Gurre Castle Ruins

Kvistgård, Denmark

Gurre Castle was a royal castle built in the 12th century. Four towers and a perimeter wall were added in the 1350s; it was excavated in the 19th century (from 1835) and is now restored. It is first mentioned in court chronicles in 1364, when Pope Urban V sent a gift of relics to its chapel.

The castle is associated with a legend about a Danish king named Waldemar (usually identified with the 14th-century Valdemar IV Atterdag), his love for his beautiful mistress Tove Lille (Little Tove) and the jealousy of Queen Helvig. Over the centuries, this core saga was enriched by other legends, eventually growing into a national myth of Denmark. Valdemar IV died in the castle in 1375. The myth was put into poetical form by the novelist and poet Jens Peter Jacobsen; a German translation of his poems forms the text of the huge cantata Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Ruins in Denmark
Historical period: The First Kingdom (Denmark)

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

J EB (3 years ago)
This is worth going to in daylight. Was there at dusk and missed out on so much! It was amazing in dimness of evening. I can imagine a late morning picnic no matter what time of year. Historically fascinating.
Maja Jacobsen (3 years ago)
It was great to see the ruins of Gurre castle, scene of the Danish legend of Valdemar and Tove, which is the basis for the famous cantata "Gurrelieder" by the austrian composer Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951). The legend tells, that Valdemar Atterdag was cursed to ride 'the wild hunt' in the forest at nights, because he blasphemously said: Let God keep his heaven, if I can just keep Gurre. Over time this legend was combined with another legend about the King's love to his mistress Tove, who was murdered by Valdemar's jealous Queen Helvig. The myth is described in a 19th century poem by the danish author Jens Peter Jacobsen and the german translation of this poem is used for the text of Schönbergs “Gurrelieder”.
Tore Brynaa (3 years ago)
Love this place. Remains of castle from 1300s. Nice quiet place with its share of secrets ...
Mårten Nilsson (4 years ago)
A very historic site. Not so much to see of the old castle, but you can get an idea of this historic castle how it was built and the size of it.
lady abdeen (5 years ago)
Nice
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