Castles in Elsinore

Kronborg

EnMork and 33,253 more people have been here
8.8/10

Kronborg is situated near the town of Helsingør (immortalised as Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet) on the extreme tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden. In this part, the sound is only 4 km wide, hence the strategic importance of maintaining a fortress at this location. The castle has for centuries been one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list on November 30 2000.

The castle's story dates back to a fortress, Krogen, built in the 1420s by the Danish king, Eric of Pomerania. The king insisted on the payment of sound dues by all ships wishing to enter or leave the Baltic Sea; to help enforce his demands, he built a powerful fortress controlling the sound. It then consisted of a number of buildings inside a surrounding wall.

Kronborg acquired its current name in 1585 when it was rebuilt by Frederick II into a magnificent Renaissance castle unique in its appearance and size throughout Europe.

In 1629, a moment's carelessness by two workmen caused much of the castle to go up in flames. Only the Chapel was spared by the strength of its arches. Christian IV put great efforts into restoring the castle and by 1639 the exterior was once again magnificent, but the interior never fully regained its former glory.

The Swedish conquest of Kronborg in 1658 by Carl Gustaf Wrangel demonstrated that the castle was far from impregnable. Afterwards, the defences were strengthened significantly. From 1688-90, an advanced line of defence was added called the Crownwork. Shortly afterwards, a new series of ramparts were built around it. After their completion, Kronborg was considered the strongest fortress in Europe.

From 1739 until the 1900's, Kronborg was used as a prison for slaves. The inmates were guarded by the soldiers billeted in the castle. The slaves were male convicts who had been sentenced to work on the castle's fortifications. The convicts were divided into two categories: those with minor sentences were categorised as "honest" and were allowed to work outside the castle walls; those serving sentences for violence, murder, arson or the like were categorised as "dishonest" and had to serve the full sentence doing hard physical labour inside the castle ramparts. Otherwise, they served their time under the same conditions: they all had to wear chains and spend nights in cold and damp dungeons.

From January 17 1772 to April 30 1772, Kronborg was the place of imprisonment of Queen Caroline Mathilde (Princess Caroline Matilda of Wales), sister of George III.

As Kronborg's importance as a royal castle diminished, the armed forces came to play a greater role. From 1785 to 1922, the castle was completely under military administration. During this period, a number of renovations were completed.

The captain of every ship had to state the value of ship's cargo when it sailed through the straight. Money that had to be paid to the King of Denmark was then calculated depending on the value of the cargo. The king had the right to buy the cargo for the price the ship's captain stated. That is how they prevented captains from stating prices that were too low. Шаблон:Fact

In popular culture

Kronborg is known by many also as "Elsinore," the setting for much of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Hamlet was performed in the actual castle for the first time to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with a cast consisting of soldiers from the castle garrison. The stage was in the telegraph tower in the southwest corner of the castle. The play has since been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications. Later performers to play Hamlet at the castle included Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Derek Jacobi, with Christopher Plummer starring in a 1964 television version that was filmed there.

Kronborg houses a statue of Ogier the Dane, who, according to legend, slumbers here until the day Denmark is in grave danger, at which time he will arise and save the nation.

The castle formed the setting for the television Christmas calendar, Jul på Kronborg (English. Christmas at Kronborg), which featured both Hamlet and Ogier the Dane, as well as Christian IV.

The faience manufacturer Royal Copenhagen created a 2010-series plaquette to honour the castle bearing the words "KRONBORG SLOT".

See also

Шаблон:Commonscat

  • List of castles and palaces in Denmark
  • Tourism in Denmark
Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Christopher Ward
6 March 2013
Free audio tour in Danish and English if you can pick up the wifi or Bluetooth.
Kristian Mikkelsen
11 August 2012
Careful when going down to the coast - the Swedish network is stronger than the Danish there, so you might incur roaming charges.
Load more comments
foursquare.com
Location
Map
Address

Kronborg 1B, 3000 Helsingor, Denmark

Get directions
Open hours
Sun 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
Mon 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Tue 11:00 AM–5:00 PM
Wed 11:00 AM–4:00 PM
Thu-Fri 11:00 AM–5:00 PM
References

Kronborg Castle (Kronborg Slot) on Foursquare

Kronborg on Facebook

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Comwell Borupgaard

starting $202

Elite Hotel Marina Plaza

starting $161

V Hotel Helsingborg BW Premier Collection

starting $163

Hotel Skandia

starting $126

Hotel Sleep2Night

starting $116

Clarion Grand Hotel Helsingborg

starting $152

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Carmelite Priory, Helsingør
Denmark

The Carmelite Priory, Helsingør, or Priory of Our Lady, Helsingør (

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Marienlyst Castle
Denmark

Marienlyst Castle, Danish Marienlyst Slot, is a palacial residence

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Sofiero Palace
Sweden

Sofiero Palace in Helsingborg Municipality, Scania, was one of the

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Gurre Castle
Denmark

Gurre Castle (dansk. Gurre Slot) was a royal castle in North Zealand

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Krogerup Højskole
Denmark

Krogerup Højskole (English: Krogerup Folk High School) is a folk high

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Denmark

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is an art museum located directly

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Rosendal Castle (Helsingborg)
Sweden

Rosendal Castle is a castle in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Fredensborg Palace
Denmark

Fredensborg Palace is a palace located on the eastern shore of Lake

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Elmina Castle
Ghana

Elmina Castle was erected by Portugal in 1482 as São Jorge da Mina

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape
Czech Republic

The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (also Lednice-Valtice Area or

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Tower of London
United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Kalemegdan
Serbia

Kalemegdan (Serbian Cyrillic: Калемегдан) is a fortress and park in a

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Dover Castle
United Kingdom

Dover Castle is situated at Dover, Kent and has been described as the

See all similar places