Over the course of 2005 and 2006 Moltkes Palace underwent what many people would regard as a complete transformation.
This is no swift repainting job, but rather a thorough restoration which has in many ways returned the palace to the glory of bygone days.
You gain your first impressions of the 'new' palace as soon as you enter the high gatehouse on Dronningens Tværgade: the main gate now displays renewed oak graining, the ornamentation has been cleaned, and the walls and the ceiling have all been repainted.
Inside, the old pine staircase to the upper floors has been planed and given new carpeting. All of the walls have been painted in strong, warm colours. The lower panels have been marbled in a light grey colour, and the banister has been polished.
The new foyer
The greatest changes however, are visible on the first floor, where the long foyer leading to the many halls and chambers is now barely recognisable: the suspended ceiling has been removed, and the old arching ceiling has regained its rightful place of honour. The old cupboards have also been removed, giving the whole foyer a bright, friendly and welcoming appearance. The same applies to the first floor toilets, which meet today's standards in a contemporary and consistent style.
The five chambers and two halls
The five chambers and two halls on the first floor were completed after almost a year of intensive work. All of the walls have been stripped and repainted on the basis of the colours and wall coverings that were revealed during the restoration. The old 18th-century parquet floors have been taken up and recreated, tile by tile.
The magnificent stucco ceiling ornamentation has been carefully clad with new gold leaf, and the heavy prism chandeliers once more sparkle in the daylight that enters the room, or create an elegant and effective atmosphere in the evening. The old paintings have been cleaned and restored, and finally the fixtures have been renovated with new gildings and covers.
Many hidden and forgotten details were revealed during the restoration – including a rosette in the Venezia Chambers’ original 18th-century floor. The rosette has now been recreated, and is no longer hidden away beneath the carpet.
The work and the history
The work at Moltke's Palace has been carried out by a wide range of craftsmen who have demonstrated mastery of the old techniques and craftsmen's traditions. The aim was to re-establish the original decor of the rooms, and the work has been carried out on the basis of urban archaeological surveys under the supervision of the national authorities for listed buildings.
Moltke's Palace as we know it today is the result of at least three construction periods. The oldest part, along Bredgade, was built in 1702 by Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve; the western part of the wing on Dronningens Tværgade was added by the Moltke family in the middle of the 19th century; and finally, the wing containing the Large Assembly Hall was built by the Craftsmen's Guild at the beginning of the 1930s. The current restoration project is the most extensive and thorough since 1930.
The craftsmen have not just been busy in the public areas. A new goods elevator now links all of the palace's storeys from cellar to loft, and an up-to-date kitchen has also been installed in the cellar.