Description: Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram. The five bastions are named as follows: The King’s Bastion (Kongens Bastion), The Queen’s Bastion (Dronningens Bastion), The Count’s Bastion (Grevens Bastion), the Princess’s Bastion (Princessens Bastion) and the Prince’s Bastion (Princens Bastion). Kastellet has its own church, as well as a windmill.
Kastellet’s construction was started by King Christian IV of Denmark as far back as 1626 with the building of an entrenchment in the norther part of the defense wall of Copenhagen.. The King had grand construction plans and originally a castle would have been situated on the site so that the king himself could seek haven there, but the plan was dropped on account of economic constraints. Construction continued with his successor King Frederick III of Denmark. After the Swedish siege on Copenhagen (1658-1660) the Dutch engineer Henrik Rüse was called in to help rebuild and extend the construction. The fortification was named Citadellet Frederikshavn ("The Frederikshavn Citadel"), but it is better known as Kastellet ("the citadel").
Kastellet was used in the defense of Copenhagen against England in 1807.
Christen Købke (1810-1848), Danish painter associated with the Golden Age of Danish Painting, grew up in Kastellet and made many paintings of the area.
Kastellet was renovated 1989-1999 with funds from the A.P. Møller and Wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers General Fund.
The prison in Kastellet
The prison in Kastellet was built adjacent to the church. Holes in the walls of the prisoner’s cells between the prison and the church allowed the prisoners to follow church services.
Struensee awaited his execution in Kastellet’s prison.
Kastellet celebrated its 340 year jubilee in 2004 with an open house celebration.
It is owned by The Danish Defence and is used, among others, by the chief of the Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet), the Defence Intelligence (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste), the The Defence Judge Advocate Corps (Forsvarets Auditørkorps) and the Royal Garrison’s Library.
Kastellet is a peaceful, protected area, functioning as a military area, a cultural-historical monument, a museum and a park. It is located close to the statue of the popular tourist attraction, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (Den lille havfrue), the Gefion fountain (Gefionspringvandet) and Langelinie. It is a popular place to go for a walk on a lovely day, and is very popular with children on account of the many animals and birds on the grounds.