The royal residence of Skanderborg Castle was arguably the most important and influential building in the history of Skanderborg, but it was demolished stone by stone during the 18th century. Founded at some point in the early Middle Ages around 1200, King Frederik II had the old medieval castle radically rebuilt and expanded around 1570. His project was grandiose in scale. An entirely new large Renaissance palace was erected and the deer park of Skanderbrog Dyrehave was constructed nearby, amongst other undertakings. Stones from the demolished Øm Abbey west of Skanderborg were used as construction materials. Many of the original structures survived the project and were incorporated into the new buildings, amongst these the old castle chapel. In the 12th-16th centuries, Skanderborg Castle functioned as the traditional hunting retreat of the Danish kings.
In the years of 1717-22, King Frederik IV began demolishing the old original medieval structures and replaced the former fortifications with terraced gardens. Only the bell tower of the still existing castle church remained. In turn however, Skanderborg Castle saw a decline in popularity and attention by the royal family, and in 1767, the castle with associated gardens was sold at auction. Commoner Hans Lauritzen bought the royal property for the sum of 3004 Rigsdaler, while the castle church with furnishings and bells was granted to the town of Skanderborg. In April 1768, the demolishing of Skanderborg Castle began and nothing remains of it today, except the old castle church.
The renaissance version of Skanderborg Castle.