The history of KolleKolle
Learn more about the fascinating history of the area where KolleKolle is located.
As early as 1208, a calendar for a requiem mass reveals that there was already mention of a building on the site occupied by KolleKolle Conference Centre & Hotel today. The name KolleKolle has been hotly debated. Did it originally mean ‘cold huts’ (Calde Cotae), where shepherds froze on the fields in the biting wind which at times sweeps up the ravine from Lake Furesø? Or conversely did it mean ‘warm huts’ because it was a place where charcoal burners fired their charcoal? The reason for this is that ‘warm’ is ‘caldus’ in Latin and ‘caldo’ in Italian?
In 1766-67, shortly after the accession of King Christian VII, all the King’s tenant farmers in the Copenhagen district were granted freehold rights. Many hundred freehold deeds were issued for the largest of two farms in the settlement of KolleKolle which at that time also consisted of an inn and several houses. A military scribe, Hans Jørgen Dahl, sat and filled in the pre-printed forms individually with information such as name, valuation of estimated productivity, etc., and signed the papers.
In 1839, the ‘KolleKolle’ buildings became a farm – possibly the one with the most beautiful views in North Sealand. Today the fields are also surrounded on all sides by woods. Back then there was no motorway and the ravine down to Lake Furesø reveals a view across to the tree-covered hills and promontories around Holte and Birkerød.
A new owner
The amenity value of the area was not lost on Charles Grut Hansen, a 25-year-old University of Copenhagen student, arts graduate and butter merchant who bought the farm in 1892. Grut Hansen’s father was related to A.N. Hansen, the millionaire merchant owner of Øregård in Gentofte. The Westenholzs, Karen Blixen’s mother’s family, were also descendants of A.N. Hansen. In reality, the Hansen family members were some of the largest landowners in the nineteenth Century. They had properties extending from the Oresund to Værløse with farms and homes such as Rungstedlund, Folehavegård, Hummeltofte, Magleås, Hestkøbgård (now Furesø golf club). KolleKolle was a later purchase in 1906, of land belonging to the large Værløsegård estate.
We are located in Værløse, which researchers into the town’s ancient name Witherløsae have interpreted to mean clearings in the wood or woods.
Grut Hansen is remembered locally and held in high esteem. He was chairman of the parish council from 1907–1913 and shortly before his death in 1922, he lent 40,000 kroner interest free to the then impoverished municipality of Værløse. He was a patron of the temperance movement and brought electricity to the parish. He also lent out his large and expensive farm machinery (reaper-binders and threshing machines) for harvesting and threshing on smaller neighbouring properties.
In the field of agricultural research Grut Hansen was known throughout Denmark for his breeding work, which resulted in his cows’ butterfat percentage rising from 3.33% to 4.35%. Grut Hansen wanted to make sure that the breeding Work continued. So by the time of his death the farm was inherited by the Sealand Cattle Breeders Association and the Grut Hansen Danish Farming Trust (‘Grut Hansen’s Legatstiftelse for Dansk Landbrug’).
Between 1922 and 1966, the breeding station run by Fisker Senior and Fisker Junior respectively supplied dairy cattle to farms all over Denmark. In 1966, when the breeding research programme was moved to Assendrup Hovedgård near Haslev in Jutland, a monument to Grut Hansen followed. This had been erected in 1927 by the Danish Farming Trust five years after his death and 35 years after he first bought KolleKolle.
Tearing down the farm and building the konference centerIn 1972 the farm buildings at KolleKolle were demolished. One of the reasons for this was that they straddled an increasingly busy main road. However, two of them remained standing to the west of the road.
The Danish Farmers Association’s course and conference centre of that time was then extended with the addition of the buildings facing the ravine. Together these are what we know today as the KolleKolle.