Friday, July 19, 2019

Kronborg Castle Home to Shakespeare's Hamlet and Danish Royalty

Kronborg Castle Inspired Hamlet's Castle and Sweeps Visitors Up In Royalty and Wonder While Touring the Renaissance Castle in Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle Inspired Hamlet's Castle and Sweeps Visitors Up In Royalty and Wonder

Kronborg Castle perched in Helsingor, Denmark is an easy train ride from Copenhagen. Kronborg enjoys special significance immortalized as the castle in Shakespeare's Hamlet and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking from the train station to the castle, you have some time to take appreciate the majesty and wonder of the Renaissance castle long before you enter. We visited on a beautiful sunny day, so our view of Kronborg Castle in the distance was spectacular:


Kronborg Castle emerges regally above the Baltic Sea.
Kronborg Castle emerges regally above the Baltic Sea.

Kronborg began as a fortress protecting the entrance to the Baltic Sea requiring ships to pay sound dues. Across from Kronborg is Sweden further making this a particularly strategic position.

Cannons at alert at Kronborg Castle
Cannons at alert!
As the coffers filled, King Frederick II added spires, a copper roof and more to the castles as it became one of the most lovely of the Renaissance.


Enjoying Hamlet

During the summer months, Kronborg guests are treated to live performances of Hamlet ongoing throughout the day.

Kronborg Castle is the setting for Hamlet. During the summer months, Hamlet is played at Kronborg.
Hamlet adds intrigue to our visit!

Once you enter, take a moment to absorb the courtyard. What a spectacular view! There are free tours throughout the day in the courtyard, so watch out for those for some background on the castle. You can tour the castle on your own using signs throughout. Pause and orient yourself as well. There are a few entrances for different portions of the castle. I just had to stand here awhile and take it all in!

Royal revelry in the courtyard of Kronborg Castle in Denmark.
Royal revelry in the courtyard.

Kronborg's Chancellery:
Significant business of the realm was conducted in the Chancellery of Kronborg.
Significant business of the realm was conducted in the Chancellery of Kronborg.

Kronborg's Chancellery was the site of  important business and correspondence when the king was in residence. Kronborg, just like Christiansborg, burned. So, much of the furniture is not original or a reproduction. However, you grasp an appreciation for the history that happened inside Kronborg.

Royal Apartment:

The Royal Apartment is a popular spot of exploration at the castle. Here, we explored the bed chambers of King Frederick II and Queen Sophie. The King's Chamber was the site of important meetings with nobles while the king was in residence. Additionally, the chamber held festive hunting dinners and other revelry in addition to being the king's sleeping quarters. The Queen's Chamber is where the queen and her ladies-in-waiting spent much of their time. Additionally, Queen Sophie would manage the household and her children's education from her chamber.

Wandering the Royal Apartment of King Frederick II and Queen Sophie at Kronborg Castle.
Wandering the Royal Apartment of King Frederick II and Queen Sophie.

Finest Ballroom of Northern Europe:

Kronborg's ballroom was once the finest of Northern Europe. The ballroom is an incredible 60 meters long. When we entered, we gathered appreciation for the size and grandeur of the room.

Spectacular ballroom at Kronborg Castle
Spectacular ballroom!


Climbing the Tower at Kronborg:

Climbing the tower at Kronborg is a must for breathtaking views of the Øresund, Kronborg's spires, Helsingor and more. While we were soaking in the moment, we noticed another visitor pausing to sketch one of Kronborg's spires. What incredible views all around!

Views of the spires of Kronborg and the Sound from above are spectacular!
Views of the spires of Kronborg and the Sound from above are spectacular!
A view of Helsingor from above:

Lovely Helsingor from atop Kronborg Castle.
Lovely Helsingor from atop Kronborg Castle.

Weaving Through the Casemates of Kronborg:


Down below Kronborg, we weaved through the casemates that included two stories below the castle. The first story contained practical applications such as stables and a smithery. The second, deeper level was used by soldiers when the castle was under siege. I cannot even fathom how soldiers were able to carry on below when sieges may have lasted for months! There are tours of the casemates. If you explore on your own, bring a little flashlight or use your phone.

Exploring below Kronborg Castle!
Exploring below Kronborg!
Holger Danske can be found below Kronborg Castle. Holger Danske was a legendary night of Charlemagne and is said to awaken when Denmark needs him. Pretty interesting!

Holger Danske awakens to help Denmark in her time of need.
Holger Danske awakens to help Denmark in her time of need.
Grand Tapestries Adorn Kronborg:

Dozens of grand tapestries adorn Kronborg Castle. Of these tapestries, the remaining 7 of an initial 43 ordered by King Frederick II hang inside Kronborg. King Frederick II ordered the lavish tapestries depicting the monarchs of Denmark in 1581. The tapestries were originally hung in the ballroom and were ordered the tapestries to rival those of the Swedish king.

Tapestries from the 16th century tell the history of Denmark at Kronborg Castle.
Tapestries from the 16th century tell the history of Denmark.
Kronborg Castle Church:

Kronborg's Castle Church was one of the only sections to survive the fire relatively intact. It was inaugurated in 1582. The church served other purposes throughout the years but was eventually restored to its 16th century appearance.

Inside the chapel at Kronborg.
Inside the chapel at Kronborg.
Take a Stroll Outside:

We enjoyed taking a little extra time to stroll outside the castle for new perspectives and views of the sound and Sweden across. Additionally, we explored some castle eateries and a couple local artists.

Another side of Kronborg Castle.
Another side of Kronborg Castle.

Don't Skip Visiting Helsingor:

Helsingor was founded in the 1420's. The town is charming to walk around and full of historic buildings, shops and eateries. We meandered for a little bit on our way back to the train station.

Strolling through charming and historic Helsingor.
Strolling through charming and historic Helsingor.

Savoring Our Royal Day:


Our day visiting Kronborg Castle was everything we could have imagined. We loved our castle adventure from start to finish and I just can't get over the amazing access we have in these world wonders. Visiting Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provided us with a spectacular day trip from Copenhagen and a memorable experience.


Touring Hamlet's Castle Kronborg Castle in Denmark: a UNESCO World Heritage Site


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