Christiansborg Palace (Copenhagen): The queen receives official guests here in the Royal Reception Chamber, where you must don slippers to protect the floors. The complex also holds the Parliament House and the Supreme Court. From 1441 until the fire of 1795, this was the official residence of Denmark's monarchy. You can tour the richly decorated rooms, including the Throne Room and banqueting hall. Below, you can see the well-preserved ruins of the 1167 castle of Bishop Absalon, founder of Copenhagen.
Rosenborg Castle (Copenhagen): Built by Christian IV in the 17th century, this red-brick Renaissance castle remained a royal residence until the early 19th century, when the building was converted into a museum. It still houses the crown jewels, and its collection of costumes and royal memorabilia is unequaled in Denmark.
Kronborg Slot (Helsingør): Shakespeare never saw this castle, and Hamlet (if he existed at all) lived centuries before it was built. But Shakespeare did set his immortal play here. Intriguing secret passages fill its cannon-studded bastions, and it often serves as the backdrop for modern productions of Hamlet. The brooding statue of Holger Danske sleeps in the dungeon, but according to legend, this Viking chief will rise again to defend Denmark if the country is endangered.
Frederiksborg Castle (Hillerød): Known as the Danish Versailles, this moated slot (castle) is the most elaborate in Scandinavia. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style of red brick with a copper roof, and its oldest parts date from 1560. Much of the castle was constructed under the direction of the "master builder," Christian IV, from 1600 to 1620. Fire ravaged the castle in 1859, and the structure had to be completely restored. It is now a national history museum.
Egeskov Castle (Kværndrup): On the island of Funen, this 1554 Renaissance "water castle" is set amid splendid gardens. The most romantic example of Denmark's fortified manors, the castle was built in the middle of a moat, surrounded by a park. The best-preserved Renaissance castle of its type in Europe, it has many attractions on its grounds, including airplane and vintage-automobile museums.
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