Karen Blixen

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*
 
 

 

 

 

 

Karen Blixen - Museum and final Resting Place north of Copenhagen 
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Karen Blixen
Museum and final Resting Place north of Copenhagen
A five star attraction and sightseeing experience
Karen Blixen's burial place and gravestone - where she rests in peace under the shade of a huge old beech tree at the foot of "Ewald's Hill" at Rundstedlund.
 
The Baroness and Author
Baroness and famous author Karen Blixen was born at the family residence Rungstedlund April 17 - 1885 and died at her home at Rungstedlund on September 7. - 1962. In 1913 Karen Dinesen was engaged to a distant Swedish cousin - Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke - and inherited the title Baroness after her marriage whit him.
 
Pas photo of Karen Blixen from around 1930 and just a year before she left Africa to her homeland Denmark in 1931.
Karen Blixen in her drawing room at her beloved Rungstedlund in 1960. Among friends and family her pet name was “Tanne”.
 

Short biography of Karen Blixen - "Isak Dinesen"
Karen Blixen (1885-1962) is the best known - and possibly the greatest Danish writer of the twentieth century. Her reputation as an author rests on several books written in English under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen including: Seven Gothic Tales (1934) Winter's Tales (1942) Out of Africa (1938) and Babette's Feast from 1952. Out of Africa was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1985 - directed by Sydney Pollack. The movie Out of Africa (1985) celebrates her life as a pioneer coffee farmer in Kenya from 1914 to 1931. Babette's Feast was the first Danish film of a Karen Blixen story - and was also the first Danish film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Babette's Feast was released as a film in 1987.

Breakthrough in the US
Her very first book – Seven Gothic Tales - won great recognition and was her breakthrough especially in America. The book was published in the US in 1934 under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen. Later the publication of the book in the UK and Denmark followed. Out of Africa - her second book was published successfully 1937 and definitely established her reputation as an author. Her writing during most of the 1940s and 1950s consisted of tales in the storytelling tradition and in 1959 - during her tour to the US Karen Blixen met famous writers and celebrities like Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote as well as Arthur Miller - E. E. Cummings and Pearl Buck plus the greatest actress and movie star Marilyn Monroe.

Karen Blixen is portrayed on a Danish 50 Kroner note money note and has been on a Danish stamp twice. (The only non-royal person to receive such an honour)

 
During a tour to the US in 1959 - Karen Blixen meets with playwright and essayist Arthur Miller and movie star Marilyn Monroe at the home of Carson McCullers for luncheon.
Karen Blixen's very first book - Seven Gothic Tales - was published in the US under the pseudonym "Isak Dinesen" in 1934 and became a great success. Later the book was introduced in the UK and Denmark.
 

Karen Blixen in Africa
After Karen Blixen’s marriage with her cousin Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke - the couple went to Kenya in 1913 - and used family money to establish a coffee plantation. After a few years as man and wife - they were divorced in 1921. Together with her African workers - Karen Blixen ran the plantation by herself - and with the falling price of coffee and unproductive harvest - she closed down the production facilities and returned to Denmark in 1931 - where she lived for the rest of her life.

Out of Africa
Karen Blixen's years in Kenya are depicted in OUT OF AFRICA (1937) - "I had a farm in Africa - at the foot of the Ngong Hills". This opening also sets the tone of the autobiography – nostalgic - calm and stoic. The book ends with a view to the same hills: "The outline of the mountain was slowly smoothed and levelled out by the hand of distance."

First book
It was on the coffee-farm Karen Blixen started to write her first book - Seven Gothic Tales (1934) - but it appeared first three years after African memoir.

Karen Blixen museum in Kenya
Karen Blixen's Kenya Mansion was acquired by the National Museums of Kenya and opened as a museum in 1986.

 
Karen Blixen's mansion at the coffee farm in Kenya - at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The estate opened as a museum in 1986 and is a great attraction - counting visitors from all over the world.
The coffee grinder and dryer is still intact at the Karen Blixen Museum in Kenya and can be experienced by the visitors. There are plans to reconstruct the coffee factory.
 
The “Rungstedlund” residence and Museum
Karen Blixen lived most of her life at the family estate “Rungstedlund” that belonged to her father and acquired in 1879. The mansion is situated 25 km north of Copenhagen - and is situated right on the coast of the Oresound with a main building surrounded by a beautiful park - meadows and grove. The 40 acres of land is preserved as a bird sanctuary in harmony with Karen Blixen’s wishes and the entire area is open to the public. “Rungstedlund” was opened as a museum in 1991 and since almost 1.000.000 people has visited the museum.

Karen Blixen's life and work
The museum exhibits the life and work of Karen Blixen together with her original scripts - drawings and paintings as well as biographies and letters.

 
The Karen Blixen estate "Rungstedlund" houses the museum - where Karen Blixen's life and work is exhibited. Since the opening in 1991 more than 1,000.000 people have visited the premises and beautiful parkland.
The famous study at "Rungstedlund" called "Ewald’s Room" - with a splendid view to the waters of the Sound. It was here that Karen Blixen wrote many of her internationally renowned stories surrounded by her many artefacts from Africa.
 
Burial plot
Karen Blixen dies on 7. September 1962 and on 11. September 1962 - the nearest relatives and closest friends take leave of Karen Blixen after a short ceremony in the drawing-room at “Rungstedlund”. The coffin is then carried out to the courtyard - and taken by a horse-drawn wagon through the woods to the burial plot at the foot of "Ewald's Hill" in the beautiful landscape gardens of “Rungstedlund”.
 

Visiting Karen Blixen's Museum - parkland and grave

Karen Blixen Museet - Rungstedlund - Rungsted

Take the train to Rungsted Kyst station and a 15 minute walk - or bus no. 388 from the station.

By Car: Just follow the cost way to Rungsted.

Rundstedlund - Karen Blixen Museum
 
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