5 of the Best Christian IV Historical Sites in Scandinavia | Historical Landmarks | History Hit

5 of the Best Christian IV Historical Sites in Scandinavia

Follow in the footsteps of Denmark and Norway's famed ruler: these 5 sites and monuments across Scandinavia reveal the history of King Christian IV.

Harry Sherrin

24 Sep 2021

Christian IV was the King of Denmark and Norway for 59 years, from 1588 to 1648, making him Denmark’s longest ruling monarch.

His long reign was characterised by disastrous conflicts with Sweden and Germany, improvements to Scandinavian shipping and glorious architecture.

Relics, monuments and museums to Christian IV can be found across Scandinavia.

From the glorious Rosenborg Castle to his statue in Oslo’s Grand Plaza, here at 5 must-visit Christian IV sites.

1. Roskilde Cathedral

Roskilde Cathedral is a gothic cathedral in Denmark and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also the burial site of Christian IV. Resplendent with looming spires, the cathedral contains a wealth of sculptures and wall paintings.

Since the 11th century, Denmark’s monarchs were buried there.  Its 38 royal tombs include those of Sweyn I Forkbeard, Christian IV, Frederik II and Frederik III. Christian IV’s burial place is particularly opulent.

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2. Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle in North Copenhagen is a 17th-century royal palace built by Christian IV. Construction began in 1606 with the intention that it become a summer home for Danish monarchs, a purpose which it served until Fredensborg Slot was built in the 18th century.

Today, the castle is a popular attraction and visitors can admire its opulent Dutch-Renaissance brickwork, a vast collection of paintings and even the Crown Jewels, contained in the incredible underground treasury.

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3. Tojhusmuseet

Tojhusmuseet in Copenhagen is Denmark’s National Museum of Military History and was originally constructed by Christian IV for use as the royal arsenal.

Today, this vast building, which boasts Europe’s longest arched renaissance hall, exhibits an impressive array of weaponry dating back as far as 500 years.

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4. Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle is a restored 16th century royal palace in Denmark originally built by Frederik II and expanded by Christian IV. Following a fire in 1859, Frederiksborg was restored and now serves in large part as Denmark’s National History Museum.

The museum’s collection is mostly made up of artwork relating to Denmark’s past, including portraits of former monarchs and paintings of important events throughout its history. Visitors can tour the museum and explore the stunning baroque gardens.

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Image Credit: fotoandy / Shutterstock

5. Christian IV Statue, Oslo Cathedral

In Stortorvet, or the ‘Grand Plaza’ of Oslo, stands a statue of Christian IV. It was constructed in a portion of the city founded by Christian himself, then by the name Christiania. The statue depicts the king gesturing towards the ground, and is titled ‘here the city is to be’.

Today, visitors will find the statue close to the Oslo Cathedral, a 17th-century Dutch Baroque style church in a cruciform shape.

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