Images from a visit to Kronborg on the northeastern coastline of Zealand. The home of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. An ancient fortress that was reconfigured as Palace where the Danish royal families resided from 1420 until 1785. The castle is saturated with history and holds relics of national importance in present, modern Denmark.
(Click the Gallery to see Photos enlarged…)
Holger Danske, also called Holger or Ogier the Dane was a fearsome Viking warrior. His entire life, from birth to death is shrouded in mystery. According to ancient legends Holger Danske never died. Instead he sleeps in the dark cellar of Kronborg Castle at Elsinore. The Legend is about a prophecy of the birth of Holger Danske. He was apparently destined to become one of the most valiant warriors, never to be vanquished. According to French and Scandinavian myths Holger Danske was the son of Geoffrey who was the first Christian king of Denmark during the eights century. He was trained to become a great warrior from early age. He was very tall, about 213 centimeters (7′). Legends tell he possessed an enchanted sword that was given to him by the fairy Morgana. His magical sword was a great weapon that helped him become invincible. When Muslims invaded Danish territory, Holger joined forces with Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741), the Duke and Prince of the Franks.
Together with Charles Martel he fought against the Muslims at Poitiers in AD 732. At one point in his life he was captured and became a hostage of Charlemagne. Holger eventually became Charlemagne’s vassal and developed a fearsome reputation. Yet, Holger could also be merciful. On one occasion for example he even forgave Charlemagne’s son for killing his own son, Baldwin, with a chessboard.
The legend of Holger Danske became popular much thanks to Hans Christian Andersen, who said that Holger never died. Instead, he is a sleeping hero residing in the dark cellar, where no one ever goes, of Kronborg Castle at Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Dressed in full armor made of iron and steel, Holger sits before a table, resting his head on his arm. His beard has grown long into the table as he slumbers and dreams of Denmark.
Every Christmas Eve an Angel of God comes and assures him that what he has dreamed is true, and that he can safely go back to sleep, because Denmark is in no real danger. But if danger ever does come, then old Holger Danske will arise, breaking the table in pieces as he pulls out his beard! And then he will come forward and strike out and be heard in all the lands of the Earth.
Less significant and yet still beautiful and admirable a wealth of beautifully painted and crafted ceilings and impressive loft constructions. Some of them illustrated in this post.