In the design-centric Danish city of Aarhus, the Marselisborg quarter is a scenic, affluent enclave with natural expanses, a royal residence, and forest and beach landscapes at its edges.
Marselisborg, bursting with nature south of the city center, is one of Aarhus’s oldest parts, offering classic Danish architecture in a forest belt setting. It wraps around formal parks and features a 19th-century castle named after the area, which is the summer residence of Denmark’s queen, Margrethe II, and has views of a coastal beach.
In a city packed with modern architecture, the Marselisborg quarter is a traditional residential enclave, with 1900s mansions and villas with large grounds. It has a genteel, coastal vibe, a two Michelin-star restaurant and easy access to the Marselisborg yacht harbor and urban beach life. It ranks as Aarhus’s most expensive residential area and has some of its highest property-tax rates.
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Earlier this year, the Lilienhoff estate agency in Aarhus sold the city’s most expensive home in the Marselisborg quarter for more than 30 million Danish kroner (US$4.2 million).
The neighborhood’s main boundaries are Marselis Boulevard, which runs along its northern edge, and Emil Hornemans Vej, which marks its southern border. Tangkrogen and Strandvejen form its eastern side, which overlooks Jutland’s east coast, while Jyllands Allé sits along its western edge.
In Marselisborg, property prices typically range from 6 million to 7 million kroner while some grand villas can cost up to 30 million kroner and more, said Jannie Østergaard Hansen of Estate Aarhus.
Niels W. Gades Vej is Marselisborg’s most expensive road, lined with homes worth millions. Located 20 meters above sea level, it has water views and its houses are from the same period, providing it with a distinctive character, Mr. Torben said. These homes have some of the city’s most expensive property owner tax rates.
Ms. Østergaard Hansen cited Strandvejen and Skovbrynet as top roads. “As “skov” means forest in Danish, and “strand” means beach, and their names say it all. They both offer beautiful nature nearby and natural views.” Ms. Østergaard Hansen said.
Currently, there are four houses for sale in the Marselisborg neighborhood. Stock levels are on the lower end of the average, which usually ranges from four to eight, said Torben Snedevind of Lilienhoff estate agency.
The Marselisborg quarter mostly has period mansions and villas, built in the classic Danish style from the early 1900s to 1940s, with some converted apartments. Its outer core has some smaller, modest family homes built in the later periods, according to agents.
The typical Marselisborg villa has two main floors, a basement and attic rooms (formerly staff living quarters), as well as beautiful brickwork, bay windows and dormer roofs, Mr. Snedevind said. They range from four to eight bedrooms and come with gardens, driveways and garages or a carport. Some of them have park-like gardens and garages with space for six to eight cars.
Marselisborg’s traditional houses are sought after because “they are built in a grand style that is not replicated in Denmark today as it is too resource-intensive and expensive, Ms. Østergaard Hansen said.
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The Marselisborg quarter lies in the Marselisborg Forest, a 1,400-acre section of beech woodland with a hilly terrain, which runs from the center of Aarhus southward along the Bay of Aarhus. It was developed on a medieval barony estate, which was destroyed by fire in the 1890s. Its former grounds include a secondary school and the Marselisborg castle. The white-stucco castle with two green copper roof turrets is set on a hill beside the coast.
The Marselisborg area includes the castle’s park (open to the public when the royal family is not staying there), which has a 32-acre English-style park, with sweeping lawns and small ponds; the 1920s Mindeparken (Memorial Park), which was built honoring Danish World War I soldiers; a botanical garden; a 54-acre nature preserve with roaming deer and wild boar; and an amusement park.
Marselisborg has Restaurant Frederikshøj, a double Michelin-starred eatery with a kitchen headed by chef Wassim Hallal, which offers creative, fine dining dishes in Nordic style. By the Memorial Park stands the four-star seafront Helnan Marselis Hotel in a 1967 brick building that’s regarded as a Danish Brutalist icon. It is home to Restaurant Marselis, which serves Danish and international dishes. It is next door to the Varna Restaurant, aka the Varna Palace or Varna Palæet, a fine-dining spot in a storied, neoclassical waterfront house.
There’s plenty for sports fans, too. It has the Jutland Racecourse, a public horse-racing stadium; the Aarhus Stadium; and a kayaking club. Its yacht harbor has shops, modern yachting facilities and berths, a water-skiing club, sailing schools and hosts a nearby annual food festival. Aarhus Golf Club in Højbjerg is about a 10-minute drive away.
The Aarhus International School lies nearby in Aarhus C and offers early years, primary and middle school education. It’s an International Baccalaureate private day school for students between ages 3 and 16, popular with expats and Danish families interested in an English-language program of studies. Kochs International teaches the British curriculum to students aged from ages 5 to 16.
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What Makes It Unique
“People are attracted to the area because of its close location to the city center, the forest and the beach, but at the same time it’s a quiet residential area,” Ms. Østergaard Hansen said. “It’s a small area so it will always be of interest for top-income-earning people.”
The forests, hills and beaches combined with a quaint community close to the Aarhus center also make it unique, Mr. Snedevind said. “Some of its homes have sea views, but its picturesque castle and large park expanses are what really draws buyers here.”
Who Lives There
Marselisborg residents are a “mixed bunch and include both younger families and older people, Ms. Østergaard Hansen said.
“Residents are invariably CEOs, self-employed and career people, all with a top income,” Mr. Snedevind said. The area has some pretty high annual property taxes compared to other parts of the city.”
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Denmark’s Queen, Margrethe II, often stays at Marselisborg castle, which is used by the Danish royal family as their summer residence. The palace has belonged to the royal family since the early 1900s.
“Aarhus city has a stagnating property market due to the high inflation and global economic uncertainty,” Ms. Østergaard Hansen said. “In the Marselisborg quarter, properties are taking a little longer to sell than in previous years, and prices have fallen. We think they will fall a little further in the coming year, like all other areas in Aarhus right now. But the area will remain an expensive place to live.”
In 2024, Denmark is seeing new property valuations and tax changes that will also affect homeowners. “There will be some homeowners who will be hit by increased taxes—typically those with the most expensive houses,” Mr. Snedevind said. “However, I do not think that the housing market in general will be affected by the changes.”
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