Kronborg Castle, known worldwide as Hamlet and Shakespeare's castle, is one of Northern Europe's finest Renaissance castles.
The history of the castle goes way back before Shakespeare’s time. In the 1420s King Eric of Pomerania built a strong fortress, Krogen, to secure the profitable collection of the Sound Dues, a tax that would fill the Kings' coffers for the 400 years to come. King Frederick II adorned the castle with spires, sandstone and copper roofs and Kronborg Castle became one of the most beautiful castles from the Renaissance. The castle was a legend in its heyday in the late 1500s. Sailors, merchants, diplomats and aristocrats spoke of the magnificent castle and court in Elsinore with its pomp and splendour. Shakespeare was never here, but he surely heard rumours about Kronborg Castle. A devastating fire in 1629 put a stop to the lavish court life, and after which it was downhill. The Swedish Karl Gustav occupied and plundered Kronborg in 1658-1660. For the next three hundred years, Kronborg was only used as a fortress and barracks for the Danish army.