Sofiero, Helsingborg, Sweden

ofiero entered the Swedish history books in 1864 first as the summer residence of Crown Prince Oscar and his wife, Sophia. The couple called their new home, Sophie-Ro, named after Sophia (her nickname was Sophie) and ro, the Swedish word for tranquility. King Oscar II and Queen Sophia gave Sophiero to their grandson Gustav Adolf and his first wife Margareta. These two are the reason Sophiero is now home to a garden since both were passionate about gardening. Margareta and Gustav Adolf developed gardens, planted rhododendrons and planted a huge kitchen garden. Continue reading Sofiero, Helsingborg, Sweden

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Helsingør and Hamlet’s Castle

Kronborg Castle is strategically placed at the narrowest part of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden. Due to this strategic placement, there has been some sort of fortification here since the 1420s. King Frederick II had the fortress transformed into a magnificent Renaissance castle. In 1629, a fire destroyed lots of the castle, but our old friend King Christian IV had it rebuilt. While the outside was restored to its glory, the interior never really recovered. Compared to other castles I visited in Denmark, the interior was pretty plain. Continue reading Helsingør and Hamlet’s Castle

Carlsberg, Probably the Best Beer in the World

He founded his brewery in 1847 and named it “Carlsberg” in honor of his son Carl and the fact that it was on a hill. Carlsberg quickly became known for its superior quality and taste and became very popular. The original brew house caught fire in 1866 but was quickly rebuilt and still stands there today, housing the museum. Continue reading Carlsberg, Probably the Best Beer in the World

Roskilde, Denmark

For the past 1000 years, there has been some sort of church where the Roskilde Cathedral now stands. It started as a simple wooden church, then a stone church and now a magnificent brick church. The church that stands now was started in the 1170s and the body of the church was completed in 1280. At that time, the Gothic style was all the rage, and Roskilde Cathedral is one of the earliest examples of French-inspired Gothic brick architecture and was the first brick Gothic church in Europe. Continue reading Roskilde, Denmark

A (Very) Full Day in Copenhagen – Part 2

I headed back into the main area of Copenhagen for more royalty at Rosenborg Castle. This castle was built in the early 17th Century by King Christian IV,  one of Denmark’s most ambitious and prosperous kings. He is also the longest-reigning monarch in Danish history, reigning from 1588 to 1648 (59 years). Continue reading A (Very) Full Day in Copenhagen – Part 2

A (Very) Full Day in Copenhagen – Part 1

You can’t visit Copenhagen without visitinge Den Lille Havfrue, aka The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen (of Carlsberg beer) to the city. Dedicated in 1913, it pre-dates the Disney classic by about 76 years. Jacobsen was inspired by a performance of the ballet The Little Mermaid at the Royal Theatre, and especially the ballerina who portrayed the titular character, Ellen Price. Continue reading A (Very) Full Day in Copenhagen – Part 1