Banquets at Kronborg Castle with oysters and honey-scented candles. Photo: Thorkild Jensen

Banquets with oysters and honey-scented candles

Banquets at Kronborg Castle

Kronborg’s towers soared towards the sky. Sun beams danced on the copper roofs. 150 carts rumbled towards the glittering castle with its four protruding bastions on the Sound. The carts were packed with furniture, cushions, rugs and books. Frederick II was on his way to Kronborg with his entire retinue of servants and possessions. He was to banquet at the castle with nobility and royalty from all over Europe.

The Mistress of the Robes was there to ensure that the king and queen’s furniture, fittings and rugs were all in place, that fresh flowers were on display and that the queen’s parrot was at home. Fragrant sandalwood was laid in the fire place and the chandeliers were fitted with honey-scented candles. 

Toasting with cannon fire

Over the next few days, the distinguished guests feasted in the castle's Ballroom. Long tables were laid with silverware and crystal glasses. Servants served 24 dishes to each of the guests. Oysters, game, exotic citrus fruits and other expensive delicacies featured on the menu.

The fare was washed down with wine and beer. The king got to his feet, raised his glass and proposed a toast. At that very moment, drums rolled and trumpets blared. Outside the castle's ramparts, the artillery stood ready by the cannons. They saluted the king’s toast by firing a deafening blast from the cannons that could be heard on the other side of the Sound.