Northern Zealand has many castles and it used to belong to the king of Denmark. One of the old castles was build outside of the small village of Gurre. Gurre is located not too far from Helsingør with the Castle of Kronborg next to a little lake.
The castle was built in the 14th century on a small island in a swamp between the two lakes called Store Gurre Sø and Lille Gurre Sø – or Large Gurre Lake and Small Gurre Lake they didn’t have a lot of imagination when they picked the names.
The castle was increased under Valdemar Atterdag around 1360. The castle was expanded and the old central tower was supplemented with ring wall around the castle and four towers in each corner of the wall. Around the main castle they built some small artificial islands in the swamp. These artificial islands were used for buildings housing the staff of the castle, storage buildings, workshops and stables. There basically was a small town surrounding the castle built in the swamp.
There was actually one of the rare cobbled roads built from the village of Gurre to the castle across a dam in the swamp and you have actually found some old pillars which used to support a bridge near the western edge of the castle.
The castle was fairly important in the 15th century and there was actually a production of coins taking place in or close to the castle making it a pretty important royal castle.
The castle did last for long. In 1530 the royal residence of the area was moved from this castle to the castle of Krogen which was the predecessor of Kronborg Castle. Today there is only a little ruin left of the castle which you can go and walk around if you like. There are only a few visitors going to the castle so you are pretty likely to have the castle to yourself if you go and explore it. It is only a short drive from Helsingør and Kronborg and less than an hour drive from Copenhagen so you can easily include it on a daytrip around Northern Zealand.