Holstein Mansion

The Holstein Mansion is a Baroque style town mansion on Stormgade in central Copenhagen, Denmark. The history of the property dates back to the late 17th century but the name and current design of the building is from the 1750s when it was owned by the Holstein family and expanded by royal sculptor Jacob Fortling. Once home to the Natural History Museum, it now houses government offices.


Early history

The original house was built for Hofmarschall Henrik Ulrik Lützow in 1687.[1] The two-storey, nine-bay house was possibly designed by General Building Master Lambert van Haven.[2] In 1706, the house was expanded with a wide bay at both ends of the main wing and two perpendicular wings to the rear. The architect of this expansion was possibly Johan Conrad Ernst.[2]

The property was purchased by Privy Councillor Johan Georg Holstein in 1726. His son, who inherited the mansion in 1730, acquired Ledreborg estate near Roskilde in 1739, continuing to use his house in Stormgade as his winter residence. Johan Ludvig Holstein's son, Christian von Holstein, commissioned court sculptor Jacob Fortling to carry out another expansion of the Holstein Mansion in 1756. The house remained in the hands of the Holstein family until it was acquired by Supreme Court Justice Christian Colbjørnsen in 1807.

Royal Museum of Natural History

The Holstein Mansion changed hands twice more before it was acquired by the Crown in 1827. The building was then adapted for use as the Royal Museum of Natural History under supervision of Jørgen Hansen Koch.[1]

The naturalist Peter Wilhelm Lund was associated with the museum. He made several journeys to South America and is particularly known for his examinations of limestone caves in Brazil. The zoologist Johannes Theodor Reinhardt was appointed inspector of the Royal Museum of Natural History's 1st Department (mammals and birds) in 1848. He had previously participated in the Galathea Expedition 1845-47 and visited Lund in Brazil in 1848.[1]

Later history

A new building for the Natural History Museum was inaugurated in Krystalgade in 1871. The building in Stormgade was sold to the insurance company Den almindelige Brandforsikring for Landbygninger (now Alm. Brand). The Ministry of Housing purchased the building when Alm. Brand moved to new premises on the Middle Pier in the Southern Freeport in 1971.


The current exterior of the building mostly dates from Fortling's expansion in 1756. He added an extra floor topped by a balustrade decorated with vases and statues. The complex also comprises the two perpendicular rear wings from 1706 and a half-timbered building in the yard from the second half of the 17th century.[1]


The building was converted into 12 apartments in 2016. They vary in size between 90 and 386 square metres.[3]

List of owners

  • (1683-1700) Henning Ulrich von Lützow
  • (1700-1711) E.U. Does
  • (1711-1718) Valentin von Eickstedt
  • (1718-1726) Andreas Weyse
  • (1726-1730) Johan Georg von Holstein
  • (1730-1750) Johan Ludvig Holstein
  • (1750-1780) Christian von Holstein
  • (1780-1807) The von Holstein family
  • (1807-1810) Christian Colbjørnsen
  • (1810-1811) Amond Ammondsen
  • (1811) Knud Bille Schack
  • (1811-1827) Christian Cornelius Lerche
  • (1827-1872) The Crown
  • (1872-1971) Den almindelige Brandforsikring for Landbygninger
  • (1971-) Ministry of Housing


  1. "Holsteins Palæ" (in Danish). Selskabet for Købehavns Historie. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  2. "Sag: Holsteins Palæ" (in Danish). Kulturstyrelsen. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  3. "Kongelig kæmpe-lejlighed sat til salg: Kom med indenfor her" (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 19 February 2015.

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