Immortalized as Elsinore in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Kronborg is one of the most renowned castles in Northern Europe. With tall ramparts and strong bastions, it commanded the strategic Strait of Øresund and thus symbolized the power of the Danish royal.
Kronborg’s history dates back to the 15th century when the Danish King, Eric of Pomerania built a stronghold at the northeastern tip of Zealand. He wanted to control all navigation through the Øresund – a strategically important stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden. The king insisted that all ships entering or leaving the Baltic Sea passing through this strait had to pay a toll, bringing an immense fortune to Denmark.
In the next century, King Frederik II transformed the fortification into an outstanding Renaissance castle with sandstone ornaments, spires, towers, and copper roofs. The building resembles a king crown with four wings surrounding a spacious courtyard. That’s why it was named Kronborg, which means the “Crown Castle”.
The Impregnable Fortress
From the 16th century to the end of the 19th century, Kronborg was admired for its beauty as a royal castle and feared for its strength as a seemingly impregnable fortress. The only occasion that the castle fell was the assault of the Swedish army in 1658. Afterward, the defenses were strengthened with a new series of ramparts, loopholes, and cannons, making it the strongest fortress in Northern Europe.
By controlling the Øresund, Kronborg played an important role in the history of this region. During this period more than 1.8 million ships passed through this strait and all of them had to pay a toll at this fortress. The Øresund tax was not only a huge source of income; it was also considered as a political instrument. For this reason, Kronborg became a symbol of Denmark’s power.
Tips for visiting Kronborg
- Kronborg is accessible by trains from Copenhagen (Central Station or Nørreport Station). Station: Helsingør St. During the day, trains run every 20 minutes and take approximately one hour.
- The surrounding area also boasts some attractions, including the silver Merman, the Øresund aquarium, and the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark. Built on an abandoned shipyard, this modern museum covers Danish trade and shipping from the early 15th century to the present day. Even if you are not a fan of those things, the world-class architecture is reason enough to visit.
15 thoughts on “Kronborg: Power of the Danish Royal”
Wow. Having being in Denmark quite many times in the past we had not gone inside the Kronborg nor the maritime museum! This is a good reminder for us to do so when we next get through Copenhagen!
Happy 2018, you two! The castle is definitely worth visiting, even though its appearance might not be as impressive as castles in Germany, France or Spain 🙂 If you like, you can take the ship from there to Sweden. The distance is even shorter than from Copenhagen to Malmö.
How fascinating! A nice tip to remember when I finally visit Copenhagen. Thanks for sharing Len! And Happy 2018!
You welcome, Nano! Wish you a great 2018 😉
I like the serenity of the shots. It must be a lovely place to escape to…
How’s your new year been? I’m feeling a little unmotivated I must admit. 😅
Same here! I guess it’s quite common for January. We need time to reboots after a long holiday 😀
But I didn’t even have a holiday! Just very lazy… 🙈
I intended to say that you might get winter depression. But I remember it’s still summer in Australia. So you are probably bitten by lazy bugs! 🙂
If you are too lazy to write, you can make a photo diary. I guess you still have some memorable travel moments that you want to share with us 😉
I always loved reading your post about such exotic places.It transports me to such places for a moment. Beautifully described.
Thanks for your very kind words, Megha! Glad to have a frequent readers like you 🙂
Lâu đài này có vẻ kiên cố hơn mấy lâu đài bên Nhật. Có lẽ ở Nhật thời xưa ít bị tấn công bằng súng đại bác hơn.
Cháu nghĩ Kronborg xây kiên cố chắc là để chịu được cannonball của tàu chiến 🙂 Chứ xây bằng gỗ như ở Nhật chắc vài shot là sập. Nhưng về quy mô thì lâu đài ở Nhật cũng ko kém đâu. Ví dụ như lâu đài Himeji cũng có đến mấy vòng thành.
Great post! 🇩🇰😊
My pleasure! The castle is indeed marvellous 🙂