Author: Ikiwaner (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)
Kronborg Castle is a castle near the town of Helsingør, on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand. The castle is on the narrowest part of the Øresund that separates Denmark from Sweden.
Kronborg Castle was built in 1420 by the Danish king Eric of Pomerania. It was built for the king to collect toll from ships passing through the Øresund, to enter or leave the Baltic Sea. It was rebuilt in 1585 by King Frederick II in the Renaissance style.
Kronborg Castle burned to the ground in 1629 when two careless workmen caused a fire to sweep the castle. Only the chapel remained standing, and that due to its stout arches. Kronborg Castle was rebuilt by King Christian IV. Although the exterior was as magnificent as before, the opulence of the interior was not regained.
Kronborg Castle was used as a prison from 1739 until as late as the 1900's. Between 17 January and 30 April, 1772, it held Queen Caroline Mathilde, sister of King George III of the United Kingdom, as a prisoner for, among other things, having an affair with the royal physician.
The castle Elsinore (named for Helsingør) from the famous Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is based on Kronborg Castle. In 1816, the play was performed there for the first time, to mark the 200th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, using the soldiers from the castle garrison as the cast. It has since been performed there by other actors including very accomplished names such as Laurence Oliver, John Gielgud and Christoper Plummer.
Kronborg Castle was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Cairns, Australia, on 27 November to 2 December, 2000.
Photos of Kronborg Castle
Author: Admean (public domain)
World Heritage Site Inscription Details
Location: N 56 2 20.004 E 12 37 15 on the island of Sjaelland, in Helsingør, Denmark
Inscription Year: 2000
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: IV
Location Map of Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle is numbered 3 on the map below.
View UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark in a larger map
Visiting Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle is in Helsingør, which can be reached by train from Copenhagen on the Malmö-Helsingør line.