Of all the attractions we saw during our week in Copenhagen, the castles we visited top both of our lists of favorites. We rented a car on Wednesday of our trip to head out and see some sites beyond the city. While public transportation in Copenhagen is efficient and accessible, we chose to rent a car so that we could go at our own pace, and easily add/delete items to our itinerary based on our moods (read: Teo’s mood) throughout the day.
The drive to our first castle, Kronborg Castle, was incredibly scenic with views of the sea much of the way. The day was gray, rainy and cold but that served us well as there were not many tourists when we arrived at the castle. We really did feel like we had the place to ourselves! Without a crowd, we could safely let Matteo walk, run and play which he enjoyed immensely.
Kronborg Castle is described as “one of northern Europe’s finest Renaissance castles” and was built in 1574-1585. It is famously known as Hamlet’s castle, and performances of the play still take place on the grounds every summer. The castle is absolutely beautiful — in a cold, romantic, tragic way. We thoroughly enjoyed wandering the halls and exhibits, viewing the art, and taking in the history of this majestic property. Matteo wasn’t the least bit bored as he imagined himself a knight while we were there, and prepared to defend his “fortress”.
The next castle we visited was Frederiksborg Castle. This castle was built by King Christian IV in the early decades of the 17th century, and then rebuilt after a fire in 1859. The castle has been turned into a Danish history museum, vand has a very different, more opulent feel, compared to Kronborg Castle. The museum is laid out so that each floor of the castle houses art and historical displays from a different era of Danish history, with the top floor dedicated to the modern day royal family. Covering 500 years of history, the art on display on each floor of this castle is exquisite — as such, it was slightly less Matteo friendly. Each floor had a “hall monitor” present to keep guests from touching anything, getting to close to displays, etc. They were all kind and gracious — but you could see them visibly tense at the sight of our wild child.