Visiting a Medieval Monastery's Remains

The ruins of an Augustinian monastery, Abelholt Klostermuseum, Abelholt 4 (tel. 48-24-34-48), aren't everyone's cuppa, but if you're a doctor or a devotee of eerie medieval ruins, consider a visit. You reach the site of this monastery, founded in 1175, by driving west of Hillerød for 6km (3 3/4 miles) -- it's signposted. If you got sick in North Zealand centuries ago, you tried to make your way here, as the local monks had various methods used in healing.

An on-site museum explains the primitive living conditions of the time, and archaeologists have dug up skeletons of the former monks that are now on display and could be rented out for a horror flick. Healing methods used by these early monks are also exhibited. You can wander through a garden adjoining the museum to see the types of medicinal herbs grown. Admission is DKK20 ($3.40/£2), free for those 12 and under. Hours are from March to October Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 4pm.

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On the Fringe: A Renaissance Castle & Modern Art

You're in for a treat if you've budgeted an hour or two to drive over to Selsø Slot, Selsøvej 30 at Hornsherred (tel. 47-52-01-71), the first Renaissance-style castle built in 1575. Of course, all that baroque styling you see today is from 1733. The owners couldn't leave a good thing alone. Selsø is one of the few private manor houses in Zealand that can be thoroughly explored, yet it seems little publicized and most visitors pass it by without knowing it's there.

The Great Hall is still as it was in 1733 when those new decorators came through, adding touches such as ornate plaster ceilings, fine paintings, and 4-meter (13-ft.) marble panels. You can also wander down to the vaults from 1560, and even see the old manor kitchen and its open fireplace and scullery. A dungeon below the gatehouse is a bit spooky. Kids delight in a room devoted to them with its hundreds of tin soldiers. Before heading here, ask at the tourist office about orchestral concerts staged here. Hopefully, you'll get to see one for yourself. The setting's perfect. Hillerød makes a good center for exploring neighboring attractions.

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From the center of Hillerød, take Route 6 south, following the signs to Copenhagen. At Route 53, turn west. Fifty-five kilometers (34 miles) from Hillerød you'll come to Selsø Slot. The location at Hornsherred is east of Skibby, south of Skuldelev, and 56km (35 miles) west of Copenhagen.

Admission is DKK50 ($8.50/£5) adults, DKK10 ($1.70/£1) children. The castle is open mid-June to mid-August, daily 11am to 4pm; and mid-August to late October, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4pm (closed otherwise).

Frederikssund is usually visited at the time of its Viking pageant. But the opening of an art museum here in 1957 made the hamlet a year-round attraction. The J. F. Willumsen's Museum, Jenriksvej 4 (tel. 47-31-07-73; www.jfwillumsensmuseum.dk), is devoted to the paintings, drawings, engravings, sculpture, ceramics, and photographs of the well-known Danish artist J. F. Willumsen (1863-1958), one of Denmark's leading symbolists, who spent most of his creative years in France. The museum also displays the works of other artists which were once part of Willumsen's private collection. Hours are year-round Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Admission is DKK40 ($6.80/£4) adults, DKK20 ($3.40/£2) students, free for children 14 and under. From Hillerød, take Route 6 south, following the signs to Copenhagen. At Route 53 head west. The total distance from Hillerød is 40km (25 miles).

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.