Kronborg Castle - UNESCO World Heritage

Photo: Thomas Rafn-Larsen


Photo: Wonderful Copenhagen

Kronborg 3_Copenhagen Media Center

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Kronborg Castle Helsingør

Only a few places in the world are surrounded by as much drama and history as Kronborg Castle. It is world-famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In Elsinore, with views across to Sweden, you find the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet facing the Sound. Once the home of kings and queens, a fortified castle with bastions and cannon batteries that controlled the water in the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark, the castle's history is fascinating. Discover Frederik II's sumptuous ballroom, enjoy the magnificent tapestries and say hello to the mythical figure of Holger the Dane in the basement deep below the castle.

The history of Kronborg 

Kronborg Castle dates back to 1420 when Eric of Pomerania built Krogen, a fortress that was to control the entrance to Oresund and collect the lucrative Sound Dues from the passing ships. The Sound dues played an important role in Elsinore for more than 400 years. While the money went to the King, the trade, in connection with the Sound dues, made the town wealthy and famous all over the world.

Between 1574 and 1585, Frederik II built the sumptuous renaissance castle, Kronborg Castle, as a strong symbol of wealth and power. The Sound dues financed the towers and steeples, copper roofs, and sandstone ornaments. During the great period of Kronborg Castle in the late 16th century, sailors, businessmen, diplomats and aristocrats spoke of the magnificent castle and court in Elsinore with its pomp and splendor.

Kronborg Castle was ravaged by a devastating fire in 1629 which only left the chapel intact. Christian IV reconstructed the castle with extensive new Baroque decorations, however, in 1658 another accident hit Kronborg when the Swedes bombed and occupied and took many precious art treasures as booty.

Kronborg was fortified as a fortress with Kroneværket by Christian V in 1690, but since then the castle has virtually not been inhabited by royals. From 1785 until 1923, the castle was used by the military, and not until then it was thoroughly restored and returned to the greatness of Frederik II and Christian IV.

Did Shakespeare ever visit Kronborg?

Shakespeare used Kronborg when he wrote his immortal play about the king's son Hamlet and today, in the rest of the world, the castle is better known as Hamlet's Castle. No one knows for sure whether Shakespeare ever visited Kronborg Castle, but he certainly heard the rumors of the decadent lifestyle of the court. It was documented that British players visited Kronborg several times during Shakespeare's time. These days, a Shakespeare Festival takes place at Kronborg Castle every August with open-air theatre and the castle as a backdrop.

UNESCO World Heritage

UNESCO inscribes monuments, buildings, cultural landscapes and natural areas as a world heritage when they hold an exceptional value to humanity and need to be protected. Kronborg Castle entered UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2000. Several other Danish attractions are registered at UNESCO's World Heritage, eg the Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand.

Events in and around Kronborg

After your visit to Kronborg Castle, you could:

Get more information about what you may experience and see in Elsinore

Hotels nearby of Kronborg Castle - UNESCO World Heritage

  • Marienlyst Strandhotel

    1.26 km

    The internationally known Beach Hotel Marienlyst of Elsinore was built in 1901 at the waterfront as a part of the former baths “Cuur og Badeanstalt” of Marienlyst Castle. There are restaurant and bars, lounge, casino and large terraces overlooking the Sound. Close to Castle and the art museum Louisiana.
    Read more : Marienlyst Strandhotel
  • Hotel Gilleleje Strand

    21.87 km

    Hotel Gilleleje Strand is a tradition-rich seaside hotel from 1896, which recently has been totally renovated. The 25 rooms of the hotel differ, but they have the magnificent location in common: You can stay in the middle of Gilleleje.

    Read more : Hotel Gilleleje Strand
  • Hotel Hillerød - SDH Partner Hotel

    24.1 km

    Magnificent forests, lakes and sports routes surround you here. The city and nature have inspired the hotel. A small village has been created here with winding avenues, green plants and sunshine. The rooms are suitable for families, business or couples on holiday.
    Read more : Hotel Hillerød - SDH Partner Hotel
  • Skovshoved Hotel

    31.18 km

    The beautiful seaside hotel, one of the world’s hippest, according to Condé Nast Traveler, is loved by guests from all over the globe. They come, not only to enjoy the beautiful location and the stunning views of the Sound, but also for the exquisite food.

    Read more : Skovshoved Hotel
  • Skjalm Hvide Hotel

    36.63 km

    Skjalm Hvide Hotel is close to sights and attractions of both Copenhagen and northern Zealand. The hotel is an ideal starting point for day trips and wonderful excursions. The beautifully appointed hotel with its newly and tastefully refurbished rooms is perfect for relaxation and recharging your batteries.

    Read more : Skjalm Hvide Hotel
  • Hotel Astoria - SDH Partner Hotel

    40.84 km

    If you want to be centrally located in inner Copenhagen, you can safely choose to stay overnight at Hotel Astoria. Here you only have a few minutes' walk to Tivoli, delicious restaurants, cafes, Strøget and more fantastic city options.
    Read more : Hotel Astoria - SDH Partner Hotel
  • Hotel Hebron - SDH Partner Hotel

    40.93 km

    Centrally located in the city center, this Copenhagen hotel is minutes from the beautiful Tivoli Gardens and 'Stroget', Europe's longest pedestrian street.
    Read more : Hotel Hebron - SDH Partner Hotel
  • Absalon Hotel

    41.06 km

    Absalon Hotel is a unique, modern yet classic hotel in central Copenhagen. The wonderful bedrooms are furnished with collections from the international home and lifestyle company Designers Guild. Relax and plan your day in the comfortable lobby lounge, and enjoy a refreshment. Walled garden with miniature golf.
    Read more : Absalon Hotel
  • Plus Park Globetrotter Airport Hotel - SDH Partner Hotel

    45.47 km

    Park Globetrotter Copenhagen Airport - SDH Partner Hotel presents a comfortable accommodation option for both business travelers and leisure travelers, located near Copenhagen Airport and Amager Strand. Experience modern facilities, welcoming service, and easy access to public transport, just a few minutes walk from the hotel.

    Read more : Plus Park Globetrotter Airport Hotel - SDH Partner Hotel