Kronborg Castle, located in the town of Helsingør, Denmark, is a major landmark of the region. Built-in the late 16th century, it was immortalized by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who made it his home. Notable features of Kronborg include deep moats and tall brick fortifications.
It has been used as a navy base and a prison for most of its existence. Today, visitors can explore its ruins and gain insight into its history and culture.
Kronborg Castle Facts for Kids
- Kronborg Castle is a castle in Denmark.
- It was built in the 16th century.
- Kronborg is famous for the setting of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
- The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- It has a long history of being used as a fortress, royal residence, and prison.
- The castle has a moat, towers, and a chapel.
The History of Kronborg Castle
Krogen, or Kronborg Castle, was built in the 1420s by Eric of Pomerania, King of Denmark. Built on the extreme northeast side of Denmark, it served to enforce payment from ships entering and exiting the Baltic Sea.
Original structures within its walls included the king’s residence, a banquet hall, a chapel, and a fortified wall.
Upon Frederick II’s ascension to power in Denmark, he sought to transform Krogen into a castle distinct from anything else in Europe at that time. With help from architect Hans Hendrik van Paesschen, a renovation of existing structures began in 1570 upon the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War.
It was completed in 1577 with three new wings; north for the king and queen’s chambers and south for a new chapel.
A devastating fire struck in 1629, destroying much of Kronborg Castle, which was never fully restored to its former grandeur.
The Chapel remained unscathed, retaining its original altar, gallery, and pews.
Today Kronborg is recognized as one of northern Europe’s premier Renaissance castles and is also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site known especially for its daring design elements as well as its deep connection to Danish history and culture.
The Majestic Kronborg Castle in Denmark
Kronborg Castle sits 39 feet above sea level, protected by moats and gates, atop Zealand in Denmark. Inside, a majestic ballroom with large paintings was once the largest hall in Northern Europe.
The King’s Chamber atop the main entrance allowed the monarch to monitor visitors. The Little Hall contained rare tapestries of Danish kings. The Chapel found on the ground floor of the south wing once served as barracks, gymnasium, and fencing hall before being restored.
Throughout the castle is original furniture from 17th-century Netherlandish craftsmanship, ceiling paintings, and majestic portals. These elements contributed to Waldemar’s vision making it one of Denmark’s greatest cultural heritage sites today.
A wander through the Royal Apartments reveals a host of treasures: authentic crystal chandeliers, four-post beds from the King Christian IV period, tall wooden case clocks, and Baroque bronze sculptures of goddesses Venus, Juno, and Minerva.
Peer out windows for views of the Swedish coastline or Kronborggård’s parkland gardens which feature a historic maze, five rustic windmills along the wall dating back to the 1690s, and an herb garden planted two centuries ago.
Also, explore Rows Gallery designed by America’s Niagara Falls architect Frederik Cardell from 1854-58; Golden Hall with its gilt statues; spiral Mausoleum stairs leading down to the chapel crypt where Lord Holger Danske—a legendary renowned warrior—is said to be sleeping among dead granite statues until the time comes when ruler needs him most!
Venture downward into eerie dungeons which used to serve as cells for prisoners during the Thirty Years War 1618-48, followed later as court-martial prison during Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s; marvel at Great Casemate plus mysterious casemates, recently discovered tunnels and old armory too!
Moreover, don’t miss the chance to take a guided tour around the long embankment past towers that protect Scandinavia’s strongest fortification while marveling at true beauty present all around us — simply the best way to appreciate historical grandeur unique architecture found only here at Kronborg Castle!
Important Facts and Overview
We have a timeless fortress, Kronborg Castle. Built to watch the border between Denmark and Sweden (the Sound). A masterful construction that became the site where William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet was staged.
To control sailing activities, taxes were strictly imposed. Drawing in tourists yearly, it costs $14 (U.S) for adults to visit in the summer season.
It stands today as an architectural marvel bridging Scandinavian history and culture with literature renowned worldwide.
But from 1739 until the 1900s, it was a prison. It held Denmark’s criminals and prisoners of war. Its walls echoed stories of wars, conquests, and espionage. Its dungeons were filled with misery and torture. Dishonest criminals worked hard labor within its walls, while those seen as ‘honest’ with minor convictions were allowed outside work.
This stronghold guarded the entrance to the Baltic Sea while protecting against invading fleets. It housed some of the most dangerous men in history. From Christian II to Wilhelm von Oranien, those who dared enter its gates would never forget their experience within.
Yet this imposing structure stands today, still entrapping adventurers with tales of its historic might. Imprisoning guests under its tower’s watchful eye for over 400 years, Kronborg has held a haunting presence in Danish folklore.