Castles and fortifications in Denmark

Trekroner Fortress

Trekroner Søfort (Three Crowns Sea Fortress) is a sea fortress at the entrance to the Copenhagen harbour. From 1713 until after World War I, Trekroner Fort was part of the fortifications of Copenhagen. The original location of Trekroner Fort was a few hundred meters north of the current one. In 1713, three old line ships were sunk to form the basis for a battery. One of the ships was called Trekroner, and she gave her n ...
Founded: 1787 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Valdemars Castle

Valdemars Castle was built by King Christian IV (1588–1648) between 1639 and 1644. It is designed by Hans van Stenwinkel. The king’s plans for his new castle were that the house should become the home for his son Valdemar Christian, who was born to him by Kirstine Munk. King Christian was renowned for his interest in building. On the island of Tåsinge, belonging to his mother in law Ellen Marsvin, the ki ...
Founded: 1639-1644 | Location: Svendborg, Denmark

Gisselfeld Castle

Gisselfeld, a former monastery, is Denmark's fifth-largest estate. The three-storeyed Renaissance-style building has stepped gables, loopholes and a projecting tower over the main gate. The grounds include a moat, a well-kept park, lake, waterfall, gardens, greenhouse, and a fountain. The estate measures 3,850 hectares, including Hesede, Edelesminde, Brødebæk and Gødstrupgård, of which 2,400 hectares is forest. Gisse ...
Founded: 1547-1575 | Location: Haslev, Denmark

Hvedholm Castle

Hvedholm Castle near Faaborg on the island of Funen in Denmark was built in the 15th century. It was owned in turn by the Banke, Hardenberg and Brahe families until 1919, when the Danish government presented the then owners with an enormous tax demand, forcing them to sell it to the state for approximately 175,000 Danish kroner. Hvedholm Castle was later returned to the Brahe family, who were considered for generations th ...
Founded: 1878-1882 | Location: Faaborg, Denmark

Søllerød Castle

Søllerød Castle was built by Frederik Danneskiold-Samsøe between 1740-1743. It has been a residence for several families and also for Crown Prince Frederik in 1780. In 1921 the castle was badly damaged by fire, but restored soon.
Founded: 1740-1743 | Location: Holte, Denmark

Selsø Castle

Selsø Renaissance castle was built in 1576 by Corfitz Ulhlfeld and reconstructed in Baroque style in 1734. The castle stayed abandoned since 1829 and in periods used as a grain magazine. In 1972 the restoration of the castle was initiated. The result is that when you visit the castle today, it stands exactly as it did when it was abandoned in 1829 and started to deteriorate. There is, for example, no electricity, w ...
Founded: 1576 | Location: Skibby, Denmark

Tranekær Castle

Tranekær Castle was originally erected as a defensive fortress in the 13th century. The oldest part is the north wing, which dates back to about 1200. The 3m thick walls were added in the 14th century. The castle has been remodelled many times and today has two wings and an octagonal stair tower with a tall spire. It has belonged to the Ahlefeldt-Laurvig family for about 350 years. There is no admittance to the cast ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Tranekær, Denmark

Næsbyholm Castle

Næsbyholm is first mentioned in 1388. The original creator of Naesbyholm, however, was Sten Brahe who built a magnificent rennaissance castle in 1585. This burnt down, unfortunately, in 1932. A new main building was erected, but this was partially destroyed by fire in 1947. The present building was built in the style of the original. Today Næsbyholm provides wedding and event services.
Founded: 1585 | Location: Glumsø, Denmark

Korsør Fortress

The first mention of "Korsør" dates from 1241, and it is from this period that the medieval tower dates. The tower - part of a complex of buildings that constituted Korsør Castle - was demolished in the early 1800s. The Great Magazine was constructed by order of Christian IV around 1610. On the first floor Korsør Town and Crossing Museum can be found. On the ground floor function as Kors&os ...
Founded: 1610 | Location: Korsør, Denmark

Borreby Castle

Borreby Castle is a late-medieval fortified manor house. First mentioned in 1345, by the end of the century Borreby had come into the possession of the Urne family, an important house of high nobility in Denmark at that time. In 1410 the estate was acquired by Bishop Peder Jensen Lodehat and it was then held by theBishops of Roskilde until its confiscation by the Crown in 1536 in connection with the Reformation in 1534. ...
Founded: 1456 | Location: Skælskør, Denmark

