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Kronborg Castle, Helsingor

Kronborg Castle is situated near the town of Elsinore (Danish Helsingør) on the extreme tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Oresund (Danish Øresund), the sound between Denmark and Sweden. In this part, the sound is only four kilometres wide, hence the strategic importance of maintaining a fortress at this location. The castle has for centuries been one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list on November 30, 2000.

History

The castle's story dates back to a fortress, Krogen, built in the 1420s by the Danish king, Eric of Pomerania. The king insisted on the payment of sound dues by all ships wishing to enter or leave the Baltic; to help enforce his demands, he built a powerful fortress controlling the sound. It then consisted of a number of buildings inside a surrounding wall.
Kronborg acquired its current name in 1585 when it was rebuilt by King Frederick II into a magnificent renaissance castle unique in its appearance and size throughout Europe.
In 1629, a moment's carelessness by two workmen caused much of the Castle to go up in flames. Only the Chapel was spared by the strength of its arches. King Christian IV put great efforts into restoring the castle and by 1639 the exterior was magnificent once again but the interior never fully regained its former glory.
As Kronborg's importance as a royal castle diminished, the armed forces came to play a greater role. From 1785 to 1922, the Castle was completely under military administration. During this period, a number of renovations were completed.
Kronborg is known by many also as "Elsinore," the setting for much of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Hamlet was performed in the actual castle for the first time to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with a cast consisting of soldiers from the castle garrison. The stage was in the telegraph tower in the southwest corner of the castle. The play has since been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications.

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. (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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