Beautiful women in the Lapidarium of Kings. Photo: Thorkild Jensen

Beautiful women

The Lapidarium of Kings features the world’s most beautiful women

Denmark and Norway formed a dual monarchy until 1814. Frederick V (who reigned between 1746 and 1766) wanted to show the world that he ruled over both countries. He commissioned the sculptor Johannes Wiedewelt to create two magnificent national monuments for his new palace gardens at Fredensborg Palace.

Wiedewelt carved a sculpture of a beautiful woman to bestride the two monuments which are almost 20 metres long. On the Norwegian monument sits an erect woman wearing draped robes, a diadem in her hair and a fur around her torso. She points ahead of her and her manner is majestic and confident. She is a little distant and cool, like the country she represents, Norway.  

The Trojan prince abducted Helen

The Trojan prince Paris wanted to have the most beautiful woman in the whole of Greece. He wanted to have the beautiful Helen. Unfortunately, she was already married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta. Paris therefore had to abduct Helen and sail back across the sea to Troy. Menelaus responded quickly and went to war against the Trojans.

The Lapidarium of Kings has a sculpture of Helen and Paris, depicting the moment at which he abducts her. The half-naked Helen does not appear to be resisting, and Paris does not use brute force to take her away. They look more like two lovers in a love dance.


The Lapidarium of Kings