Castles Just Outside Copenhagen

This Saturday I went with my host, the other DIS student who lives in the homestay along with his girlfriend on a daylong roadtrip to visit three castles in the area just outside of Copenhagen. We visited three places: Frederiksborg Castle, Fredensborg Palace, and Kronborg Castle.

We started the day by going to Frederiksborg Castle. This castle is located near Hillerød which can be reached by S train from Copenhagen. The style is very reminiscent of Rosenborg. It was originally built as the royal residence of Christian IV, and now it is a museum. The castle is situated on a small island and is surrounded by a large baroque garden. We did not go into the castle in order to have more time, but it is supposed to have a very large portrait collection. We walked around the entryway of the castle and some of the gardens which were very nice.

The second location was Fredensborg Palace which is just to the north east of Hillerød and can be reached by a regional train or bus from there. While the first castle is mainly a museum, this one serves as the Danish Royal Family’s spring and autumn residence and is often used for state visits and events. The palace has a very different style than Frederiksborg Castle, but it does also have a baroque garden that surrounds it. The garden is very large and is worth exploring in order to see the different monuments as well as Lake Esrum. We walked around the gardens during our time there and around the outside of the palace.

The third location was Kronborg Castle. This castle is located on the coast in the town of Helsingør with a great view of Sweden across the water. It can also be reached by train. It is famous as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. It’s began as a stronghold built by King Erik VII around 1420 and has seen many changes throughout the years. It is an important Renaissance castle in Northern Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a long and fascinating history that I would recommend exploring further for those interested. Before going to the castle, we stopped at a street food market called Værftets Madmarked. This street food market is indoors and has a wide variety of stands with food from around the world. Also nearby the castle is the Maritime Museum which has a unique architectural design that places it partly underground. The castle itself is very cool and there are many attractions to see. We walked around inside and got a great view from the roof, saw the inside of the castle, and even part of the vast underground network of paths under the castle used during times of siege. Under the castle is the statue of Holger the Dane who is a Danish king that is supposedly sleeping and will awaken again when Denmark needs him.

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This was a very fun trip and we saw a lot for only a one day trip. Even though we took a car, it would not be hard to do this same trip by train from Copenhagen and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a day trip outside of the city.

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

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