Kronborg Castle UNESCO World Heritage Site Review
What has Hamlet’s castle Kronborg, to offer? Globazine rates the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in its UNESCO World Heritage Site Review. Continue reading to know if we advise you to travel to Kronborg Castle, situated close to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Kronborg Castle is situated at the very edge of Denmark, close to Sweden. It guards the Øresund and thereby controlled this entrance way into the Baltic Sea. Eric of Pomerania, King of Norway, King of Denmark and King of Sweden built the first stronghold in 1420. King Frederick II transformed this fortress into a Dutch-Renaissance style castle in 1574. Fire destroyed this castle in 1629, leaving only the chapel standing.
King Christian IV reconstructed the exterior of the castle exactly as it was before. But the interior would never regain its former glory. The Swedes conquered the castle in 1658 and plundered most of its art. This forced the Danes to fortify the castle much more. So afterwards they added extra defensive works and ramparts to the castle. The castle served as a prison from 1739 until the 1900s.
This castle is also known as Elsinore. This is the anglicized name of the surrounding village Helsingor. Elsinore is also the name that Shakespeare used, when he situated his famous play ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’ in the castle. And thereby making Kronborg Castle the most famous castle of Denmark.
Read more about how we rated the Kronborg Castle and other sites at our UNESCO World Heritage Site Review.
The castle has a nice Dutch renaissance style to it. It’s position overlooking the Øresund provides a beautiful backdrop. You have great views when the weather is clear. The interior of the castle is less stunning. Most rooms have simple decoration and fail to differentiate from other castles.
Europe is littered with castles and this late-Renaissance example isn’t that extraordinary. But it still is in good shape without too much alterations. As an alternative you can visit Frederiksborg Palace or Rosenborg castle in Copenhagen. Both places are built in a similar style, but have much more lavish interiors. Nearby countries such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands also provide many alternatives.
Kronborg is a large castle divided into separate visiting areas. This makes your experience of the castle more focused and helps with the flow of visitors. Visitor numbers are especially high during the summer, so come early or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. The separate areas add a bit of extra time since you have to exit to the courtyard and re-enter at a different wing. There is an audio guide available which adds depth to the story of the castle. The variation in the interior keeps the different rooms interesting. And the tour through the scarcely-lid underground dungeons adds to the mystery of the castle.
Only the courtyard is accessible by wheelchair. The audio guide can also help the visually impaired. The lack of signage makes a visit less interesting for deaf people.
Value for money:
The entrance fee is like that of other castles and sights in Denmark. If you have bought the Copenhagen Card, then entry and transportation to the castle is free. Visiting the castle, the dungeons and the surrounding area will take around 2 hours. So, it’s good value for money.
The castle is an hour away from Copenhagen by train. Trains run 2 or 3 times per hour depending on the day and time. Trains also stops at Humlebæk, there you can visit the excellent Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. This makes for a good combination as a day trip from Copenhagen.
Kronborg castle is a good-looking castle but apart from its location not so special. Still, it provides visitors with an interesting experience easy accessible from Copenhagen. This all leads to an overall score of 3.5.