J.C. Jacobsen's garden



Brewer J.C. Jacobsen’s Garden, located alongside the Carlsberg Academy in Valby, was designed and laid out by the brewer himself in the years 1847-1867. Originally, the garden was created for the private use of his family. Later, when the brewer’s house was converted into an honorary residence, the garden was used by the honorary residents. Today, the garden functions as a public space.

In the years 1847-1867, brewer J.C. Jacobsen established a garden next to his home, now the Carlsberg Academy, in Valby. The garden, which became protected in 2009, has been open to the public since 2008.

In 2017, J.C. Jacobsen’s Garden underwent extensive renovation to return it to something like the original. The renovation work, carried out by the architecture firm Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, entailed restoring the garden’s botanical identity while at the same time protecting any trees worthy of preservation. The three plantings – Stenhøjen, Stenbedet and Spejlbassinnet – have also been reconstructed based on the original drawings by J.C. Jacobsen.

The garden was not originally designed as a systematic botanical collection, but more as an arboretum with a variation in trees and shrubs of different kinds. Today, it once again has the character of a non-systematic arboretum with solitary trees and coniferous and deciduous trees spread across four garden spaces, which have been preserved.

Alongside the garden restoration, noise shielding was established to the south and new access to the north. In the northern part of the garden, a stormwater basin has also been established to percolate water following cloudbursts, and the pathways and boundaries have been modernised.

The brewer’s ‘Park’

J.C. Jacobsen himself clearly had a love of botany. He travelled extensively in Europe and took inspiration from the landscape gardens of the time. He brought home many rare plants, trees and shrubs, which were planted in the garden together with seeds and plants ordered from across Europe.

For example, he procured 116 plants from around the world, many of which have been reproduced.

Originally he began laying out the garden, which he referred to as his “park” (adopting the English word of the time) before initiating construction of the main building of his home. The reason for turning the process on its head and establishing the garden before the house was that the enormous quantities of soil left over from excavating the deep storage cellars had to be placed somewhere on the site.

He therefore decided that this surplus soil should be placed like a bastion in the middle of the site. The soil was subsequently moved to the place where the main building was to be constructed.

This created a plateau, which resolved the problem of building on the sloping ground.

Inspired by the famous landscape gardens of the day

The engineered landscape that is characteristic of the garden today stems from J.C. Jacobsen’s many impressions from journeys and visits to famous gardens of the day. He travelled extensively in Europe and brought home many rare plants, trees and shrubs, which were planted in the garden together with the steady stream of seeds and plants that were ordered from across Europe.

The restoration of J.C. Jacobsen’s Garden has entailed recreating the garden’s botanical identity while endeavouring to protect the garden’s modern trees that are worthy of preservation.


The highly modern garden was not only an expression of J.C. Jacobsen’s interest in landscaping, however, but also his ability to judge which advisers he should use for his undertakings. In the case of the garden, the choice fell to palace gardener Rudolph Rothe (1802-1877), a landscape architect and friend of the family. The wonderful interplay between buildings and landscape, which still characterises the garden to this very day, came about in discussions between the brewer and Rothe, even though the design had been drawn by the brewer beforehand.


J.C. Jacobsen’s Garden reopened following extensive renovation on J.C. Jacobsen’s birthday, 2 September 2017. Entrance to J.C. Jacobsen’s Garden is via 7 and 11 Bohrsgade, 1799 Copenhagen V, and Olivia Hansens Gade, 1799 Copenhagen V. The garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

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