Holckenhavn Castle

Holckenhavn Renaissance castle was built in the late 16th and early 17th century by three consecutive owners. Previously known both as Ulfeldtsholm and Ellensborg, it received its current name in 1672 when it was acquired by Eiler Holck, who at the same time founded the Barony of Holckenhavn. The estate has been in the possession of his family ever since. Originally known as Kogsbølle, the estate traces its history back ...
Founded: 1580-1634 | Location: Nyborg, Denmark

Sostrup Castle

In around 1300 Sostrup was an outlying farm known as Svorttorp but the first written record dates from 1388. The current castle was built in 1586 by councillor Jacob Seefeld. In 1807 the castle was bought by the Danish State and in 1829 by Jakob von Benzon. After this period some changes and restorations were made until the Danish State went into possession again in 1945. In 1946 it was run as a refugee camp. In 1960 the ...
Founded: 1586 | Location: Grenaa, Denmark

Engelsholm Castle

Engelsholm Castle, overlooking Engelsholm Lake was originally a manor house from to the 15th century. Little is known about Engelsholm's earliest history. The estate was acquired from the crown by Timme Nielsen Rosenkrantz in 1452. It was owned by the Brahe family between 1590 and 1725. Knud Brahe, the brother of famous astronomer Tycho Brahe, constructed a new main building, in two storeys and with four corner towers, in ...
Founded: c. 1592 | Location: Bredsten, Denmark

Nordborg Castle

Nordborg Castle was, according to Saxo, founded by Svend Grathe under the name Alsborg. Hence, this can be dated to around 1150. Alsborg was built whilst the Wends still dominated the Danish coast; its location a few kilometers inland meant that the castle could not be attacked without warning, and the local population had a better chance of taking refuge there. The first written evidence of Alsborg is from the end of the ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Nordborg, Denmark

Broholm Castle

Broholm is a private estate and manor house, first mentioned in 1326 when owned by Absalon Jonsen Ulfeldt. From 1641, it was inherited by the Skeel and Sehested families for whom it was the seat from 1759 to 1930. The main wing with its round tower was built for Otte Skeel in 1644. In 1839, it was renovated in the Neo-Gothic style by Gustav Friedrich Hetsch. The corner tower was added in 1895 and the south wing in 1905. S ...
Founded: 1644 | Location: Gudme, Denmark

Dronninglund Castle

Dronninglund Castle is a former royal residence located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Its history goes back to the 12th century, when it was the Benedictine monastery of Hundslund Priory. After the last nuns left it in 1581, it was first owned by the Lindenow family. In 1690, Queen Charlotte Amalie acquired it. It is from her that the palace takes the name Dronninglund, meaning 'queens forest'. ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Dronninglund, Denmark

Rosenholm Castle

Rosenholm Castle is Denmark"s oldest family-owned castle, and is one of the best-preserved complexes from the golden age of the manor house – from 1550 to 1630. Rosenholm Castle is founded in 1559 by the Danish nobleman Jørgen 'George' Rosenkrantz. His family are among the oldest and most famous in the Danish history. Shakespeare chose to use the name in the play Hamlet. Later extended, standin ...
Founded: 1559 | Location: Hornslet, Denmark

Brundlund Castle

Brundlund Castle was build 1411 by Queen Margareth I. It was used as the residence of the county prefect for several hundred years and it helped strengthening the position of the crown in Southern Jutland. The castle has been rebuilt a number of times, most recently in 1805-1807 and has fully restored in 1985. In 1998 it opened as an art museum cointaining Danish art from the 18th century to the present. Brundlund Castle ...
Founded: 1411 | Location: Åbenrå, Denmark

Hagenskov Castle

Hagenskov Castle lies in the countryside a few kilometres to the east of Assens. It is a grade A listed building protected by law from substantial alteration. It was built in 1775 in a classical style by the design of architect G. E. Rosenborg. There had been a castle on this site for many centuries and remains of the medieval castle’s dungeons. In the 13th century a dispute with the King led to an archbishop being ...
Founded: 1775 | Location: Ebberup, Denmark

Marienlyst Castle

Marienlyst Castle, Danish Marienlyst Slot, is a palacial residence named after King Frederik V of Denmark"s second wife Juliana Maria, the queen consort of Denmark and Norway. The building formerly served as a royal pavilion of Kronborg Castle and was mostly used as a venue for pleasure and hunting. It was also used by the director-general of the Øresund Customs House, Colonel Adam Gottlob von Krogh and his wi ...
Founded: 1759-1763 | Location: Helsingør, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Saint Sophia Cathedral

The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.

The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.

The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.

There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).

The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.