Castles and fortifications in Denmark

Skovsbo Castle

Skovsbo traces its history back to the 14th century. The castle seen today was built from 1572 to 1579 for privy councillor Erik Hardenberg (1534-1604). Built in the Renaissance style, with Dutch gables, Skovsbo consists of two floors over a vaulted basement and an octagonal staircase tower with a spire to the west. An appendix in the south-eastern corner, with a second staircase, dates from the original house while anoth ...
Founded: 1572-1579 | Location: Ullerslev, Denmark

Hvidkilde Castle

The earliest reference of Hvidkilde Castle is from 1480 when it was owned by Claus Rønnow. The present Baroque main building consists of three wings around a courtyard. It was originally built in 1550 and enlarged in 1742 by Johan Lehn.
Founded: 1742 | Location: Svendborg, Denmark

Nørlund Castle

There was originally a defensive tower on the site of current Nørlund Castle in the 14th century. It was demolished in 1355 and the first castle was built to the site. It was however destroyed by Queen Margareth I in the late 1300s. The current castle construction started in 1570 by Ludvig Munk and it was completed in 1597.
Founded: 1570 | Location: Norager, Denmark

Eriksholm Castle

The history of the Eriksholm estate dates back to 1400 but today"s house was built in 1788. It was designed by Caspar Frederik Harsdorff, the leading Danish architect of the time. In the 1400s it was owned by Peder Jensen and known as Vinderup. It was crown land from 1536 to 1556 and again from 1573 to 1585. In the year 1600 Eriksholm was acquired by Erik Madsen Vasspyd who constructed a new main building and named ...
Founded: 1788 | Location: Vipperød, Denmark

Middelgrundsfortet

Middelgrundsfortet is a sea fort located in the Øresund between Copenhagen and Malmö. It was constructed 1890–1894 as a part of Copenhagen"s sea-fortifications, partly from material excavated from Frihavnen. It is one of three artificial islands that were created to defend the entrance to Copenhagen"s harbor (the other two are Flakfortet and Trekroner Fort). Middelgrundsfortet was the largest ...
Founded: 1890-1894 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.