Experience the ruins of Absalon’s Castle from 1167
The biggest and oldest ruins under Christiansborg Palace is the remainings of the wall from Bishop Absalon’s Castle from the 11th century. The wall protected the Castle from pirates.
Blue Tower – Leonora Christine’s prison
Another big ruin under the castle is the foundation of the infamous Blue Tower; the biggest tower in Copenhagen’s castle. Here, political prisoners and other criminals were held captive. The most famous prisoner was Christian IV’s favourite daughter, Leonora Christine. She was held captive for almost 22 years.
Rebuilt several times
After 1369, Copenhagen Castle was rebuilt on top of the remains of Absalon’s Castle. The space was tight in the new castle and the kings broke down the building and built new ones.
Christian IV wished to lay his mark on Copenhagen’s Castle. He added another floor to the Blue Tower with a flaunting copper spire.
At the end, the foundation could not bear the enormous and heavy castle and it was clear that it was in danger of collapsing at any time. Christian VI tore down the castle and built a whole new one – the first Christiansborg Castle, completed in 1745.
Revealed by accident
When casting the foundations of the present Christiansborg Palace, workers struck upon the ruins of older buildings and the remnants of the initial wall. Experts were called in from the National Museum, and a close inspection revealed that the ruins dated back as far as 1167.
What they had come upon was Bishop Absalon's Castle, once situated on a tiny island off the Merchants' Harbour. Walking around this underground site, you will get an idea of how the castle was continually renewed and developed.
Experience the ruins under Christiansborg and travel back in time to the dark Middle Ages.