Immortalised as “Elsinore” in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kronborg Castle in the town of Helsingør has been home to lavish parties, dramatic events, infamous tragedies, devastating war, and impassioned love since the Danish king, Frederick II, ordered the expansion of the tollhouse into a royal residence in the late 16th century.
It is debated whether William Shakespeare himself visited Kronborg Castle; however, he undoubtedly heard the rumours of the decadent lifestyle of the court and the sumptuous architecture that was erected throughout the castle halls.
This Renaissance castle, one hour north of Copenhagen, once controlled the waterways at the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark. Despite being burnt down almost completely in 1629 and then bombed and looted only a mere 30 years later, it remains in its vital position rising in front of the harbour, admired for its beauty and feared for its strength.
Once you pass the Baroque green-copper spires and seemingly bottomless moat, you can explore the opulent ballrooms where banquets consisting of 65 courses once took place; view the magnificent tapestries that King Frederick II commissioned in an attempt to outdo his 16th-century rival, Swedish King Erik XIV; and brave the maze of crypts and casemates where you will meet Holger the Dane, who sits asleep until the day he must rise and defend the mother country, until then, lit only by the flickering light of damp sconces.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not to be missed. Dawn your finest Renaissance gown, dust off your golden crown, and venture to this unforgettable destination.