Kronborg Castle was named after King Frederik II in 1577, but its history goes right back to the 1420s, when Erik of Pomerania built the strongly fortified castle known as "Krogen" ("The Hook"). From here the king’s men controlled the shipping in the Sound and collected the unpopular Sound Dues.
Frederik II's Kronborg
In the years 1574 to 1585 Frederik II carried out the crucial renovation of the site. Over the outdated castle he built a magnificent Renaissance castle with towers and a spire, adorning it with columns and sculptures. He was influenced by the European princes, for whom wealth rather than military might had become the symbol of power.
Kronborg burns down
But Kronborg was to experience several dramatic events. On the night of 25 September 1629 the castle was ravaged by fire and only the chapel survived. Christian IV rebuilt the castle, carrying out modernisations and extensive new decorations in the Baroque style. In September 1658 Kronborg was shelled and captured by the Swedes, who took many valuable art treasures as spoils, including a fantastic ornamental fountain from Frederik II's time.
In the years that followed, work was carried out on the outer fortifications, and in 1690 Christian V built the Crownwork as an advanced defence against a land attack. From this time on the castle was not generally used as a residence by the royal family, and in 1785 the army converted it into barracks. A number of rooms were rebuilt, but after the army left the castle in 1923, it was thoroughly renovated and restored to how it had been in the days of Frederik II and Christian IV.Last updated:: Wednesday, March 27, 2013