Kronborg Castle, world-renowned as Hamlet's and Shakespeare's castle, is one of Northern Europe's finest Renaissance castles.
Every summer in August, you can experience the Shakespeare Festival with international Hamlet performances in the courtyard, and in the summer months of June, July and August, the story comes alive for the castle's guests with Hamlet Live, a unique and spectacular theatrical adventure.
The castle's history dates back to 1420, when the Danish king, Eric VII built the fortress Krogen, in order to control the entry in and out of the Baltic Sea and collect the lucrative taxes. The Sound Dues had a great importance to Elsinore for more than 400 years, making the city famous around the world.
From 1574 to 1585 Frederick II had the medieval fortress rebuilt into a magnificent Renaissance castle, unique in its appearance and size throughout Europe. By the end of the 16th century, the castle had a reputation for grandeur and was frequented by sailors, traders, diplomats and aristocrats. It is not known for sure if Shakespeare ever visited Elsinore, but he has certainly heard the rumours about Kronborg.
Kronborg was ravaged by a violent fire in 1629 and only the castle church survived. Christian IV rebuilt the castle with extensive new Baroque style decorations, but in 1658 Kronborg was again damaged when the Swedes bombarded and captured the castle and took many valuable art treasures.
In 1690 Kronborg became fortified under Christian V and was considered the strongest fortress in Europe. From 1785 until 1923, the castle was used by the military, and only then thoroughly restored and returned to Frederik II and Christian IV's majesty.
Kronborg became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, and today, life has returned to the castle with 250,000 visitors annually.
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