Palævej 2, House of the Court Priest (listed)

Close to the Palace and the gardens is this stately and beautiful longhouse. It was built for Court Priest Christian Jessen in 1776 by the duke’s master builder Lorentz Jacobsen.

The house, which is also called “the Palace Vicarage”, is not a traditional vicarage, as it was the private residence of the court priest. The plot was a gift from the duke, but the house was built and paid for by the court priest himself. Originally the house had a large orchard, which stretched all the way down to the small gravel road by the manor farm.

Christian Jessen was employed as court priest and house teacher by Duke Frederick Christian I. The court priest was a calm, wise and kind person, and he had a close relationship with the ducal family and their children – especially Princess Louise Christine Caroline, who as an adult lived in the White Mansion, where she held a “study circle” with the court priest every afternoon at 4 o’clock. Literature, foreign newspapers and politics were read and discussed. Throughout his life, the court priest was a good friend and confidant to the children.

When the court priest died, the house was inherited by his daughter, Helene Jessen, who was part of the inner circle in Augustenborg. She held many parties with the leading figures of the town gathered in her drawing room. Since then, there have been a handful of owners: A farmer Christian Friis, the Alsic politician Nicolai Ahlmann, the provost of Ketting and his children and last but not least the Godt family, who took good care of the house and owned it for almost 90 years from 1915 until 2004. Before the present owners took over the house, they spent the summer holidays with Magdalena Godt in order to get to know the house.

The house is a well-preserved example of the Rococo style, which is not strongly represented in Denmark because the period was quite short (1740-1770). A typical decorative element is the so-called rocaille, which is a mussel-shaped or c-shaped ornament. The style is characterised by organic plant motifs that wind asymmetrically on top of symmetrical surfaces, such as on the front door with its undulating elements. The curved upper frames of the windows with “eyebrows” are also typical of the period.

Particularly striking is the large beautifully ornamented front door with fluted frame and richly decorated three-paned upper window as well as the large windows with 20 panes – decreasing to 16 and 9 upwards in the wall dormer. An impeccable and harmonious building, one of the most beautiful examples of Schleswig Rococo in Southern Jutland.

The house is 267 square meters in ground floor area, and its interior retains its original floor plan with a central partition wall and spacious living rooms “en fillade”. Original doors, door frames, brass handles, finger plates and fittings. In the large drawing room, you can see a very beautifully oven niche decorated with flowers and rocailles.

In a blind window opening on the east gable of the house, you can see a motif from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” shaped in iron. The two old lime trees are contemporary with the house and are protected by a local preservation order.

In the garden is a small gazebo with thatched roof and spire, which the Godt family one winter transported on a sleigh from their former home by the water. In the garden, you can also see a very old, shaped yew from the palace gardens and a large walnut tree.

The carriage house dates from the last half of the 19th century and was at one time used as a lumber yard and for selling coal and coke. If you follow Palævej in the direction of the Forest, you will get to the art centre Augustiana Art Park & Art Gallery in the White and Red mansion.