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The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand

The Par Force Hunting Landscape is a UNESCO-World Heritage. Store Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park), Gribskov and Jægersborg Dyrehave (Jægersborg Deerpark) is designed as a stage for the great act unfolding when the scene for absolute and powerful king engaged in his favourite type of hunting: The par force hunting.

Landscape design of King Christian V  – some background knowledge

From 1670 and the years ahead, King Christian V transformed the royal hunting ground of North Sealand to a perfect par force hunting system inspired by the French Sun King Louis XIV’s Palace. The landscape was designed with ruler-straight forest roads in a pattern of stars surrounded by squares, as in a Baroque garden.

Thus, it is a magnificent setting of the King’s absolute power over nature. Par force hunting was not about getting food on the table. Instead, it was a tremendously organised show which was to demonstrate the pomp and power of the King.

While the king and his guests waited at a central place in the forest, horsemen and dogs drove a magnificent red deer around until it was exhausted, after which the King had the honour of killing the deer with a small hunting sword called the hirschfänger. Read more about the actual par force hunting here

Why UNESCO World Heritage?

The UNESCO Committee has included the Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Sealand on the World Heritage List because it “is an unusual and well-preserved example of how the values of the European baroque were transformed into the design of nature.”

How can you experience the par force hunting landscape today?

The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Sealand consists of public forests where everybody can go. The forests have their characters, and you can experience them on foot, bike, or horseback.


Gribskov is Denmark’s largest old forest. Here, you can experience majestic giant oaks which have lived through centuries of changes, a rich animal and bird life and lots of exciting cultural tracks. Whether you prefer a quiet, peaceful walk or hiking deep into the forest, you will find excellent hiking trails in Gribskov.

Four folders cover the forest and show the marked routes, paths and forest roads. You can also find information on parking, primitive accommodation, bonfire places, bird towers, etc.

Download as PDF here:

In St. Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park), you get an impression of the geometry of the par force system, with the many gravel roads meeting in “the star” zigzagging through the forest. The forest is also perfect for hiking or running, and there are several marked routes. Find them in the folder Store Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park).

Download as PDF here:


It is obvious to experience the par force hunting landscape on a bike. The many roads in all directions, most of which are closed to cars, invite for a good bike ride with the whole family. Are you more into mountain bikes? No problem. There are excellent tracks for this as well.

In Gribskov, you can follow the Par force cycle route 105, marked with blue signs. The route starts at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød and runs through par force hunting roads deep into Gribskov.  

To experience Store Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park) on a bike, you can follow the Par force cycle route 110, starting from Frederiksborg Castle. The route is marked with blue signs and goes from the castle through roads and paths to Store Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park) and back to Frederiksborg.

If you prefer riding a mountain bike, high speed and raw paths, Store Dyrehave (the Great Deer Park) have one of Denmark’s best mountain bike tracks, approx 20 km around the country. 

Horse riding

The most authentic way of experiencing the Par force hunting landscape, the historical, royal hunting landscape, is probably on horseback. Enjoy the beautiful, varied nature and interesting cultural tracks along good bridle paths with lots of nice pull-ins on the way. Choose between day rides or the 3-day ride of approx—75 km. Get more information about riding tracks in the Par force Hunting Landscape

Who handles cultural heritage?

The UNESCO World Heritage area, the Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Sealand, is protected, developed and facilitated by cooperation between the Danish Nature Agency, the Agency for Culture and Palaces, six North Sealand municipalities and three museums. Get more information here.

Europe’s fantastic UNESCO World Heritage

Would you like to see more of the UNESCO World Heritage? Find inspiration on the new travel portal World Heritage Journeys to inspire more people to visit Europe’s unique cultural heritage. The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Sealand is one of the places which is represented on the new website.

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