Brøndums Hotel has a fascinating history which takes off in 1839, when Ane Kirstine Brøndum, grandmother of Anna Ancher, inherited the profitable Brøndum's merchant's house. When she died, her son, Erik Brøndum and his wife, Ane Hedvig (known as Madam Brøndum) took over.
By approval from King Frederik VII the merchant's house was extended to a guest house in 1859. This was to be the foundation of the renowned Brøndums Hotel.
The usiness was a family affair seeing as the six children took part in the work at the guest house. Two of the children had a huge impact in the development of Skagen; Anna Kirstine Brøndum, who married artist Michael Ancher and became a great pioneer as one of Denmark's first female artist, and Chresten Degn Brøndum, who inherrited the guest house and created the well renowned Brøndums Hotel.
Prominent guests have always visited this place. In 1859 the famous writer, H.C. Andersen stayed at the guest house. His journey had been long, rough and tiresome and the writer was in a foul mood upon arriving in Skagen. Madam Brøndum, almost nine months pregnant, was in the kitchen and had sent the maid down to the beach in orden to get fresh plaice - the best taste of Skagen - for the prominent guest. The girl was a very long time getting back and the writer lost his temper. It is said that he had a hysterical fit so bad, that Madam Brøndum, who was a bit baffled out by the whole situation, went in to labor that very night. Anna Kirstine Brøndum came into this world the next morning, and Madam Brøndum felt sure, that the child would artistically gifted, seeing as she was born under the same roof as H.C. Andersen was sleeping under.
In the 1870s the artist started coming to Skagen and in the same periode of time, Degn Brøndum got permission to turn the guest house into a hotel. Artists as Marie and P.S. Krøyer, Holder Drachmann, Laurits Tuxen, Carl Locher and Michael Ancher flocked in Skagen and they all adored Brøndums Hotel. In the Dining Room they started their famous "Artists' Academies" and they threw wonderful parties - for the selected few.
When the wife of newly elected Mayor, Alba Schwartz, first arrived in Skagen, she was staying at Brøndums Hotel while her new home was being built.One day she heard rumors of a festive party taking place at the hotel. She was thrilled and looking forward to meeting these exciting new people. Disappointingly for her she discovered that she was not invited to the party as she was showed into the Brøndum's family's private dining room to eat her dinner. After a while in Skagen she did though befriend the artists and became a regular guest at these tremendously fun evenings.
The Green Sitting Room that was the family's dining room was also used as Degn Brøndum's study. Here he would sit at his desk thinking out extraordinary ideas for the hotel and the artistic development of Skagen.
The Blue Sitting Room right next door to this study became quite famous after numerous paintings where made of Madam Brøndum sitting by the dim light of a lamp after a long day's work. Both her daughter, Anna Ancher, and her granddaughter, Helga Ancher, were very fond of this motive. It is said, that Madam Brøndum still visits this room from time to time.
After Madam Brøndum became a widow her son, Degn Brøndum took over. He was an amazing host who invested a lot of time and money into preserving the art in Skagen. When Krøyer in 1883 got the idea of putting art directly into the panels of the Dining Room, Degn Brøndum immediately commenced Thorvald Bindesbøl to design these panels. To ensure the artwork of the Dining Room and the rest of the hotel he even passed on all the art to the Museum of Skagen when he died.
The rumors of the wonderful light over Skagen and the festive summer feeling soon spread amongst the higher society across the land and the upper class started to spend their summer holidays on the tip of Denmark. An addition to the hotel was designed by Ulrik Plesner in 1891. Another extension was made in 1897 and yet another in 1909.
In 1915 Degn Brøndum needed even more space for his hotel, but as there was no more space by the main building he decided to build an annex right by the sea shore. Plesner had just finished overseeing the construction of the royal summer residens, "Klitgaarden", and King Christian X and his queen Alexandrine was thrilled when he suggested building the annex according to the same drawings.
The beautiful annex is named after Degn Brøndum's brother, John, who was a captain in Danish Trading Navy. After he retired from the navy he spent his day on the top of "Admiralgaarden" overseeing the naval traffic trough his binoculars. John was a fantastic story teller and entertained the inhabitants of Skagen with stories from his time in the navy. They simply called him "The Admiral".
The Brøndum's family have contributed enormously to the development of Skagen.
Anna was the only sibling to marry and have a child, Helga Ancher. It is said, that Madam Brøndum warned her children that marriage was a most horrific thing. If this the truth remains undiscovered.
On March 18th 1964 Helga Cathrine Ancher, daughter of Anna and Michael Ancher dies. This is the end of the Brøndum's family, but the spirit that the family created still remains to this day.