First, the Danish word slot has little to do with the English word “slot” except etymologically, sharing a common root word from centuries ago. Instead, the Danish slot is a castle and Copenhagen has several that should be at the top of your must-see list. Rosenborg Castle (seen here) was built at the beginning of the 17th century as a summer palace outside the city walls, though over the years the city grew up around it. Once you enter its Renaissance gardens or visit the country’s crown jewels, however, contemporary Copenhagen may begin to feel very distant. The buildings that form the Amalienborg Palace were built a century and half later and are still used as the residence of Queen Margrethe II, though portions are open to the public. North of the city, Kronborg is another Northern Renaissance masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is more familiar to most English-speakers as Elsinore Castle, Shakespeare having used the name of the surrounding town for the castle in Hamlet. Every August, an open-air performance of the play takes place at the foot of Kronborg. Don’t be under any misapprehension that Copenhagen’s cultural highlights are all several centuries old. Near Kronborg, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a destination both as an exemplary example of Danish architecture from the late 1950s and because of its impressive collection of post-War art.
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