"Kronborg on the starboard side!". This command traditionally tells the Danish sailors that they are coming back home. Why only now, as domestic straits Skagerrak and Kattegat are already behind? Well, because it is here, in the Oresund strait, is a powerful outpost – the castle of Kronborg – a milestone on the way from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea in the national danish mentality. This is one of the major symbols, as people say now, of being a Dane. Kronborg (Shakespeare’s castle in Elsinore), seems to be a huge ship that has its towers as masts, cuts the whirlpool of the fast Oresund with its nose of the front bastion, as if coming out to stop the vessels rushing in the strait. Why? To answer this question we will have to plunge into the rough waves – waves of history and literature. Well, yes, literature as well. Because our tour is called: "In Hamlet's footsteps".
However, we will start our excursion not with the castle but with the market square in the town of Helsingor. The British call it Elsinor and it is situated 45 km from Copenhagen. Here, the square is adorned with the bronze monument to Danish king of the 15th century Erik of Pomerania. He determined the way to the greatness and prosperity of the town, which one and a half centuries later, in Shakespeare’s times, became the pearl of Northern Europe.
Paved narrow streets start from the square like rays – we will certainly follow them. Architecture here has little changed since Shakespeare’s epoch. It is not known for sure whether the great dramatist strolled along the streets of Helsingor, but his close friends, English actors from London, who regularly toured and performed here, were definitely regular visitors of this area. The house where they normally stayed has been preserved – it is in the street, which used to be quay. This is a small, slightly rickety house that saw many dramatic events in actors’ lives, including tragic love.
Having walked along the streets of Helsingor, we will finally head for the castle itself – that very castle, the setting for tragedy Hamlet by Shakespeare. By the way, if there is something genuine in this play – it is Kronborg, described by the author with unbelievable detail. It is the only true historic “character”.
Moving from one room to another, we will be able to follow the plot of the play part by part. Upstairs on the flag bastion, we will see the magnificent, rough panorama of the strait and will immediately understand why the Ghost comes here. We will have a glimpse of the queen’s living room, where the poor Polonius, further mistakenly killed by Hamlet, was hiding and eavesdropping behind the fruit-frame. This is the place of the renowned monolog: “Be, or not to be, that is the question”, which we will also find out during the castle tour.
The excursion will finish near the castle at Hamlet’s grave (unfortunately, imaginary). It was here that the price «talked» to court jester Yorick’s skull. And if lucky, we will also be able to visit Ophelia’s spring nearby. If the local authorities of Helsingor finish its restoration by the time of our arrival.
Tour length: 3 hours, if you come to Helsingør by yourselves, 5 hours with the transfers from / to Copenhagen.
The tour price: 320 euros for 2 adults and a child (under 11), including entrance tickets and guide’s service. It is possible to organize the return transfer at the price of 150 euros.
Specific features of the tour: this is a designer tour for the curious and those who like Shakespeare’s heritage. We will have to walk a lot, visit the historic centre of Helsingor, hear legends from the Danish history, find out more about the greatest work by Shakespeare, enjoy the sea air and views of the Swedish coast.
Send your requests to our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +45 20 66 30 93 and we will make you visit to Copenhagen unforgettable. Do not forget to indicate the desired date of the tour, the name of the hotel, where the plan to live in Copenhagen, the number of participants and your mobile phone for communication. You request will be replied within 24 hours.