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Great Castles around Copenhagen!

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Great Castles around Copenhagen!

The Danish words ‘Borg’ or ‘Slot’ literally translate as Castle, so any Danish place name ending in ‘borg’ or ‘slot’ is likely to be some kind of castle or palace.  The area north of Copenhagen is also known as North Zealand, North Sealand or the Danish Riviera and has no less than three of these important ‘borgs’ or castles.

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

Images courtest of Visit Denmark

Located right on the top, north eastern corner of North Zealand, you will find the small city of Helsingør (or Elsinore) and the magical Kronborg Castle.  Kronborg Castle is often referred to as Hamlet’s Castle as it was mentioned in the William Shakespeare play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.  It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Denmark’s most famous castle.  It sits on a strategic location on the north east tip of the largest of Denmark’s islands, Zealand overlooking the Øresund, or Sound, and the entrance to the Baltic Sea.  The distance to Helsingborg on the Swedish mainland is just 10km from Helsingør.

More of a fortress than a castle, Kronborg Castle dates back to the 1420s when it was referred to as the Krogen, or the Hook because of the distinctive shape of the land on which it sits.  It was built by King Eric VII who was also known as Eric of Pomerania and ruled the whole of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  For many years Kronborg Castle controlled the entrance to the Baltic Sea, taking payments, known as Sound dues, for ships who wished to pass through the Øresund.

Over the years it has seen both fire and wars and it underwent a major rebuild in the early 17th century by King Christian IV, about the same time that Frederiksborg Castle was being built.  It was also besieged by the Swedish army in 1658.  As a result, Kronborg Castle is now somewhat sparsely decorated, with few original furnishing remaining, but is still well worth the visit and tickets can be purchased online or you can visit as part of a Copenhagen Card or Green Card.

If you happen to be visiting in August be sure to catch an open-air theatre performance, from the Shakespeare Festival.  These world class plays are really the one of the best ways to experience Shakespeare.  Staged in the grounds of the famous castle you are fully immersed in incredible atmosphere, but do remember the play is outdoors, so you will need to be prepared for all weathers!

Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle

Images courtest of Visit Denmark

Originally the residence for all the Kings and Queens of Denmark, the oldest monarchy in the world, Frederiksborg Castle is magnificent.  It is located right in the heart of North Zealand in the town of Hillerød, less than an hour north west of Copenhagen.  The castle is a distinctive quadrangle shape and built on one of three small islets on a small lake called Slotssoen.  Frederiksborg Castle was built for King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway in the early 17th century in the Dutch Renaissance style.   It is constructed in red brick and is noted for its gables, towers and turrets.  It is also home to the impressive Neptune Fountain which is a copy of the original.  The original fountain was repatriated back to Stockholm by Sweden in 1659 following the Treaty of Roskilde.

In 1859 the castle succumbed to a devastating fire and needed much rebuilding, although many of the paintings were saved.  The philanthropist J C Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg Breweries came to the rescue and funded much of the reconstruction and established the Museum of National History in 1878.

Today Frederiksborg Castle is still home to the Danish Museum of National History.  The museum is open every day of the year and you can take a tour of the beautiful rooms, the historic paintings and follow Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century.  You can buy tickets at the venue or you can visit as part of a Copenhagen Card or Green Card.

To the north west of the castle you will also find the Park of Frederiksborg Castle, with its formal baroque garden and romantic garden.  Depending on the weather you can also take a little ferry tour around the lake.

Fredensborg Palace

Fredensborg Palace

Images courtest of Visit Denmark

Located half way between Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, and Frederiksborg Castle, you will find one of the Danish Royal Family’s official residences, Fredensborg Palace.

It sits on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum and was originally built as a hunting seat for King Frederick IV of Denmark.  It was built in a baroque style with a distinctive copper green roof and could be described as a palace rather than a castle.    Today it is home to the Royal Family in the spring and autumn months as they love its peaceful location, and it is also used for important state visits.  Fredensborg Palace is also open to the public at certain times of the year through guided tours, and tickets must be bought at the entrance and are not part of the Copehagen Card, or Green Card.

Copenhagen City Castles

The city of Copenhagen itself is home to no less than three important castles;

Rosenborg Castle

 Images courtest of Visit Denmark

Rosenborg Castle, which is a 17th century palace and royal museum, was a royal hermitage also built by King Christian IV in the early 17th century.  It is set in the King’s Garden right in the middle of Copenhagen and is home to the Danish Crown jewels amidst sumptuously decorated rooms.  Tickets for the Rosenborg Castle museum are available online or you can visit as part of a Copenhagen Card or Green Card.

Amalienborg

Images courtest of Visit Denmark

The sister museum of Rosenborg Castle and is fun to visit if you are interested in the Danish Royal Family and their history.  It is made up of a number of buildings including the Christian VII’s Palace, Christian IX’s Palace and Christian VIIIs Palace where there is a museum showing the private rooms of the royalty.  Tickets for the museum can be purchased from the official website or you can visit as part of a Copenhagen Card or Green Card.

A good time to visit is late morning so you can catch the Changing of the Royal Guard which takes place each day at 12 noon.  The Guard march from their barracks, through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg.  

Christiansborg Palace

Images courtest of Visit Denmark

Home to the Danish Government, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of State this impressive building is also used by the Royal Family for state functions on occasions.   Located on the island of Slotsholmen right in the heart of Copenhagen, you can visit at certain times and tickets can be purchased online or you can visit as part of a Copenhagen Card or Green Card.

Green card

If you are planning to visit these stunning castles around Copenhagen and North Zealand it is well worth getting a Copenhagen Card, or a Green Card.  This is a small credit card style card which gives you:

  • Free admission to 79 museums and attractions
  • Free public transportation by bus, train and Metro
  • Discounts on restaurants, attractions and entertainment
  • Bring along two children under 10 for free

 

In particular the following castles and palaces are covered:

  • Amalienborg
  • The Royal Reception Rooms at Christiansborg Palace
  • The Royal Stables at Christiansborg Palace
  • The Royal Kitchen at Christiansborg Palace
  • Ruins under Christiansborg Palace
  • Frederiksborg Castle
  • The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle
  • The Frederiksborg Ferry
  • Kronborg Castle
  • Rosenborg Castle

 

As well as many other great Copenhagen attractions!

The card can be purchased online for the following time frames, depending on how long your visit is, and how many days you are planning to sightsee!

                                          Adult                     Child

  • 24 hour card       389,00 DKK          199,00 DKK
  • 48 hour card       549,00 DKK          279,00 DKK
  • 72 hour card       659,00 DKK          329,00 DKK
  • 120 hour card     889,00 DKK          449,00 DKK

 

Getting around the castles and where to stay

Copenhagen has a great transport system with buses, a metro and an efficient train service, there are even harbour buses which sail across the harbour.  Again the Copenhagen Card or Green Card will serve you well if you are planning on travelling around the area as it covers the entire Copenhagen region including North Zealand.   If you fancy visiting Kronborg from Copenhagen, the train follows the east coast and is a great way to see the country and it is all included in card, or special combined tickets are available!

If you are looking for somewhere to stay to explore Copenhagen and all its attractions, then our modern and flexible apartments in Nærum, North Copenhagen are the ideal solution. We have a range of brand new, modern apartments which are great of couples and families alike.  Choose from studio apartments to 2 bedroom and XL apartments.  We even have connecting apartments for larger groups.  To find out more check out our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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The Living Suites Team

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