Medieval castles in Denmark

Jungshoved Castle Ruins

The royal castle of Jungshoved was mentioned in 1231. The annexed church dates from the same period. The castle is thought to have been built as early as in the 1100s as part of King Valdemar I"s coastal defences against the Wends (Baltic Slavs). The castle is strategically located at the mouth of Skibbinge Cove. Jungshoved may also have been implicated in the monarch"s control of the herring market at Falsterbo ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Praesto, Denmark

Tårnborg Castle Ruins

Tårnborg Castle was a royal medieval castle. It consisted of a central tower of 8m x 8m, surrounded by a square outer wall. An excavation in the castle courtyard in 1894 also revealed the remains of three small houses. The castle stood from about 1231 up to the last part of the 14th century when a new castle in Korsør took over Tårnborg"s role. From written sources we know that the castle was captu ...
Founded: 1231 | Location: Korsør, Denmark

Aalholm Castle

Aalholm Castle is the oldest castle on the Lolland island, first mentioned in the 1329. The castle was initially the seat of the king's vassal or lensmand, and thus the centre of local government. It is not known when the castle was founded, but for historical reasons, it was probably around 1200. During this period, a number of royal castles were built across the country to strengthen the king's power in the regions and ...
Founded: 1300-1585 | Location: Nysted, Denmark

Asserbo Castle Ruins

Asserbo Castle was founded by Bishop Absalon in the 1100s as a monastery for monks of the Carthusian Order. The castle was taken over first by the King around 1560 and in subsequent centuries by drifting sand. The castle was liberated from the sand in two phases: initially by King Frederik VII in 1849 and then by National Museum excavations in 1972.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Frederiksværk, Denmark

Vaeggerløse Church

In the Middle Ages the Vaeggerløse church was dedicated to St Olaf. The chancel and nave from the late Romanesque period were built in brick on a profiled plinth with pilaster strips on the corners. The chancel's pilaster strips now only remain on its southwest corner. Originally there was also an apse which was torn down but later replaced during the restoration work in 1861 by the Hamburg architect Ernst Heinrich Glüe ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Væggerløse, Denmark

Søborg Castle Ruins

Søborg Castle, in its heyday, was the strongest castle in Denmark, and was also used as a prison. It was inhabited until the Count"s Feud in 1535, when it is speculated that it was destroyed. In 1577, the feudal tenant was granted permission to use the ruins as a quarry. Søborg Castle is first known from the 12th century, when ownership of the castle passed from the king to the bishop of Roskilde. Trad ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gilleleje, Denmark

Brarup Church

Brarup Church is an annex to Kippinge Church as it has been since before the Reformation. There is little information about ownership in the Middle Ages apart from the fact that the Crown had calling rights for the appointment of clergy. In 1585, the church owned factories and land strips on three farms. After the Reformation, the church was owned by the Crown until it was auctioned into private ownership in 1767 but by 1 ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Nørre Alslev, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.