned in written sources as roaming about freely in Denmark as far back as 1231.
Sika deer are a little smaller than fallow deer. Their summer coat is a chestnut colour with whitish-yellow spots, whereas the winter coat is an even dark-brown (females) and black (males). The antlers are similar to those of the Red deer, however they are smaller and never have more than 8 points. This breed, which has been in the Deer Park since 1923, was introduced from Japan.
Dyrehavsbakken: the amusement park in the forest
Dyrehavsbakken is one of the most popular places where Copenhageners go for an outing. The amusement park, which is more than 400 years old, originally started as a place where fair performers gathered around a source which Copenhageners considered at that time to have curative properties. Today it is an amusement park where many families go after a walk in the woods. There is no entrance fee and it is open from the beginning of April to the end of August.
Dyrehavsbakken's Information Office: Tel. 39 63 35 44
The most popular forest in Denmark
Jægersborg Deer Park is a state-owned forest and thereby open 24 hours a day all year round. Every year about 2 million people visit the Deer Park. Most Copenhageners traditionally visit the Deer Park at least once a year in order to see the deer at close quarters and to wander amongst the majestic, centuries-old trees.
Every season has its charm. In the early spring (May) Copenhageners visit the forest to see the beauty of the beech trees in leaf and in order to enjoy the first warm rays of the sun. In the summer months many people combine a trip to the woods with a visit to Bakken: an amusement park on the edge of the forest. On a trip in a horsedrawn open carriage around the park you may well see the beautiful sight of a newborn fawn. During the autumn months the mating call of the rutting stags can be heard and on a walk in the winter months you can see the beauty of the old oaks silhouetted against the open landscape.
Direct trains from Copenhagen to the Klampenborg gate of the Jægersborg Deer Park.
Jægersborg Deer Park are administered by Naturstyrelsen Tel. 39 97 39 00
Nature trails in the state forests
This folder - Jægersborg Deer Park - is nr. 22 in a serial of Nature trails in the state forests and may also been found in a printed version.These folders on nature trails in other state forests are available at tourist agencies and local libraries.