Clicky

badge

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cold underground bunkers of Helsingor Castle that motivated soldiers to war!

The beautiful castle in Helsignor, Denmark, known as Kronborg is one of Denmark's most popular monuments. This castle is also known as Hamlet's Castle as this castle is described in Shakesphere's Hamlet.

There're lots of stories about this castle-about its rooms, the king, queen, their parties and so on. I need to write separate posts on each of them. In this post, I am focusing on one aspect of the castle-the soldier's bunkers in the basement.

While the King and his family lived in best available luxury in the castle (more about it later), its basement had super cold cells in which soldiers were supposed to stay. Apparently there was no need to construct a series of underground cells under the castle- soldiers could have been easily accommodated in buildings adjacent to the castle, but the king of Denmark (King Christian IV) was adamant that they stay underground purely because he learnt that King of Sweden, on the other side of Baltic Sea had such an arrangement in his castle. King forgot that Sweden's weather permitted such facility but not in Denmark due to country's low temperature all round the year. But the King insisted in keeping large amount of troops in the cold underground cells under his castle.

Unfortunately life in the bunker was not at all comfortable. While the king and his family lived comfortably in upper floors of the castle with fire places and other luxuries, the bunkers were extremely cold. One couldn’t fire up for warmth, because there was no ventilation and smoke would choke people inside. Soldiers positioned in the basement had to survive extreme cold and unhealthy room-mates, who could catch cold very often and cough and fall ill. Some pictures of the underground place for your visuals.




 
Living in such a cold place was something no soldier preferred. So they were always eager to go out- even if it meant going to war and getting killed. Thus the king always had an army of motivated soldiers under his castle who are happy to do anything as along as they get to stay away from the cold under gound bunkers.
Today visitors to the Kronborg Castle can go underground and take a close look at these cells.  Touch the walls and they feel cold. Touch the floor and it feels cold- this was when I went in August-one of the warmer months. In Winter the temperature dips to levels regular human beings cant survive.
Statue of Holger Dasnke in the basement of Helsingor Castle- statue shows him in sleeping mode. It is believed that he will wakeup whenever Denmark is in trouble and will save the nation.

Helsingor is about an hour journey from Copenhagen. Just across the sea (20 min ride away) is Helsingborg, Sweden. Helsingnor has other attractions like National Maritime Museum etc. Standby for more posts.