History of the Embassy of Russia in Denmark

The residence of the Embassy of Russia in Denmark, located at Kristianiagade 5, was built by Otto Mønsted, a prominent Danish entrepreneur and the founder of the first margarine-producing factory in the country. Vilhelm Dahlerup, Danish follower of the Italian Renaissance style in architecture, was invited as an architect. He was also the co-architect of the unique buildings of the Royal Danish Theatre, Hotel D’Angleterre and the Danish National Gallery in Copenhagen. Completed in 1899, the construction of the mansion cost Mønsted half a million Danish krone.

In 1934 the widow of the “margarine king” sold the mansion to Countess Musse Scheel, the last private owner of the building, for 256 000 krone. Countess was known as an eccentric woman, cinema actress, film studio owner, passionate traveler and animal lover. Her contemporaries recalled that she held a hen house in the yard of her “castle” and even sold eggs to the neighbors herself. She also had two stuffed bears in the hall of the building, near the stairs to the second floor.

Musse Scheel was born at Hvidøre House at Klampenborg which was ironically bought by Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna and her sister English Queen Alexandra in 1915 as a summer residence during their visits to Denmark. It became the Empress’ last home after her final return to Denmark in 1919. After Maria Feodorovna’s death the villa was reacquired by the former owner.

During Denmark’s occupation by fascist Germany during the Second World War the residence served as the headquarters of the organization “Northern Society” which promoted cultural cooperation between Germany and countries of Northern Europe.

In 1950 the Soviet Union signed an agreement regarding the rental of the mansion for 20 000 krone per year. In 1982 the building and the adjacent plot at Kristianiagade 3 (Consular Department) and the building at Bergensgade 11 (School) were granted to the Soviets free of charge on the basis of reciprocity for the needs of the Embassy of the USSR  (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) for the period of 70 years (until December, 31, 2051).

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