About Aalborghus Castle
Aalborghus Castle, translated as ‘Aalborghus Slot’, is a castle and former fortification in the city of Aalborg in Denmark.
Today, visitors can tour Aalborghus Castle and, perhaps most interestingly, its dungeons.
Aalborghus Castle history
Aalborghus Castle was a half-timbered castle built on the order of Lutheran King Christian III from 1539 to 1555, initially as fortification. The site had originally housed a building just south of Christian’s castle, mentioned in Aalborghus documentation dating to 1340. Owned by Margrethe I, it was also the death place of King Hans in 1513, the result of a riding accident.
Christian’s father, King Frederik I had intended to destroy the original building, moving to a new site to convert Allborg’s Franciscan monastery into a castle. However, he left the decision to Christian, who demolished the old building in 1539 and had royal architect Morten Bussert build a new fortified castle near Limfjord. The fortress soon became the seat of the King’s provincial governors in Northern Jutland, and was used later by the State County for taxes under the introduction of absolutism.
A barrier wall was constructed alongside the fjord, and later in 1633, King Christian IV built a north wing facing the port. This extension was used as a granary, storing food supplies including grain. A western wing built in similar style was used to store meats and fish.
Between 1954 and 1964, the old granaries had a full renovation by the Royal Inspector of Listed Buildings, who converted them into council offices.
Aalborghus Castle today
Today, the castle is set within its lush green surroundings, a short wander from the harbour front. The east wing is all that is left of the original castle, and unfortunately the building’s administrative function prevents inside visits.
However, you can take a walk through the castle’s beautiful park, and on certain dates the castle’s dungeon and underground passage is open to the public, which displays a printed history of the site. Visitors can also get an appreciation for the castle’s original impressive atmosphere from the courtyard, all year round.
Getting to Aalborghus Castle
If travelling by public transport, Aalborghus Castle is just a 12 minute walk from Aalborg Station, on the trainlines 75, 76, IC, ICL and RE. There is a car park located a 350m walk away, heading south-east on Slotspladsen.
Denmark Historic Sites
Explore the Viking past at Jelling or visit the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet at Kronborg Castle. Denmark's historic sites are wide-ranging and beguiling.