The ramparts and the gardens around the medieval Spøttrup Castle form a unique historical system, which was re-created in 1937 after the state acquired the castle. Until then, Spøttrup had experienced its fair share of ups and downs behind the colossal ramparts that have protected its various inhabitants from cannon fire during the Reformation and from the peasant army led by Skipper Clement. A walk on the ramparts soon ignites your imagination – no matter what age you are.
The garden is also worth a visit – especially because of the large selection of medicinal herbs and spices. It also contains a small rose garden full of scented beds and espaliers.
The grassy ramparts that encircle the fortification were built by the see of Viborg at the same time as the castle itself was built - just after 1500. A member of the imperial council, Johan Skarpenberg, had donated the area to the see in 1404. With its drawbridges and ramparts, the castle provided almost impenetrable protection for the clerical inhabitants of the era and made it impossible to train cannon fire directly on the castle.
By the time the state assumed control of Spøttrup, the impressive ramparts had been partly demolished by the castle's private owners, who had used Spøttrup as a normal stately home during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and, therefore, had no need for ramparts. The state decided to resurrect the ramparts in their original power and glory and for over two years (1938-40) around 50 men worked on the huge project which was run as a job creation scheme during the depression of the 1930s.
The historical monastery gardens were also re-created in their original renaissance style after the state take-over. The monastery gardens are divided into two. In both gardens, the characteristic simplistic and rectangular beds so typical of the Renaissance style form the setting for the cultivation of the medicinal and spice plants that the castle inhabitants used for medicine and food, respectively.
There is a wide selection of plants - from dame's violets and artichokes, to orchids and moon carrots, to thyme and snowdrop. Some of them are still used in the medicinal and food industries, while others are now purely decorative. In the most southerly part of the garden, visitors can enjoy two large beautiful rose beds and trellises.
Spøttrup Lake, which appears to be outside the western entrance, was re-created in 1994 and the landscape around the castle in now historically accurate.
The ramparts and gardens are owned by the Danish state and maintained by the Agency for Palaces & Cultural Properties.Last updated:: Tuesday, December 06, 2011