Viking Island Marathon

20 May 2023

Castles, Vikings and Royal Tombs

Follow in the footsteps of Hamlet in the corridors and halls of Kronborg Castle. We also visit Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, known for its National History Museum and the amazing Baroque garden and finally we visit the former capital of Denmark Roskilde, where we visit the big Cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum
17 May | 8 hours | 140 EUR

Those of you who would like to learn more about the history of Denmark will visit two of the most reputable castles not only in Denmark, but in all of Scandinavia. The tour will also include a visit to the former capital Roskilde. After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will get on a bus towards Kronborg in Helsingør it will depart at 9:30 so please be sure to be ready by then.

Our first stop will be Kronborg Castle. Kronborg Castle has been around since the 1420s and is one of the finest Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. Kronborg was immortalized by Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and is often referred to as Hamlet’s Castle. The castle’s strategic position at the entrance to Øresund meant the king was able to keep track of all ships passing into the Baltic Sea. For 400 years, the castle was the headquarter for the collection of the Øresund dues.

Underneath the castle, you will find the casemates - damp passages used for protection during times of war. These underground passages had room for soldiers and their horses, and had provision to feed 350 men for up to 6 weeks. Another treasure lying under the castle is Holger Danske, an impressive stone statue. Holger Danske is a mythical hero in Danish culture, according to the legend, he has been sleeping for hundreds of years and will only wake up to defend Denmark if she is ever under attack.

For our second stop, we will head towards Hillerød. Here, in Castle Lake, we will find Frederiksborg Castle sitting on three islets surrounded by a lake and spectacular Baroque gardens. The castle was built in the early 17th century by King Christian IV, it is the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. The aim of the castle was to enhance Christian IV's status as a powerful European monarch. After a big fire broke out in 1859, the castle was rebuilt by J.C. Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg. Since 1878, the castle has housed the Museum of National History. The museum presents 500 years of Danish history illustrated through portraits, paintings, furniture, sculptures and decorative arts.

Our last stop is in the former capital of Denmark, Roskilde, where we both visit the Viking Ship Museum and Roskilde Cathedral.
Roskilde Cathedral is the most important church in Scandinavia and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The oldest parts of the church date from the late 1100’s and it is the only building in the world with that many kings and queens buried in it. In total, 39 kings and queens are buried in the cathedral. You will see their tombs and burial monuments everywhere.

The Viking Ship Museum contains five original viking ships from the 11th century. There is also a boatyard and lots of rebuilt models of the old ships. It is a museum of shipbuilding and seafaring in the Viking era.
The five ships displayed in the Viking Ship Museum were sunk around the year 1070. They were originally built between 1024 and 1040. This has been established by studying the rings of the wood from the ships. It has also been established that the ships were built in Ireland, Norway and Denmark. This underlines the size of the Viking empire.

Please note that lunch is not included in the excursion, but the tour is planned to give you time to buy lunch at a local in-expensive café near one of the sights. 

After our busy day learning all about Danish history and culture, we will head back to Copenhagen where you will have the evening to relax before we depart for Bornholm the next morning.

  • About the Tour

    Duration: 8 hours

    Time: 9:30

    Inclusions:

    - Transportation to all sights
    - English speaking guide
    - Entrance to Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castle, Roskilde Cathedral and The Viking Ship Museum