About 40 minutes north of Copenhagen, by train, lies one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. And for some reason it took us over 2 years to finally make it to Helsingør to see it. Kronborg Castle was built in the 1420’s. In the late 1500’s, it was transformed into something more like what we see today. As per the usual, much was destroyed by fire in the 1600’s, but King Christian IV had it rebuilt. It is full of history – as a royal residence and as a stronghold during battle, however it is most famed for being the castle depicted as “Elsinore,” the setting of William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Hamlet.
The girls loved the creepy and dark, underground casemates – don’t let the flash fool you…at times it was pitch black down there!
Helsingør is found at the northern tip of the island of Zealand, where Sweden can be seen just 4 km across the Øresund. It was here where we took the ferry across when we went skiing in Isaberg last winter.
We picked a beautiful day to visit this part of Denmark. The girls played on the beach – and as we looked out across the sound, there was something very reminiscent of Seattle…the rocks, sailboats, ferries. Yet, we’d have to subtract mountains and add Renaissance castle at our backs.
People often ask me what I miss most about Seattle. After the obvious answer: people; I always say, mountains. However, castles are one of my favorite things about Europe. So perhaps they cancel each other out?
The town of Helsingør is about what you’d expect…insanely charming, colorful and quaint.
That charm is mixed with a little prize-winning Danish design of the newly finished Danish Maritime Museum.
I leave you with a news flash: Summer has not left Copenhagen yet folks! I spoke with a local shop owner earlier this week who told me that this has been the nicest summer she can remember since being a child (and she was older than me). So, although the girls started school 2 weeks ago (we still aren’t used to an August start…as it feels like we’ve falsely transitioned into autumn already) and we are back in a routine (sort of) we fully plan on milking this summer for all it’s worth! Hope you are enjoying crossing-off your summer 2013 to-do list! Visit Kronborg Castle: check!