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Hammershus Castle

Hammershus Castle

Hammershus Castle is located on Bornholm Island in Denmark. It is a massive ruined citadel that kept its original medieval layout despite centuries of neglect and abandonment. Fortress offers a stunning view of the Baltic Sea and neighboring Sweden.



Location: Bornholm Island    Map

Constructed: 13th century




History of Hammershus Castle

Hammershus Castle was constructed in the 1255 as a residence for the archbishop of Lund. Although recent archeological digs suggest that it dates to the beginning of the 13th century and initially was constructed as a residence for the secular ruler of Denmark Valdemar II of Denmark. Construction of the castle was probably a compromise that both Valdemar II and archbishop reached after confrontation.


Hammershus Castle is surrounded by a massive wall that reaches a length of 750 meters. Today only parts of the original defenses are preserved.


The size and military importance of the Hammershus citadel became a valued trophy in the struggle between the Church and the state. With the arrival of Reformation the conflict intensified and eventually led to military conquest of Hammershus Castle by the troops of king Christian II in 1521. He captured and imprisoned the former owner of the castle Bishop Jens Andersen Beldenak of Funen here. Hammerhus Castle was used repeatedly by the Danish king as a state prison. Many prominent figures in the country's history were held in Hammershus Castle including Count Corfitz Ulfeldt and his wife Leonora Christina. The castle was finally abandoned in the 1743 and fell in disrepair. Today this largest castle in the Northern Europe undergoes reconstruction after decades of neglect.









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