Friday, January 30, 2009
Kronborg Slot- Helsingør
Last Saturday I visited Kronborg Slot, the infamous castle of the brooding Hamlet and his story of revenge, murder, and death. Located in the town of Helsingør, it sits right up against the waterway that separates Denmark from Sweden. All day long ferries go back and forth between the two countries.
In older times, the Danish King collected taxes or dues from every ship that passed through this waterway.
During WW2, the castle and its buildings were occupied by the German Army as its location was perfect for watching for Russian submarines. After Danish occupation ended, the Danish military took it over and used it for the same reasons during the Cold War. It was only in 1992 that the buildings were no longer used by the military.
The castle still contained some of the original tapestries and narrative paintings of old Kings and Queens.
The casements are still open for the public and are light by random candles placed along the walkways. It is VERY dark and at times I almost ran into the walls without realizing it! The tunnel system is where the soldiers used to live when the castle was in its full use.
Damp, cold and dark, the rooms did not offer much happiness and I can't imagine having to have stayed down there. Even to sleep would have been very dull and depressing.
The castle burned down in in the 1600's and was rebuilt by 1690. The chapel was untouched by the fire.
Also in the basement of the castle waits the sleeping Holger Danske, who will rise again someday when Denmark is in trouble.