Kronborg Slot, Helsingoer Castle, Denmark, Architect, Photos, Buildings, Design, Pictures
Kronborg Slot Helsingoer – Historic Danish Castle building
Helsingoer Slot Sjælland : Traditional Danish Building, north of Copenhagen
page updated 7 Sep 2016
Kronborg Slot, Helsingoer, northeast Sjælland, Denmark
Danish Building images © Adrian Welch / Isabelle Lomholt, May 2010
Kronborg is situated near the town of Helsingør on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Oresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden.
The castle has for centuries been one of the most important renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list on November 30, 2000. The castle’s story dates back to a fortress, Krogen, built in the 1420s by theDanish King, Eric of Pomerania.
Kronborg acquired its current name in 1585 when it was rebuilt by Frederik ll into a magnificent Renaissance castle, unique in its appearance and size throughout Europe.
In 1629, a moment’s carelessness by two workmen caused much of the castle to go up in flames. Only the Chapel was spared by the strength of its arches. Christian lV put great efforts into restoring the castle and by 1639 the exterior was once again magnificent, but the interior never fully regained its former glory.
The Swedish conquest of Kronborg in 1658 by Carl Gustaf Wrangel demonstrated that the castle was far from impregnable. Afterwards, the defences were strengthened significantly. From 1688-90, an advanced line of defence was added called the Crownwork. Shortly afterwards, a new series of ramparts were built around it. After their completion, Kronborg was considered the strongest fortress in Europe.
From 1739 until the 1900s, Kronborg was used as a prison. The inmates were guarded by the soldiers billeted in the castle. The convicts had been sentenced to work on the castle’s fortifications. The convicts were divided into two categories: those with minor sentences were categorised as “honest” and were allowed to work outside the castle walls; those serving sentences for violence, murder, arson or the like were categorised as “dishonest” and had to serve the full sentence doing hard physical labour inside the castle ramparts. Otherwise, they served their time under the same conditions: they all had to wear chains and spend nights in cold and damp dungeons.
From January 17, 1772 to April 30, 1772, Kronborg was the place of imprisonment of Queen Caroline Mathilde.
As Kronborg’s importance as a royal castle diminished, the armed forces came to play a greater role. From 1785 to 1922, the castle was completely under military administration. During this period, a number of renovations were completed.
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Helsingoer Slot Denmark – page