Looking at Sweden
Helsingor Travel Blog› entry 38 of 565 › view all entries
When I want to relax and clear my mind I always drive along the coast of Ăresund from Copenhagen via HelsingĂ¸r and towards Tisvildeleje. It is a trip that takes me 100 kilometres along the coast and gives me 1Â˝ hours of peace. From Tisvildeleje I can quite fast get back to Copenhagen again taking the motorway.
The largest city that I pass on my relaxing trip is HelsingĂ¸r. Almost all the way Sweden is visible to the right and especially in HelsingĂ¸r, where the Swedish city of Helsingborg lies only 4 kilometres away and a short distance across the Ăresund in a ferry.
HelsingĂ¸r or in English Elsinore is situated on the northeast coast of SjĂŚlland. HelsingĂ¸r is a midsize Danish city with a population of approximately 46,000 including the southern suburbs of Snekkersten and EspergĂŚrde.
Outside Denmark and Sweden the city is probably known as the setting of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, whence the spelling 'Elsinore' originated.
The name is derived from the word "hals" meaning "neck" or "narrow strait", referring to the narrow strait Ăresund between what is now HelsingĂ¸r and Helsingborg, Sweden.
The Rerum Danicarum Historica (1631) claims that the history of HelsingĂ¸r can be traced back to 70 BC, but this information is highly dubious. Before the Middle Ages HelsingĂ¸r was just a marketplace where people sold goods.
Around 1200 AD the first church, Sct Olai Church, was built. A number of convents once surrounded the church, but now all that remains is the church building, today the cathedral of the Diocese of HelsingĂ¸r. The oldest parts of the cathedral of HelsingĂ¸r date back to the 1200s and tell us that the fishermen's village, as HelsingĂ¸r was then, was a town of a certain importance. At least, there has always been some form of ferryboats crossing between HelsingĂ¸r and Helsingborg.
HelsingĂ¸r as we know it today was founded in the 1420s by the Danish king Eric of Pomerania. He established the Sound Dues in 1429 and built the castle 'Krogen', which was expanded in the 1580s and named Kronborg. Kronborg Castle is a main tourist attraction of the city.
The people were mentioned as Helsinger (which may mean "the people of the strait"), for the first time in King Valdemar the Victorious's Liber Census DaniĂŚ from 1231, but they should not be confused with the Helsings of HĂ¤lsingland in Sweden. Place names show that the Helsinger may have had their main fort at HĂ¤lsingborg and a fortified landing place at HelsingĂ¸r, to control the ferry route across the strait.