We went to Kronborg expressly to visit its castle, immortalized by Shakespeare, when he made it the setting for Hamlet. I think that the same happens to most visitors, who bring fromm the city the same idea that we've got - nothing.
The castle is all, and it is a nice though sad building, with so much history that I would need several pages to tell it.
Frederik II extend the original old fortress, Krogen, from 1574 to 1585 and the courtyard was created.
The castle chapel and the fifty-seven meter Trumpeter Tower are on the opposite side of the courtyard. There was a fountain in the center of the courtyard, but the Swedes took it, along with other treasured items of the castle, in 1658, as the, "spoils of war," when they captured the castle/fortress.
Now, all that remains is this small well type thing where the fountain once stood.
At the time, 1420's, the castle at Helsingborg, (Now Sweden) was part of Danmark. The Danish King Erik of Pomerania, built Krogen Castle, just across the Sund, to facilitate charging "Sound Dues" from all ships entering or leaving the Baltic Sea through the Sund.
So, on the extreme tip of Zeeland, the life of this castle began. Over the years the castle was built on to and rebuilt, after a devastating fire. Eventually it became one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe.
Christian V built a new line of defense around the existing fortifications in 1688 to 1690 that looked like a Royal Crown. It is called The Crown Work Gate.
I have never before seen a castle with more than one moat, so this was something unusual to me. Of course, at the time I didn't know about the history that this castle had survived through.
Starting out as a sort of toll booth to collect Sound dues which helped the economy of Danmark, a Royal residence, the backdrop for, "Hamlet," a Barracks and a prison of Queen and slaves. Kronborg Castle has been all of these things and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been renovated to it's Renaissance castle grandeur as a "Royal Residence."
From 1425 till 1857 foreign ships had to moor and render tribute, then they were allowed to proceed through the strait. These tributes went directly in the treasury of the king.
Big bronze guns looked from the walls of the castle aside of the strait. They guaranteed accurate and duly payment of the tax.
The Danish tax for pass through the Danish straits was cancelled in 1857 under the insisting of the USA.
An initial construction of a fortress was without any excesses. The fortress had a view of an equal square with powerful walls and loopholes. The castle appeared there later. It became a symbol of force, power and greatness of the Danish crown.
In 1559 Frederik II headed the Danish kingdom. He ordered to take a tribute not only for passing through the strait, but from the cost of cargo in the form of percent. Besides that seamen paid the tax for a beacon, the tax for registration of papers and other.
In 1574 the king Frederik II decided to reconstruct the fortress. He enjoined to build it in the most fashionable at that time architectural style of the Dutch Renaissance and renamed the new castle in Kronborg. All works were completed in 1585.
The first romantic history was developed four years later in the castle. The Scottish king Jacob VI arrived to Kronborg to lead the honeymoon with the Danish princess Anna - a daughter of Frederik. He had just concluded the politically favorable marriage and subsequently he became the English king Jacob I.
In 1629, during the board of the king Christian IV, Kronborg seriously suffered from a fire.
From 1658 till 1660 the fortress was occupied by Swedes who at deviation took out the majority of pictures and sculptures decorated a fountain in its courtyard.
In the end of the XVIII century the young English princess Matilda who was violently married to the mad Danish king Christian VII lived in an imprisonment in the castle.
The military garrison was placed later in the castle.
The deification of Frederik's imagination became a fountain in the courtyard of Kronborg. It is necessary to see it in operation to be convinced of scale of an invention. Height of the fountain is 7 meters, it is decorated with 36 statues.
In working order each of them gives out a jet, and a wreath of a composition - the Neptune gives a jet from tridents and rotates about the axis together with a harness of sea skates.
We did not see a fountain. It was possibly on reconstruction?
Probably it was stolen by Swedes 350 years ago?
A little bit later spikes grew above the castle, stucco moulding and high windows appeared there. In 1577 Frederik II decided to give the castle a new, more sonorous name "Kronborg" - "the castle of the Crown".
The decree was simultaneously published which forbade to name the castle in an old fashion.
In 1423 the King of Denmark Erik Pomeranian declared his intention to raise a tribute from each ship and a vessel floating past Helsingor.
For this purpose he decided to construct a powerful military fortress on the site of the ground strongly outstanding in the sea.
Eric named this cape Krogen, that means "the Hook", he gave the same name also to the fortresses.
The royal apartments, church, casemates:
Adults: DKK 50
Children: DKK 15
The royal apartments, church, casemates and Handels og Sofartsmuseet:
Adults: DKK 75
Children: DKK 25
The church, casemates:
Adults: DKK 30
Children: DKK 10
May-September: 10.30 - 17.30
October (closed on Mondays): 11.00 - 16.00
November - March (closed on Mondays): 11.00 - 16.00
April (closed on Mondays): 10.30 - 17.00
The museum shop hours as the castle - same opening
The sea barriers are open from 6 a.m. to sunset.