I have been in Denmark for 5 years now but until now I somehow always missed the opportunity to visit Kronborg castle. When I heard there is going to be a Christmas market held there, I thought, why should I not do two things in one go: visit the castle and visit the Christmas market!
Let me start with a brief description of the castle. It is located in Helsingør (Elsinore) and is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. It has been enlisted to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list in 2000. For almost 400 years, the castle was the headquarters for the collection of the Sound Tolls – a payment all ships going to and from Denmark, had to pay to Danish Crown. If they declined to do so, they would have been sunk after being shot by cannons located in the castle. That way, Denmark controlled passage to the Baltic Sea. They did not only became really rich but were able to create special alliances with different countries. The power Denmark held at that time was also a reason for several wars.
But the historical importance of the castle is not the only thing that makes this castle so exceptional. Kronborg has also been immortalized as Elsinore in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Visting the castle
When you buy a ticket (50kr) to Christmas market you are also allowed to go around and see the castle itself. It is an OK castle. There weren’t that many pieces of furniture left in it, so I was a little disappointed. In each room there were short descriptions in English and Danish, so you could read those if you were interested to know more.
Two locations in the castle deserve to be mentioned:
The first one is the tower. After climbing ~190 stairs you reach the roof of the castle and from there you are able to see the panorama of Helsingør and Helisinborg. I was super lucky and climbed the tower during beautiful sunset! It looked truly amazing.
The other one were the underground passages – Casemates . Right after going through the gate I was directed into some corridor. I thought it was weird that I had to climb stairs down to some basement, but there was an arrow, so hey, who am I to argue with it 😀 And following the arrow was the best decision I made. I descended into some dark rooms and were happily wandering around 🙂 It was really cool! It was not possible to get lost as there were many arrows pointing you in the right direction but the atmosphere was really cool. By the way, having flashlight in the phone helped too 🙂
Somewhere in the passage there is a statue of Holger Danske (Holger the Dane) standing. I missed it and was told about it work:( So try looking for it harder than me. There is also a myth connected to the statue. It says that Holger Danske will one day wake up and defend his country – if Denmark is ever in danger or invaded by enemy.
The Christmas Market
All rooms and corridors that were empty (had no furniture) were occupied with stalls. In total there were around 100 different stalls all around the castle. Most of them were selling handmade Christmas decorations, but also some cloths, foods and drinks. Most of eatable thing you could try out, so I was going around trying weird tasting sausages 🙂
It was really confusing to find the beginning of the Christmas market so I actually started in the middle 🙂 But except that I had no other problems. Most of the vendors accepted MobilePay (Internet reception was bad inside the castle, but going closer to the windows seemed to fix the problem).
In the Dancing Hall I found a really beautiful Christmas tree and young girls dancing a ballet piece – The Nutcracker. They looked so cute!
Overall, I really liked this Christmas market and I would definitely come back next year 🙂
The Christmas market is only open one more weekend (10-11 December 2016) from 10.00 -17.00
The entrance fee is 50kr.
For more information about the market and the castle visit their official site.