Old castle of Dronningholm

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Close to the village of Auderød you find some small ruins which are all that remains from the former royal castle of Dronningholm. The castle was actually one of the oldest Danish royal’s castles – according to legend it was built by King Valdemar Sejr (victory) as a gift to his new wife Dagmar in 1205. Though this is unlike since the castle was simply too important to just serve as a gift of a new wife.

View from Dronningholm

Later excavation has indicated the castle is actually older than 1205. The excavation indicates the castle date back to around year 1100. The castle was built on a small island in the lake Arresø and it was protected by a large mound which made it a formidable fortress in the time before the invention of the cannon.

Remains of Dronningholm

Today the castle seems like it was located high above the lake – but a thousand years ago the water level in the lake was a lot higher than it is today – hence the castle was actually on a small island in the lake.

The castle was one of several fortress belong to the royal family in Northern Zealand which had a lot of royal presence through history. The castle was in use for a bit over 400 years. In 1521 the castle was transferred to the Catholic Church a few years after the castle finally took part in a battle during a peasant rebellion. The peasant lost the rebellion and the castle remained in use for a few more years.

The old mound around Dronningholm

In the middle of the 16th century the king consolidated his possession in the northern Zealand around two royal castles. Frederiksborg in Hillerød and Kronborg in Helsingør. There was no longer any use for the three old castles at Dronningholm, Gurre and Søborg. In 1557 the king gave permission to use the bricks from the castle and the castle was taken down brick by brick.

Small bog behind Dronningholm

Today you can only see the foundation of the castle and the remains of the mound around the castle down at the lake.

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