Copenhagen’s pentagon-shaped Kastellet (Citadel) is one of the best-preserved fortresses in northern Europe. Built in 1662, the site, although still used for military activities occasionally, functions is now used as a public park. During a walk around the grassy grounds, you’ll find well-preserved barracks, a small chapel, a windmill, and a moat.The Basics
Kastellet is a typical stop on tours of Copenhagen, which explore the city on foot, by bicycle, or on a Segway; common itineraries also tend to include Round Tower (Rundetaarn), Amalienborg Palace, and Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot). The grounds also offer excellent views of the iconic Little Mermaid sculpture, the dome of Marmorkirken (Marble Church), and the harbor. Visitors to Kastellet will likely find tourists and locals biking, walking, and picnicking at this scenic destination.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Kastellet is a must-visit for those interested in Danish history and architecture.
- The site is free to visit.
- Kastellet is home to many species of bird, including ducks, swans, and herons.
- There is an historical exhibition on display inside the guard building at the North Gate.
Kastellet is around a 15-minute walk from Nyhavn or a 2-minute walk from Osterport train station, which connects you to Copenhagen Central railway station. The 1A bus also stops nearby or you can get there by the local Nordre Toldbod ferry. When to Get There
The site is open every day from 6am to 10pm. There is a changing of the guard ceremony at the Central Guard House every day at 12pm and military concerts take place at the drill grounds on summer afternoons at 2pm. On 28 October every year, Kastellet marks its anniversary with a concert.
The most prominent prisoner at the citadel prison was the royal physician Johann Friedrich Greve Struensee, whose affair with Queen Matilda led to his execution by the mentally-ill King Christian VII. The longest-serving prisoner was English explorer and pirate John Norcross; he spent 32 years in the prison at Kastellet, 16 of them in a wooden cage.