1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Elsinore

ELSINORE (Dan. Helsingör), a seaport of Denmark in the amt (county) of Frederiksborg, on the east coast of the island of Zealand, 28 m. N. of Copenhagen by rail. Pop. (1901) 13,902. It stands at the narrowest part of the Sound, opposite the Swedish town of Helsingborg, 3 m. distant. Communication is maintained by means of a steam ferry. Its harbour admits vessels of 20 ft. draught, and the roadstead affords excellent anchorage. There are shipbuilding yards, with foundry, engineering shops, &c.; the chief export is agricultural produce; imports, iron, coal, cereals and yarn. Helsingör received town-privileges in 1425. In 1522 it was taken and burnt by Lübeck, but in 1535 was retaken by Christian II. It is celebrated as the Elsinore of Shakespeare’s tragedy of Hamlet, and was the birthplace of Saxo Grammaticus, from whose history the story of Hamlet is derived. A pile of rocks surrounded by trees is shown as the grave of Hamlet, and Ophelia’s brook is also pointed out, but both are, of course, inventions. On a tongue of land east of the town stands the castle of Kronberg or Kronenberg, a magnificent, solid and venerable Gothic structure built by Frederick II. towards the end of the 16th century, and extensively restored by Christian IV. after a fire in 1637. It was taken by the Swedes in 1658, but its possession was again given up to the Danes in 1660. From its turrets, one of which serves as a lighthouse, there are fine views of the straits and of the neighbouring countries. The Flag Battery is the “platform before the castle” where the ghost appears in Hamlet. Within it the principal object of interest is the apartment in which Matilda, queen of Christian VII. and sister of George III. of England, was imprisoned before she was taken to Hanover. The chapel contains fine wood-carving of the 17th century. North-west of the town is Marienlyst, originally a royal château, but now a seaside resort.