A 45-minute train ride from Copenhagen’s central train station will take you to Denmark’s most famous residence.
Built in the years 1574-1585, Kronborg Castle in Elsinore is one of the finest Renaissance castles in Europe, and also the setting Shakespeare chose for his tragic play Hamlet.
Every summer, you can get a truly haunting experience of Hamlet as the play is performed on an open stage in the castle courtyard by the local theatre company ‘Hamlet Scenen’. It almost seems as if the spirits of Hamlet, his father the old king of Denmark, Ophelia and the rest of the ill-fated royal family are still roaming the hallways of the castle.
The castle was not only the residence of Danish King Frederik II, but also a formidable military fortress, complete with bastions, ramparts and ravelins.
The splendid Baroque and Renaissance-style interiors of the castle are beautifully preserved, especially the royal chapel and the huge ballroom which, in its prime, was the perfect setting for magnificent revelry.
While most tourists visiting Elsinore make a beeline for the castle, it’s a great idea to take in the other pleasures of the town too. You can stroll through the old city centre, where grand, colorful old houses jostle with each other along the cobbled lanes; or enjoy a walk and a meal by the picturesque harbor.
On a summer’s day, standing atop the cliffs looking out to the sea, with Elsinore castle behind you, Hamlet’s soliloquy from the play will surely come back to haunt you, making it an unforgettable experience.
” To be or not to be, that is the question,
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, end them. “