A TRIP TO SHAKESPEARE’S ELSINORE

Last week I visited the fabled Kronborg Castle (also known as the Helsingør Castle) in Denmark. For all of you who would like to know a little bit of a history about the castle – here it is courtesy – wikipedia.org…

“Kronborg is a castle and stronghold in the town of Helsingør, Denmark. Immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare‘s play Hamlet, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and has been added to UNESCO‘s World Heritage Sites list (2000).[1] Kronborg is situated at an elevation of 12 meters.[2] The castle is situated on the extreme northeastern tip of the island of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark andSweden. In this part, the sound is only 4 km wide, hence the strategic importance of maintaining a coastal fortification at this location commanding one of the few outlets of the Baltic Sea.

The castle’s story dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built by King Eric VII in the 1420s. Along with the fortress Kärnan, Helsingborg on the opposite coast of Øresund, it controlled the entranceway to the Baltic Sea. From 1574 to 1585 King Frederick II had the medieval fortress radically transformed into a magnificent Renaissance castle. The main architects were the Flemings Hans Hendrik van Paesschen and Anthonis van Obbergen, whereas the sculptural work was coordinated by Gert van Groningen.

In 1629 a fire destroyed much of the castle, but King Christian IV subsequently had it rebuilt. The castle also has a church within its walls. In 1658 Kronborg was besieged and captured by the Swedes who took many of its valuable art treasures as war booty. In 1785 the castle ceased to be a royal residence and was converted into barracks for the army. The army left the castle in 1923, and after a thorough renovation it was opened to the public.”

You can read more about the history of this castle here and here.

Reading up the rich history of the castle I made it a point to visit this magnificent castle and take some pictures. On the day I visited the inside of the castle was closed, therefore no interior pictures, just a few pictures from outside and the surrounding area.

I was really impressed by the grandeur and architecture of the castle and the view across the Baltic sea was breathtaking. The most interesting aspect being that right across the sea about 4 Kilometers away you can see Sweden. It was this strategic landmark that made the then King Eric of Pomerania build this castle – initially a fortress – which used to serve as a toll post for which passing ships had to pay tax to enter the Baltic sea.

In order to get to the castle, I chose to travel by train. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Helsingør train station. As soon as you exit the platform you are greeted by this well decorated palatial hallway with chandeliers hanging from the roof. Blog-Kronborg-Slot-1 The exterior of the station is built in a classic neo-renaissance style architecture from the 17th century. Blog-Kronborg-Slot-17Blog-Kronborg-Slot-16 The castle is roughly a 1 kilometer walk from the station – even though you can spot the castle as soon as you exit the railway station. One has to make their way around the water front in order to get to the castle. Blog-Kronborg-Slot-2 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-7 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-3 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-4 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-5 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-6 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-8 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-9 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-10 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-11 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-12 Once I stepped out of the castle grounds, I looked around and took a few pictures of the interesting architecture around the area and the striking neon green painted harbour lighthouse… Kronborg -4292_SMBlog-Kronborg-Slot-13 Blog-Kronborg-Slot-14Blog-Kronborg-Slot-4307 I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. I would love to hear back from you on how you felt about them – do hit like or share your thoughts in the comments section below. Till the next blog post – Au Revoir

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