If you have an extra day in Copenhagen, or have most of the day before boarding your northern European cruise ship departing from Copenhagen, visit these two castles. We are able to see both in about a 7 hour round trip from Copenhagen by renting a car at our hotel (Marriott). The rental company (Sixt) delivered the car to the hotel and picked it up upon our return, a great service.
This castle is located about 40 km northwest of Copenhagen in the small town of Hillerød. The castle dates from 1560 but most of what we see today is from the early 1600’s.
Fredriksborg slot (as castles are called in Denmark) was more of a palace than a military stronghold. It has some beautiful gardens and huge lake surrounding it.
The castle’s interior decorations are elegant. The collection of Carl Bloch paintings in an anteroom of the stunning chapel are probably the most famous interior feature.
The subjects of the twenty three paintings include scenes from Christ’s life. They were painted over the years from 1865 to 1879. The room is kept fairly dark, making good photos without flash hard to capture.
This castle is not as ornate as Fredriksborg, the interior being much starker, and it definitely served a military purpose, guarding a key sea route into the Baltic Sea.
Kronborg slot, in the town of Helsingør is about 24 km northeast of Hillerød, and 47 km north of Copenhagen, on a narrow strait separating Denmark and Sweden.
Kronborg’s claim to fame is that it was the setting (called Elsinore) for Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
The castle was originally constructed in 1420, but was rebuilt and renovated several times since. Be sure to visit the casemates, the eerie foundations underneath the huge castle.