In 1694 Christian V had a two-storey wood frame building built in the Deer Park north of Copenhagen. In 1734 the building was demolished, and the Royal Architect Lauritz de Thurah built the present hunting seat on the hill in the middle of the plain in 1734-36. The palace is an outstanding example of Thurah’s skills and one of the greatest late baroque works in Denmark. The ground-plan of the palace is symmetrical on all four floors.
In 1736 Johan Jeremias Reusse, a cabinet maker, constructed a table machine, a mechanical device with table and equipment. This is the famous Hermitage table, which allowed the beautifully laid table to be hoisted through a hatch in the dining room floor, making it possible to dine without servants, or in French “en hermitage”. A few years later a new table machine was constructed at the behest of Eigtved. This version was also flawed with technical difficulties and needed repairs, and at the end of the 1700s it was removed entirely.
The palace has been renovated several times, most recently with a thorough restoration of the sandstone exterior from 1979 to 1991.
The Hermitage Palace has been the centre of royal hunts. It is at the disposal of HM The Queen and is used for example for official lunches; a recent occasion was the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 1998.
The Hermitage Palace is closed to the public.