Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark

Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark

Helsingør in Denmark is best known for its massive Renaissance-style Kronborg, Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore”. However, the area has much more to offer than Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore”.

Originally built by King Eric of Pomerania when he introduced the “Sound Dues” (fees paid to the Danish crown by all ships passing through to the Baltic.) Kronborg has been rebuilt several times. It has provided a backdrop for many productions of Shakespare’s Hamlet.

Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark
Gilleleje harbor. Photo: Visit North Sealand

Inside, the richly decorated King’s and Queen’s chambers and the 62-meter (203 ft) long Great Hall are worth seeing.

Helsingør is one of Denmark’s most historic towns, with entire streets of color-washed buildings. The 15th-century Skt Maria Kirke (Church) and the Carmelite Kloster (Convent) are among the best preserved Gothic buildings in the world.

Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark
Stengade, Helsongør

The coast road leads on to Gilleleje, the most northerly town of Zealand, a small working fishing port. Adamsen Fisk, an unpretentious harborside takeaway, is a great spot for fish lunch. If the weather is good, you could stop at the sun-worshippers’ beaches at Tisvilde or Liseleje.

Turning back towards Copenhagen, Denmark’s National History Museum is at the spectacular Renaissance palace Frederiksborg built between 1605 and 1621 in Hillerød. The most notable rooms are the Council Hall, Knights’ Hall and the chapel with its original Compenius organ (1610). Outside is one of the best Baroque gardens in Northern Europe.

Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark
Kronborg Elsinore has provided a backdrop for many productions of Shakespare’s Hamlet

Just 9 km (5 miles) from Hillerød is the Italianate palace of Fredriksborg. Built in 1722, it is now used by the Danish royal family as a spring and autumn residence. The astonishing 120 hectare (300 acres) of gardens – long, straight 18th-century avenues interspersed with forest and seashore – are open to visitors at all times.

Hamlet’s “Castle of Elsinore” in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg