Kronborg Castle

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Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark evolved from a 15th-century medieval fortress to a magnificent Renaissance castle. The Danish King Frederick II constructed the castle in the mid-1500s using funds gathered from the tolls that ships had to pay Denmark on passing through the Oresund. It was these tolls that prompted the Swedish to build the Gota Canal across Sweden between Stockholm and Gotenburg. The castle was later immortalized as Elsinore, the setting for William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Today Kronborg Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dominates the landscape around Helsingor. After spending two days moored within sight of the castle, we spent a warm and sunny afternoon exploring the interior and extensive grounds.

Below are trip highlights from October 5th, 2019 in Helsingor, Denmark. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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The Danish-built former minesweeper Marianne-F, launched in 1941, now is a fishing charter vessel. The ship arrived beside us in Helsingor yesterday evening, and early this Saturday morning buses and cars arrived to drop off customers. Fishing seems popular here—several other fishing charter boats with a similar number of passengers all departed together. The Marianne-F returned around noon, each customer carried a fairly large bag of fish.
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Kronborg Model
A model of Kronborg Castle just inside, showing the extensive grounds.
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Kronborg Over 600 Years
As with many of the castles we’ve visited, Kronborg was extensively modified and expanded over the centuries. And also like many other castles, it suffered a fire that required extensive renovations. This diagram shows how Kronborg evolved, starting with the initial construction in 1420 at the far right and the current state where it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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King’s Chamber
The King’s Chamber, where Frederick II conducted meetings regarding business in the realm and also held small social gatherings.
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Royal Bedrooms
One of two small royal bedrooms, one for the king and the other for the queen (royal couples slept apart). The rooms were small to allow them to be easily heated.
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Queen’s Chamber
The Queen’s Chamber was where Frederick II’s wife Sophia of Mecklenburg-Gustrow, spent most of her time and from where she managed the household and the upbringing of her children. This is also the room where Hamlet kills Polonius in Shakespeare’s play, as the period-dressed guide in the room explained.
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Great Ballroom
When completed in the 16th century, the Great Ballroom was the largest in all of northern Europe. Frederick II loved parties and held lavish banquets here.
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Cannon Tower
The sweeping view to Helsingor from the Cannon Tower in Kronborg Castle. Dirona is visible moored at the far left.
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Holger Danske
A statue in the basement of Kronborg castle of sleeping Danish national hero Holger Danske. Legend says he will wake up again when Denmark is threatened.
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The intricately carved and gilded chapel in Kronborg Castle.
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Cannons at Kronborg Castle, aimed across the Oresund.
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Hercules and the Hydra
Bronze statue along the Helsingor waterfront of Hercules battling the Hydra, a mythological many-headed serpent.
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Vaerftets Madmarked
The street food market Vaerftets Madmarked was really hopping Saturday afternoon when we stopped in for a drink and a snack.
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Bronze statues outside the shipyard museum in Helsingor, presumably representing shipyard workers.
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Whenever the sun is shining in Scandinavia, no matter what the temperature, crowds gather outside to enjoy it.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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