Helsingor, Fredriksborg & Kronborg

It seems like such a long time since I went to Copenhagen, almost a month! However, I still really want to share what we got up to on our trip so be prepared for some delayed blog posts from our adventures! As I’ve recently started back at uni I’ve been trying to keep on top of the mountain loads of reading, but I’ll try and stick to a post a week. If you missed my previous post on the 8 Free things to do in Copenhagen, be sure to check it out!

This post comes from a visit north of Copenhagen to Helsingør and also the castles Kronborg and Frederiksborg. It was so easy to get to from the centre of Copenhagen, with just a train and a few buses to get to all the destinations. With the Copenhagen card this was all free so I’d definitely recommend travelling a bit and making the most of being in such a beautiful country.

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We firstly visited Frederiksborg Castle, which is the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia. I was so excited to visit here and it lived up to all expectations. The grandeur of the castle could be compared to that of Versailles, with opulent decorations and gold gilding coating the rooms floor to ceiling, including the furniture.

Frederiksborg Castle was built by King Christian IV in the early in the 17th century, built on the foundations of the manor of Hillerødsholmand, once home to many danish nobles from the 13th century. Throughout the 17th century, Frederiksborg Castle was often used as a royal residence, but the succeeding royal family sadly made little use of the magnificent castle.

 

One amazing feature of the castle is the chapel, which was extraordinary and so decadent it was breathtaking. It was also of historical significance, being the site where Danish kings were anointed after the introduction of absolutism.

There is also a beautiful collection of artwork and other decorative pieces as the castle is also home to the Museum of National History. This was really fascinating as I didn’t know much about danish history before visiting, so this was so helpful and interesting to learn about.

helsingor

A short bus ride later, we arrived in the historic town of Helsingør. Founded by the Danish king Eric of Pomerania in the 1420s, the town served to collect a toll from all foreign ships passing through between the coasts of Sweden and Denmark. This constituted up to 2/3 of Denmark’s state income, making it quite a prosperous town!

The town itself it beautiful, so colourful, as it seems is everywhere in Denmark! Lots of the historic houses still remain, creating winding passages, as well as wider more busy commercial streets, making it a really interesting place to explore.

kronborg

Helsingør is also well known for the castle Kronborg, where William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is set. The castle was actually built by Eric of Pomerania with the income from the ship toll.

I found the castle itself was a bit of a disappointment. Although it was great to see the exhibitions on the Shakespearean history of the site, the rest of the castle was lacking. Much of the rooms were sparse of furniture and also information, making it difficult to find out about life in the castle and discover new artwork and furnishing from the period.

A really unique element to the castle was the casements, which was a series of underground passages underneath the building. Although again, it would have been useful to have a bit more information around to get an idea of what they were used for at the time. They were lit quite dimly and walking round was quite a creepy experience!!

Kronborg

In the casements was a statue of the sleeping national hero Holger Danske, who is said to have been sleeping for hundreds of years and according to legend, will wake to protect Denmark when it is threatened by enemies.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks post! Looking forward to telling you all about the other exciting places in Denmark in future posts!

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