Gurre Slot (Gurre Castle)

It was one of King Valdemar Atterdags favourite residences, and thus one of the most important places in Denmark in the 1300s. Today the ruins of Gurre remain as a remembrance to the greatness of the past, in a modern landscape ripe for a picnic.

It is only the lowermost parts of the great boulder turrets from the 1100s, that remain in the ruins of Gurre Slot. Red and grey bricks in the green landscapes by Gurre Lake.

The rest is left to the imagination.

Thus it has been since the middle of the 1500s, where the castle likely was destroyed during the Count’s Feud, the Danish civil war that brought about the reformation of Denmark. And it will probably remain that way, though there are occasional talks of rebuilding and reconstruction.

But maybe it is for the best that Gurre Slot is left to the fantasy and imagination of its visitors. At least it has been a rich source of inspiration, as many poems, legends and ballads has been written of the place.

For example, 1800s writer J.P Jacobsen described Gurre slot in his poems ”Gurresange”.

These have since been translated and immortalised by the Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg in the form of the massive cantata ”Gurrelieder” (Songs of Gurre).

Already in its prime in the 1300s, Gurre Slot and its surroundings apparently had a unique magnetism.

At least it is rumoured that King Valdemar Atterdag had said that God could keep his paradise, if only he could keep his Gurre. Valdemar Atterdag died in Gurre Slot in 1375.

Did you know that Gurre Slot, after its fall in the 1500s, functioned as a sort of recycling station. People came to the castle and fetched materials for their houses.

3 comments “Gurre Slot

  1. 21. september 2012 Aslak Gottlieb, 3060 skriver:

    Det er et fantastik kulturlandskab og skovområde – meget velegnet til familie- og skoleaktiviteter. På Grydemoseskolen er der fx tradition for at klasser overnatter i shelter i Krogenberg Hegn nær ved.

  2. 21. september 2012 Hanne Holmgaard, 3080 skriver:

    Det er et sted, der emmer af historie. Naturen omkring er meget smuk og indbyder til smukke familieoplevelser

  3. 21. september 2012 Jørn Larsen, 3100 skriver:

    Den lørdag der ligger nærmest 15/6 Valdemarsdag har kulturrideklubben “Kong Valdemars Venner” i 23 år lavet et lille event på Gurre Slot, og redet det vilde ridt fra Gurre til Burre. Et event der har haft den effekt, at Riddermarkedet er opstået På Esrom kloster. Gurre borg er det sted, Valdemar Atterdag efter sigende fremsagde.: “Lad gud beholde sit himmerrige når jeg blot kan beholde mit Gurre. En kendt lokal borger Holger Drachmann har skrevet et teaterstykke om Kong Volmer. Stedet fortjener langt større opmærksomhed end det har fået i de 62 år, jeg har levet.

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Lines from JP Jacobsens Songs of Gurre:

 

But prouder not sat Christ beside his father
his fight for salvation over, than Waldemar proud now
and royal is at Tovelile’s side. The blessed couldn’t
more fervently crave to find the heavenly ground,
than I your kiss, as I saw shining
Gurre’s battlements from Oeresund.
And I would never give the treasure by battlements
faithfully guarded in exchange for heaven’s splendour
and entrancing sound and all the heavenly hosts!

 

But prouder not sat Christ beside his father

his fight for salvation over, than Waldemar proud now

and royal is at Tovelile’s side. The blessed couldn’t

more fervently crave to find the heavenly ground,

than I your kiss, as I saw shining

Gurre’s battlements from Oeresund.

And I would never give the treasure by battlements

faithfully guarded in exchange for heaven’s splendour

and entrancing sound and all the heavenly hosts!