the home of hamlet
a storm was rolling in when i arrived in helsingør (also known as elsinore) , a port city in eastern denmark.
from the train station, i walked along the waterfront towards kronborg castle, the home of shakespeare’s ‘hamlet’. i walked past the little mermaid’s brother, aka ‘the little merman’, great ferries, old wooden boats. it was early autumn, super windy.
the renaissance castle itself was a sight to behold, it has a huge courtyard and it’s surrounded by water. built in the 1400s, ships passing into the Baltic Sea paid tolls at Kronborg Castle, and Helsingør itself was once one of the most important towns in Europe.
i was set to explore before taking a ferry to helsingborg in sweden, just across the water.
walking along the waterfront, graceful swans swam by. not a care for anything else except preparing itself for the upcoming winter.
clearly i did not have enough layers on, it was freezing cold because of the occasional strong wind.
buildings were painted in shades of warm orange. little merman looking into the distance.
finally got to the grand entrance - straight into the courtyard where a nice lady brought us the new guests along on a ‘royal banquet’ tour.
she did have an odd sense of humor.
i was guided into majestic rooms with beautifully-adorned ceilings.
cozy little nooks and preserved ancient letters on the dining tables. natural light flooding the rooms.
Frederick II who reigned from 1559 to 1588 held sumptuous banquets at Kronborg Castle. visitors from far and wide feast with the king for days.
the tour included a sneak peak into the king’s and queen’s private quarters, from back then. their relationship was reputed to be one of the happiest royal marriages in Europe. (can you tell i paid full attention to the tour-lady?? haha)
expensive woven tapestries are hung on the walls, depicting Danish monarchs and legendary kings, some woven in gold and silvers.
we made our way to the grand ballroom, where the tour ends.
i spent some quiet time looking at the gigantic artworks and tapestries, so much to look at.
there was a little room with a special dedication to past actors and actresses of hamlet.
i found my way back to the courtyard..
and somehow found an entrance to the underground passages, where Holger Danske has been asleep for hundreds of years - an old legend.
the gloomy underground passages were quite depressing, just so dark and one could easily get lost. i was lucky to find my way out.
and i stopped by the giftshop where i bought a fridge magnet of Holger Danske to bring home.
couldn’t resist a walk at the rocky beach - where i could see sweden all the way across the water. only about 4 km away.
so i left and it was time to buy a ferry ticket to helsingborg.
but not without lunch first! i had a massive sandwich and a pint of beer at Værftets Madmarked, a happening street food market not far from the castle exit.
this was a really good day. i left copenhagen very early in the morning, helsingør was just a 45mins train-ride away. the walk towards the castle took me less than 10 minutes from the railway station, it was hard to miss. i was done exploring before noon.
shakespeare might have never set foot in the castle, but its greatness across europe was an inspiration enough for him to have placed hamlet in elsinore.
would i go again if i have the chance? — yes ;)
Kronborg 2 C