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: Miscellaneous historic sites in Denmark
Historical period: The First Kingdom (Denmark)

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christian Bondorff (3 years ago)
This place is magical. The old ruins of this once preferred dwelling of the king's of Denmark invite the imagination to run wild. My three and a half year old daughter and I were finding the footprints of dragons while searching for king's and princesses. On the the 24th of October 1375 King Valdemar Atterdag drew his last breath at Gurre Castle. Valdemars daughter Magrethe I Valdemarsdatter would later unite Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the Kalmar union. She too would have been a frequent visitor at the castle.
Natalie F (4 years ago)
It was so historical...i liked it
Jette Thomassen (4 years ago)
This is a beautiful old ruin in a nice rural location. Worth a stop if in the area.
J EB (6 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.
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