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The Art Center Gammel Holtegaard

Gammel Holtegaard is an art center with a programme of three to four ambitious exhibitions a year, both in the galleries of the main house and in the Baroque garden. Our mission is to present contemporary and classical artworks that make history relevant and bring a fresh perspective to the age in which we live.

The art center’s unique location in the historical buildings and grounds of Lauritz de Thurah’s Baroque complex is an integrated part of our exhibition profile. It is precisely this context that makes it possible to bring contemporary art into close contact with the historical material Gammel Holtegaard is made of.

The Baroque garden is thus seen as an extended gallery, and exhibitions there are as carefully curated and presented as the indoor ones in our annual programme.

Gammel Holtegaard has a diverse year-round programme of events and activities relating to the exhibitions and to Gammel Holtegaard itself. These include artist talks, performances, talks, debates, garden tours, concerts, and much more.


Gammel Holtegaard was built in 1756 by the court architect Lauritz de Thurah, who wanted a country residence removed from the overcrowding, noise and stench of Copenhagen. As well as parts of the Copenhagen area of Frederiksstaden by Amalienborg Palace, de Thurah also designed the winding tower of Our Saviour’s Church, the royal hunting lodge The Hermitage Palace, and the now demolished Hirschholm Palace north of Copenhagen. De Thurah’s last complex, the country residence Holtegaard, was built in a simple, Nordic, late Baroque style in landscaped gardens. Today the meticulously trimmed boxwood, the fountains, the spherically pruned bay trees, and the arcades and avenues have all been restored to reinstate the original garden dating from the second half of the 1700s.

The Baroque thus forms the architectural framework for the main house and garden, as well as being the thematic basis for Gammel Holtegaard’s exhibition profile.

When de Thurah bought the property in 1755 the first thing he did was extend and landscape the garden within the border of linden-tree avenues that have survived to the present day. When the new buildings were complete, Gammel Holtegaard was a magnificent country house with farm buildings and even an inn with a royal licence.

The exterior of the main house with its pavilions is largely as it was upon completion in 1756. In the tower are two bells that de Thurah had made in 1756; the clockwork is also original. De Thurah did not, however, have many years to enjoy Gammel Holtegaard. Sadly he died in 1759, after which time the property had many different owners.

In 1979 Søllerød Council took over and restored Gammel Holtegaard and converted the main house into a space for temporary exhibitions. In 1993 the complex was handed over to the foundation Gammel Holtegaard – Breda Fonden to be run as an art institution.

Gammel Holtegaard’s Baroque Garden

The Baroque garden, landscaped by the Danish architect Lauritz de Thurah, was inspired by the French ornamental gardens of the 1700s. Opening out from the main house, it is laid out symmetrically along a central axis. De Thurah wanted to create a pleasure garden, and he included everything to make this the epitome of the period: arcades, fountains, Mediterranean trees in tubs, a battery of ten canons, and twenty-one statues. The avenues formed sections divided by trees planted in clipped box hedges. Originally there was also a menagerie and a gazebo.

But the garden was not only ornamental. As de Thurah himself wrote: “It is not solely a summer pleasure, easing my mind from my at times irksome, tiresome official duties, but it is even of benefit and use.”

The last visible traces of de Thurah’s garden had probably disappeared by the mid-1800s. In the new, English style landscaped garden that replaced it, only the linden trees remained. In 2001, thanks to the generous support of private foundations, the restoration of de Thurah’s garden could begin. By the summer of 2009 the restoration was complete, with ten statues and a 1000 m2 parterre.

Restoration of the Baroque garden by Schul Landscape Architects, 2003.
Recreation of the parterre by Kirsten Lund-Andersen, 2008.


Read more about the fruit trees in the garden  
Read more about the sculptures in the garden

Read more about art in the Baroque gardens:

Bubbly Baroque (2023-2025)

Pavilon III – Scenery (2017)

The restoration of the Baroque garden has been funded by:
Augustinus Fonden, Beckett-Fonden, BG Fonden, Fonden Realdania, G.B. Hartmanns Forskningsfond, Nykredit A/S, Lemvigh-Müller Fonden, Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Fond.

The sculptures and the parterre have been funded by:
Ny Carlsbergfondet, OAK Foundation Danmark, Kai og Lisel, Gurli and Poul Madsens Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond

Gammel Holtegaard-Breda Fonden

Since 1993 Gammel Holtegaard has been run primarily on private funds from the Breda Foundation.

Ebba Maria Kirstine Breda (1893–1950) was a Danish painter, born in Rynkeby in Funen. Her father was a dentist and her mother came from a wealthy family connected to Vejstrupgaard Manor in Funen.

Ebba Breda studied at Alice Bastide’s school of painting in Paris from 1927 to 1932. She specialised in miniatures and portraits and exhibited several times at The Salon in Paris. After returning to Denmark she was represented by Kleis Gallery in Copenhagen. She lived with her mother and sister in Holte until her death.

The foundation Gammel Holtegaard – Breda Fonden was founded in 1992 by Ebba’s sister Aase Breda and runs Gammel Holtegaard today.

Gammel Holtegaard is entrusted with keeping the memory of the painter Ebba Breda alive through the preservation and promotion of her art, including the maintenance of a digital image archive.


Kit Leunbach
Curator & Acting Artistic Director
Mobile: +45 3151 4982
Phone: +45 4611 5888

Nanna Strøjer Balslev
Phone: +45 4611 5888

Nina Peitersen
Head of Communication
Mobile: +45 7268 5892
Phone: +45 4611 5888

Line Birkvad Eskerod 
Head of Administration
Phone: +45 4611 5888

Philip Kristian Philipsen
Phone: +45 6185 6911

Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen
Facility Manager
Mobile: +45 7268 5893
Phone: +45 4611 5888

Maiken Louise Secher
Design Shop Manager
Mobile: +45 7268 5894
Phone: +45 4611 5885


Dorte Petermuss
Front desk

Mikkel Strandberg
Front desk

Sidsel Dahl-Hardt
Front desk

Sofie Foldager Sørensen
Front desk

Stinne Grøne
Front desk


Nina Marie Poulsen
Art Guide



The foundation Gammel Holtegaard – Breda Fonden

Jens Ive
Board Chairman
Former mayor of Rudersdal Kommune

Kristine Thrane
Member of the Local Council, Rudersdal Kommune

Finn Junge-Jensen
Former President, Copenhagen Business School

Lisbeth Lund
Museum Director, Willumsens Museum

Lise Djernes Østergaard
Dean, Rudersdal Deanery






Gammel Holtegaard Membership

As a member of CLUB Gammel Holtegaard, you will recieve acces to a wide range of benefits and member-only offers:

  • Free admission to all exhibitions
  • Bring a friend and get 50% discount on their admission
  • Invitations to members’ events and exhibition openings 
  • 50% members’ discout on catalogues published by Gammel Holtegaard
  • 10% members’ discout in the Gammel Holtegaards shop
  • 10% members’ discout in Spiseriet
  • 50% members’ discout on admission to all Art Centers in Denmark


PRICE: 200 DKK per year


and get your membership card and all the benefits immediately.

For further information about CLUB Gammel Holtegaard, please contact:

Telephone:       +45 4611 5888


For further information about Gammel Holtegaard current exhibitions and activities, please contact:

Nina Peitersen
Head of Communication
Telephone: +45 7268 5892


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