Kastellet is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners. Kastellet was continuous with the ring of bastioned ramparts which used to encircle Copenhagen but of which only the ramparts of Christianshavn remain today.

King Christian IV of Denmark initiated Kastellet’s construction in 1626 with the building of an advanced post, the Sankt Annæ Skanse (St. Anne's Redoubt), on the coast north of the city. The redoubt guarded the entrance to the port, together with a blockhouse that was constructed north of Christianshavn, which had just been founded on the other side of the strait between Zealand and Amager. At that time the fortifications only reached as far north as present day Nørreport station, and then returned south east to meet the coast at Bremerholm, the Royal Shipyard. However, part of the king's plan was to expand the area of the fortified city by abandoning the old East Rampart and instead extend the rampart straight north to connect it to Sankt Annæ Skanse. This plan was not completed until the mid-1640s, shortly after King Frederick III succeeded King Christian IV.

After the Swedish siege on Copenhagen (1658–1660) the Dutch engineer Henrik Rüse was called in to help rebuild and extend the construction. The fortification was named Citadellet Frederikshavn ('The Frederikshavn Citadel'), but it is better known as Kastellet ('the citadel').

Kastellet was part of the defense of Copenhagen against England in the Battle of Copenhagen (1807). During the German invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940, German troops landing at the nearby harbor captured The Citadel with very little resistance, thereby forcing the Danish government to surrender.

Kastellet was renovated 1989–1999 with funds from the A.P. Møller and Wife Chastine McKinney Møllers General Fund.

A number of buildings are located within the grounds of Kastellet, including a church as well as a windmill. The area houses various military activities but its mainly serves as a public park and a historic site.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1626
Category: Castles and fortifications in Denmark
Historical period: Early Modern Denmark (Denmark)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Lansing (13 months ago)
Beautiful park/castle, nice to walk around and see different kinds of birds
Florian M. (13 months ago)
Built in the 17th century, the Kastellet is one of the best preserved fortresses in Northern Europe. Although the Kastellet is still an active military area, some parts can be visited. It is a nice place for a walk and just a short walk away from the Little Mermaid statue. The historic buildings throughout the citadel have been refurbished and are also very interesting. Very well-kept and also a great spot for a picnic.
Oleg Promakhov (2 years ago)
Nice place to have a quite walk or a picnic here. Amazing windmill and photogenic military buildings could be found here. The entrance is free of charge! I’d loved to go over bastions of this iconic fortification structure! Many local weddings have photo sets here, so don’t hesitate to take pics here, in place so popular among the locals, not the tourists ;)
Beverly (2 years ago)
Beautiful place to walk around. Not too many tourists go there so it is quite peaceful. There is a wonderful windmill and lots of beautiful old buildings.
Ajinkya Patil (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle. One of the highlights of my trip to Copenhagen. It is pleasant to stroll around this castle and on the walls of the fortress. You can see many locals jogging. Lush green lawns and there Gothic little church are picturesque.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.