Elsinore is a medieval town, first time mentioned in 1231. In 1425, the Danish king Eric of Pomerania builds a fortress there and starts collecting Sound Dues (tolls) from passing merchant ships.
Elsinore is located on Zealand Island, right at the narrowest point of Øresund (The Sound), which is the strait between Denmark and Sweden. Here, only four kilometers of water separate our two countries.
Elsinore is one of the best preserved medieval towns here in Denmark. Very charming with ochre coloured, timber framed houses, narrow cobblestone lanes, pedestrian streets, and a busy sea port with ferries to and from Sweden.
Kronborg Castle is built on top and around the old fortress by King Frederik II in 1574-1585. It's one of the most significant Dutch renaissance castles in northern Europe. Made famous by William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Most shipping between the Baltic Sea and western Europe went through Øresund, and the Sound Dues, which foreign ships had to pay, became the most lucrative source of income for the Danish monarchy.
Skippers had to go ashore to pay the Sound Dues. And because they would buy provisions while staying there, Elsinore became very wealthy. Here you see a courtyard house from the 1700s, built by one of many merchants.
The white merchant's house, you see in the middle of this picture, was built in 1580 and rebuilt in the 1700s. Provisions could be purchased in the shop that's still in use. Today, the merchant's house is a fascinating museum.
The Seaport of Elsinore is the largest port in Denmark. It lies just south of Kronborg Castle and is an extension of the town's main street. It's a very busy port with car and passenger ferries to and from Sweden.
Shopping around in the old, historic streets and narrow lanes is very fascinating. Here you find tempting fashion boutiques, interior design shops, wine merchants, delicatessen shops, antique shops, and a whole lot more.
The oldest part of the medieval Cathedral in Elsinore dates back to 1200s. The Cathedral is named after the Norwegian King Olav the Sacred, who fell in the battle at Stiklestad in 1030, and later became a saint.
Wandering around in the old town is a very fascinating experience. Nowhere else in Denmark will you find so many old and well preserved buildings. Here you see the oldest timber framed house in the town, built in 1577.
The medieval Monastery of Our Lady was founded in 1430 by the Carmelite Order, on land donated by King Eric of Pomerania. It's one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in northern Europe.
The medieval Church of St. Mary is part of the Carmelite Monastery and built between 1430-1500. It's a very beautiful church with well preserved murals and a newly renovated organ.
The Town Museum is established in the Carmelite House that was built in 1516 to care for sick foreign seamen. The museum offers changing exhibitions plus one permanent exhibition, displaying Elsinore's history.
The fishing- and yacht harbour is located just north of Kronborg Castle. It's a large, modern marina with a great atmosphere and short distances to child friendly beaches, beautiful forests and lakes, and cosy fishing villages.