Helsingor and the castle of Hamlet

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Helsingør is located less than an hour’s drive north of Copenhagen, on the big island of Sjælland (Zealand) in Denmark. Helsingør is a sister city with the Swedish Helsingborg (Sweden), which is four miles off the coast of Helsingør (Denmark). I understood this distance and the ferries are full of Swedes when I saw the streets of Helsingor alcohol liquor stores offering prices «cheap». In short, cheaper than in Sweden.

The castle of Hamlet

Photography by jeaneeem


The two cities are in a strategic place in the Øresund step to control the entry and exit of ships of the Baltic Sea. And that is where stands a majestic fortress controls the Strait of Oresund, the castle of Kronborg. However, this castle is famous for being the castle of Elsinore in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet.

Kronborg Castle:

Kronborg Castle is considered the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. Built in the XVI century by King Frederik II, King of Norway and Denmark in order to control the castle was Oresund Strait. Kronborg burnt down twice, and suffer various restructuring after the invasions of Sweden it converted into a prison. In 2000 the castle was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.


Photography by discosour

Another legend of Kronborg:

Ogier the Dane is a legendary character who first appeared in the Song of Roland. According to legend Ogier the Dane is the son of the king of Denmark. The son of Ogier the Dane was killed by the son of Ogier Carlogmano and promises justice. This creates a clash between Charlemagne and Ogier, however, return to peace by the joint struggle against the Saracens, where a battle, slew the giant Brehus Ogier. The sword of Ogier the Dane is also known as Curtana. The legend says that once the battle, where Kronborg Ogier again went to sleep until the time when Denmark is again in danger awaken to defend it.

Elsinore Castle in Hamlet:

It is said that William Shakespeare never set foot in the castle of Kronborg in Denmark. However, he heard many stories of sailors who rave about the Danish fort, which was known as the palm of your hand.

The play of Hamlet was performed at Kronborg Castle for the first time under the 200 birthday of Shakespeare’s death (1816). As a curiosity of the work the soldiers were real soldiers of the castle. The setting of this function was the telegraph tower in the southeast of the castle, although it has been represented in various Salora Kronborg. Some of the actors who have played Hamlet at Kronborg Castle are Laurence Olivier and Jude Law.

This year (2011) if you want to see Hamlet at Kronborg, will be performed 10 to August 12. So you can book your tickets!

Visits to the castle are in groups of 10 and tickets are bought in the souvenir shop. The price of adult full tour costs 90 DKK. A singularity of the castle is that speakers are scattered throughout the fortress where you can hear excerpts from the play Hamlet, the sound of running soldiers, among other interesting effects.

Elsinore Castle in Hamlet

Photography by Marcin Wichary

After visiting Helsingor we went to the beach is highly recommended in this area!

2 Responses to “Helsingor and the castle of Hamlet”

  1. David Says:

    What a really good article.It makes me feel that I want to visit

  2. The Rhine Valley in Germany Says:

    […] rise majestic forests. In the hills, no wonder you see no point in the presence of an enormous castle safeguarding the passage of the silent river. Huge rocks and tiny white villages dedicated to vine […]

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