For more than 300 years, Taarbæk Kro has been the town’s natural gathering point for everyone from farmers turned fishermen to sun-loving tourists or wedding parties, dressed to impress.
A sweet spot by decree
Situated north of Copenhagen, the old fishing village is just 0.71 miles long and 0.14 miles wide, bound to the west by the green Dyrehaven (the Deer Park) and to the east by the blue Sound. When you step into Taarbæk, you step into a sweet spot. And in the center of that sweet spot, you find Taarbæk Kro. The inn has been here ever since the 1670s when the fishing village of Taarbæk was effectively formed by royal decree. King Christian V uprooted a whole village in the middle of Dyrehaven because their presence disturbed his hunting. The farmers became fishermen, and the inn provided the gathering place they needed.
The times are a-changin’
At first, Taarbæk Kro was located on the other side of Strandvejen and the current address was the inn’s traveller stable.
Dressed for success
Over the years, the inn changed. From the 1850s, a completely new economy was created when Copenhageners began coming to Taarbæk in search of spa baths and holidays by the sea. Early in the morning, fishermen’s wives used to journey to Copenhagen market with specially prepared baskets of herring and cod, but now the income was supplemented by local tourism.
Swiss whipped cream on top
In 1873, the then owner of Taarbæk Kro, Vilhelm Haagensen, extended the inn, creating an austere-looking three-storey hotel. The rebuild bankrupted Haagensen however and he was forced to sell up. The next owner, Director P.C. Glud, separated the inn and hotel in 1898, by converting the traveller stables across the street into an inn and turning Haagensen’s building into a bathing hotel with new wooden balconies and a decorative tower, all in Swiss style. It was a huge hit, until World War I.
The gilding decays but the old inn stays
The Great Depression in the 1930s represented the end of an era for the Taarbæk Bathing Hotel. The building was bought up and demolished to make way for the new Taarbækhave complex. Then in 1940, Taarbæk Kro was expanded and got its latest appearance, showing that the world can do without baths but not inns.
For parties and the everyday
Taarbæk Kro quickly became a meeting place for everyone from local fishermen and sailors to couples and families. Through the generations, the inn became the only place to throw parties and celebrate anniversaries.
Male bonding with sand on the floor
In the late 1970s, the inn was still a meeting place for fishermen, with sand on the floor, spit trays in the corner and no access for women, despite the fact that Taarbæk Kro was now run by a woman, the cook Kate Hjort.
Home of the free birds
From the 1980s, when locals Jørn Mathiassen and Anders Volmer began painting the special Taarbæk birds, of course Taarbæk Kro was one of the first to have some sit on the building’s façade. Home to artists and sailors alike, residents of Taarbæk have always had an appreciation for nature’s beauty and a love of play.
The future begins here
The story of the “new” Taarbæk Kro began in 2020. After almost 45 years as owner, Kate Hjort handed over the place to Charlotte and Søren Sørensen. It was clear that a lot needed to be done at the inn, but that didn’t scare the couple. Perhaps because Charlotte is a trained physiotherapist – her driving force is simply to make something weakened function using its own potential. Charlotte and Søren are not going to run Taarbæk Kro themselves, they need a partner or tenant who understands the unique possibilities of the place. Taarbæk Kro's unique setting is ready for future stories.