Decision : 39 COM 8B.21
The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand, Denmark
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Documents WHC-15/39.COM/8B and WHC-15/39.COM/INF.8B1,
- Inscribes The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand, Denmark, on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv);
- Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:
The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand series covers the former royal hunting forests of Store Dyrehave and Gribskov, traces of connecting roads between them, and the former royal hunting park of Jægersborg Dyrehave/Jægersborg Hegn. The entire former royal forest landscape covered a much larger area with a number of royal castles. The components have been selected as they encompass a completeness of attributes illustrating the development of the Baroque par force hunting landscape as an emblematic and functional spatial entity. Designed and created intentionally by Man, the par force hunting landscape exemplifies a 17th-18th-century landscape created to perform courtly hunts. Its layout results from the combination of French and German design models based on a central-star grid system, combined with an orthogonal grid subdivision, which optimised its function during the hunt, and makes it emblematic of an absolute European monarch, his role in society, and his reason and power to control nature. The Outstanding Universal Value of the landscape lies in the spatial organisation of the hunting forests, hunting roads, buildings, emblematic markers, numbered stone posts, stone fences, and numerical road names conveying an understanding of the practical application of the design as a means of orientation.
Criterion (ii): The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand exceptionally exemplifies how the interchange of Baroque values in Europe influenced developments in landscape design in the 17th-18th centuries, and particularly bears witness to the influence exerted by French and German designed hunting landscapes. These models were adapted to the specific situation of the Danish terrain and to the Danish kings’ aspirations. The series illustrates a development in design that evolved alongside the landscape function during par force hunts also in terms of its increasing symbolic significance.
Criterion (iv): As a landscape of power created by an absolute monarch in the late 17th century, the par force hunting landscape in North Zealand exemplifies a significant stage in European landscape design applied to hunting grounds when the rise of scientific thought took place within the context of absolutist ambitions. The orthogonal geometry conceived for its design improved the octagon or circle-based star network used in French or German examples. In its infinite expandability, the orthogonal grid could give equal access to all parts of the forest; differently from radial examples, its diagonals created more than one star point suitable for the rendez-vous.
The series comprising the two hunting forests Store Dyrehave and Gribskov, the six partially preserved road traces between them, and the hunting park of Jægersborg Dyrehave and Jægersborg Hegn exhibits all attributes necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the par force hunting landscape in North Zealand. The preserved forest cover, despite interventions of reforestation, the hunting roads and their mutual situation, the numbered stones, the fences and the emblematic markers altogether give a clear understanding of a spatial plan that focused on nature and developed in line with changes in the practical and emblematic demands of the absolute monarch. Visual and functional integrity of some components has suffered from the effects of development; however the property currently does not suffer from development or neglect and urban pressure in the wider setting is under control. The character of the wider setting facilitates the understanding of the property.
The history of North Zealand as a royal estate, later to become state-owned, is thoroughly documented in sources of high credibility. Historical maps confirm that the forest cover and the road systems realised according to the original spatial plan have survived to a large extent. In Store Dyrehave most secondary rides have disappeared, as has the forest cover, which has been changed due to later reforestation, and parts of the roads connecting Gribskov and Store Dyrehave. All original road dams and the stone fence around Store Dyrehave are authentic, while wooden bridges and fences have been replaced several times. Stone posts in Store Dyrehave reflect their original positions. The king's monogram, crown and initials document the authenticity of Kongestenen, but the mound it was placed on has been disturbed. The series gives a clear sense of the spatial development of the par force hunting landscape. The character of the wider setting contributes to the understanding of the series as the best-preserved elements of a wider historic designed hunting landscape.
Protection and management requirements
The property is almost entirely state- or municipality-owned and is protected by national acts and enactments, regional plans and agreements, and municipal and local plans. Almost all activities are determined by the budget. Responsibility for the forest management rests with the Nature Agency. Fifteen-year management plans also stipulate how this protected cultural heritage should be managed. The Agency for Palaces and Cultural Properties manages Eremitageslottet and operates 10-year plans. The municipalities have 4-year municipal plans providing frameworks for local plans and guidelines to protect cultural heritage, including road traces in private ownership. The cooperation and coordination among all institutions and bodies with responsibilities in the property and buffer zones ensures the long-term effectiveness of protection and management and is granted by a Steering Committee representing state agencies, municipalities, and museums. As the public's awareness of the cultural heritage of the area, and their desire to return to it time and again, are vital to the successful long-term protection of the par force hunting landscape of North Zealand, the property is well equipped with public facilities, and the dissemination of knowledge should be based on a comprehensive strategy and focussed on the Outstanding Universal Value.
- Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
- Carrying out a survey and recording of the ride system, both those parts remaining and those rediscovered, and other elements and arrangements which bear witness to the hunting landscape formation;
- Extending the monitoring system to all management tasks and identifying appropriate indicators;
- Developing an overall interpretation and presentation programme specifically for the par force hunting landscape;
- Considering for the future the removal from the southern part of the Store Dyrehave of the infrastructure that currently cuts through the forest, and restoration of the vegetation cover.