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Kastellet, Copenhagen

Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of the best preserved fortresses in Northern Europe. It is built as a pentagon with bastions at the corners. Castellet continued to ring the ramparts, which previously surrounded Copenhagen, but from which today remain only the ramparts Kristianskhavn .

On the territory of Castellet there are a number of buildings, including the Citadel Church and a windmill. There are various military operations in the area, but it mainly serves as a public park and a historical monument.

St. Anne's Redoubt

Danish King Christian IV initiated the construction of Castellet in 1626, building an advanced post, Reduce St. Anne, on the coast north of the city. Redoubt guarded the entrance to the port along with a roadblock, which was built north of Cristianskhavn, which was just founded on the other side of the strait between Zealand and Amager . At that time, the fortifications reached only the northern part of the present station Norreport, and then returned southeast to meet the coast in Bremerholm, the Royal Shipyard. However, part of the king's plan was to extend the territory of the fortified city, abandoning the old Eastern Wall and instead expanding the rampart directly north to connect it to the redoubt of St. Anne. This plan was not completed until the mid-1640s, shortly after King Frederick III succeeded King Christian IV.

New Citadel 

After the siege of Copenhagen by the Swedes (1658-1660), the Dutch engineer Henrik Rüse was called in to help restore and expand construction. Enrichment was named Frederickshaun's Citadellet, but is better known as Kastellet. 

Castellet participated in defending Copenhagen from the United Kingdom at the Battle of Copenhagen (1807).

Kristen Köbke (1810-1848), a Danish artist associated with the Golden Age of Danish painting, grew up in Castelle and painted many paintings of the area.

During the German invasion of Denmark on April 9, 1940, German troops landed in a nearby harbor, without resistance took over the Citadel.

The Castellet was renovated in 1989-1999 by the General Fund of A.P. Möller and his wife Chestin McKinney Möllers.

Kastellet, Copenhagen


The citadel has two gates: the Royal Gate on the south side facing the city and the Norwegian Gate on the north side of the building, which dates back to 1663 and is part of the original Ruiz Citadel. It is built in Dutch Baroque style and is surrounded by guard houses on the inside. The Royal Gate is decorated with garlands and pilasters, as well as a bust of King Frederick III. The clock and two bells on the inner facade of the gate originate from the Central Guard in Kongens Nytorv and were installed in 1874, when the Central Guard moved to the Citadel. Two so-called caponirs stand in front of the gate. Norway's gate used to face the open countryside outside the city, and therefore was built with a simpler structure. The caponirs of this gate were demolished in the late 19th century.


The five bastions have the following names: the Royal Bastion, the Royal Bastion, the Count's Bastion, the Princess Bastion and the Princess Bastion.

The moat and construction work of the blacksmith 

The Smith line is a system of superstructures separating the inner and outer moat, located to the south and south-west of the city. It consisted of four ravelins and three counterguards connected by long low earth walls. On Ravlin Fin, one of the smiths of the same name, was preserved and is now used by the park administration. Another forge was built on Falster counterguard in 1709. Rebuilt in 1888, it now serves as a residence for the military. When the Free Port of Copenhagen was built, the northern part of the blacksmiths line was excavated, but the rest of the line was transferred to the city of Copenhagen in 1918 and now serves as a park area.

Kastellet, Copenhagen

The Commander's House

The commander's house served as the residence of the commander of Castellet. It was built in 1725 in the Baroque style by the architect and master builder Elias Heuser, who also designed the first Christiansborg Palace, which burned down in 1794. Built of yellow masonry with white details, it consists of two floors under a red tiled roof. The triangular pediment is decorated with relief and monogram of Christian VII under the crown. Until 2008, it served as the official residence of the chief of defense.


The neighborhoods are six two-story terraces originally built by Henrik Ruiz as a barracks for soldiers based in the Citadel. The dormitories were four by four meters in size, with two triple beds, a small table and two benches. Over time, they became known by their individual names: The Common Sink, where the commanders lived until the Commander's House was built, the Artillery Artillery Buttstock, as well as the Starry Buttstock, the Elephant Buttstock, the Swan Buttstock, and the Fortune Rod. In the attic roofs are not part of the original design, but the date from 1768, when the lines were changed. The original profile of the roof today can be seen only at the end of the Artillery Row, if you look from the Bastion of the Prince.

South and North warehouses 

The two warehouses are also dated by the foundation of the Citadel. They were to store everything needed in case of siege and could feed 1800 garrison soldiers, other personnel and their families for four years. The Southern Warehouse served as an arsenal, while the Northern Warehouse contained a grain storage facility.

Kastellet, Copenhagen

Gunpowder House 

The Gunpowder House in the Queen's Bastion, which was used to store black powder, is the only surviving of the original two identical gunpowder houses built by Domenico Pelly in 1712. The other one was in the Count's Bastion. It was designed with massive walls and a slightly vaulted ceiling to ensure that a possible explosion would move upwards and thus cause minimal damage to the environment. When a powder house near the Eastern Wall exploded in 1779, causing damage in the Niboder area and all the way to Bradgeid, it was decided that it was too dangerous to store explosives in the Bastions, and the powder houses in the Citadel were instead used as a prison.


Kastelskirken was built in 1703-4 in heavy baroque style during the reign of King Frederick IV. It includes sturdy prison openings to allow prisoners to attend services.


In 1725, a prison complex was built on the back of the church. Eye holes in the wall between the church and the prison cells allowed the prisoners to watch the church services.

Struensee was awaiting execution in Castellet prison. The English researcher and pirate John Norcross was imprisoned in Castell for the longest period of time. He spent 32 years in Castell prison, 16 years in a wooden cage.

Kastellet, Copenhagen


On the Royal Bastion, in the southwest corner of Castellet, there is a windmill. Built in 1847, it replaced another windmill in 1718, which was destroyed by a hurricane a year earlier. Originally, the mill was a postal mill, and today's mill is of Dutch type.

Since the fortress city needed reliable supplies, including flour and cereal, numerous windmills were built in case of siege on the bastions. In 1800, 16 windmills were found on the walls of Copenhagen. The mill in Kastellet is the last one that still works, and another one, Lille Mølle in Christianshavn Val, was converted into a private house in 1915 and now survives as a historical museum house .

The Russian Empress Consort Maria Feodorovna, daughter of Christian IX of Denmark, received rye flour at the mill in Castell. The army bakery sent it to the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg, where she every morning served øllebrød in the Anichkov Palace.

Central Guard

The Central Guard, located right inside the Royal Gate, was built between 1873 and 1874 with an attached prison. The architect is unknown. He replaced the Central Guard house in Kongens Nyutorv, where the Central Guard had been stationed since 1724.

Kastellet, Copenhagen