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Flower market on the main square, Helsingor

Helsingør is a city and the municipal seat of Helsingør municipality on the northeast coast of the island of Zealand (Danish: Sjælland) in eastern Denmark. Helsingør has a population of 46,189 (1 January 2010) including the southern suburbs of Snekkersten and Espergærde. It is known internationally as the setting of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, whence the spelling 'Elsinore' originated.

Helsingor possesses a shipyard as well as engineering and textile industries. A rail ferry plies across the Øresund to Helsingborg.

The town is divided into an inner district, a northwestern and a northeastern area where, on a peninsula, stands Kronborg Castle.

History

The name is derived from the word "hals" meaning "neck" or "narrow strait", referring to the narrow strait (Øresund) between what is now Helsingør and Helsingborg, Sweden. The Rerum Danicarum Historica (1631) claims that the history of Helsingør can be traced back to 70 BC, but this information is highly dubious. The people were mentioned as Helsinger (which may mean "the people of the strait"), for the first time in King Valdemar the Victorious's Liber Census Daniæ from 1231, but they should not be confused with the Helsings of Hälsingland in Sweden. Placenames show that the Helsinger may have had their main fort at Helsingborg and a fortified landing place at Helsingør, to control the ferry route across the strait.
Before the Middle Ages Helsingør was just a marketplace where people sold goods. About 1200 AD the first church, Sct Olai Church, was built.A number of convents once surrounded the church, but now all that remains is the church building, today the cathedral of the Diocese of Helsingør. The oldest parts of the cathedral of Helsingør date back to the 13th century and tell us that the fishermen's village, as Helsingør was then, was a town of a certain importance. At least, there have always been some form of ferryboats crossing between Helsingør and Helsingborg.
Helsingør as we know it today was founded in the 1420s by the Danish king Eric of Pomerania. He established the Sound Dues in 1429 and built the castle 'Krogen', which was expanded in the 1580s and named Kronborg.
Kronborg Castle is the main tourist attraction. The play Hamlet has been performed a number of times in its courtyard.
The Swedish city of Helsingborg lies a short distance across the Øresund from Helsingør. European route E55 traverses the two cities; ferries connect the two sides. Still of some importance is the historical fact that the most southern "county" of Sweden, Skåne, were a part of Denmark until 1658 - followed by three wars. It may seem a long time ago today, but the short distance across Øresund as well as the long way to Stockholm remains. (Source: helsingorvisit & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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