The History of Møstings

Møstings Hus was constructed in 1800 and is named after the most recognized owner, Johan Sigismund Møsting (1759-1843). From 1813, J. S. Møsting had a prominent position as Minister of Finance and as head of the exchequer in the nation’s government under Frederik VI. In 1814 he became a member of the Geheimrat, which was the title of the highest advising officials at the royal courts.

Møstings Hus dates back to a time when Frederiksberg was the preferred summer resort for the wealthy citizens and high-ranking government officials. It was the royal family, who in the latter half of the 18th century had made Frederiksberg their very own private holiday paradise. When spring had its entry, endless lines of carriages set course for the Frederiksberg Palace from Copenhagen. With them, they had everything that the royal courts required to preserve appropriate living standards. The heads of the nation followed this example hardly 50 years later by building several aristocratic country houses in Frederiksberg.

Møstings Hus was one of these country houses. It is unknown who the architect of the house is, however, it is assumed that it was one of the talented students of the leading architect at the time, C. F. Harsdorff. J. S. Møsting and his wife used Møstings Hus as a permanent holiday house from the summer of 1816 until his death in 1843. J. S. Møsting is the person who has lived in the house for the longest period, which supposedly is why – along with his prominent title in the government of Frederik VI – his name has become inextricably attached with the house. In 1844, the house was taken over by general decisor, G. H. Monrad, who changed the status of the house to a year-round residence. Throughout the years, the house has had multiple owners, and has slowly altered its appearance. The majority of the house’s wings had been demolished by 1903, and the main house eventually got apartment blocks as neighbors, which was characteristic of the period but did not harmonize with the old building. A new law on the preservation of ancient buildings appeared in 1918, which was central for the survival of Møstings Hus, that was listed for preservation in Class A.

In 1924, Møstings Hus was bought by A/S Rialto, who later built the Rialto complex.

In 1939 – in association with a regulation of sidewalks and street alignment in Smallegade – the City of Frederiksberg requested permission to tear down the house, to provide better conditions for the highly increased traffic in the area. After numerous negotiations, a compromise was made with the City of Frederiksberg, with authorization of demolition, if the local authorities paid the costs of a complete measuring of the house and maintained the most essential structural elements for a reconstruction. The demolition was finished in 1965, yet it would be a decade until Møstings Hus was rebuilt.

In the beginning of 1976, an excavation of the basement was carried out, and the house was subsequently reconstructed on the current address on Andebakkesti on the opposite side of Smallegade. The tall trees in Frederiksberg Garden are now the background of Møstings Hus, which resembles the same scene as when it was originally constructed in Smallegade and surrounded by a large garden.

Once the building was completed, the old village pond was reestablished, and a small baroque garden was built east of the house. The exquisite result of the reconstruction was officially acknowledged when “The Association for Embellishment of the Capital” presented a bronze certificate for beautifully conducted work to the city council. The certificate hangs to the right of the entrance to Møstings Hus.

Today, the ravishing Møstings Hus is reflected in the surface of the water, and it is hard to imagine a better location as the house is used by many as a cultural oasis in the middle of the city. After the house was rebuilt, it functioned as a culture space for Frederiksberg until 2013, when it became a part of the independent institution, Frederiksbergmuseerne. The ground floor is currently an office for the museum’s staff, while the beautiful high-ceilinged spaces on the first floor provide a framework for exhibitions with both modern- and contemporary art.