Elsinore is in many ways a typical Danish commercial town with shops, markets and eateries, but the great number of tourists gives the town a certain international touch. Especially during the summer it buzzes with activity and life on Stengade and Axeltorv.
By the cafés and restaurants on Axeltorv, people sit under the shade of umbrellas. One hand resting on their glass, the other tapping in tune to the jazz rhythms coming from today’s live-band on the square.
From the top of his plinth ‘Erik af Pommern’ scouts across the town he helped create, over 500 years ago. Beneath the statue a bare chested boy, with felt pen tattoos on his pale skin, collects water into his palms. A sneaky smile hints that he is out for trouble. With a hopeful giggle he throws the water at daddy, who obliviously bends his back just before the water hits him. The giggle quickly turns into a squeal as his dad gives chase.
According to the Australian travel book publisher Lonely Planet’s book on Denmark, Elsinor’s central square, Axeltorv, is chock-full of southern European atmosphere during the summer.
Beneath the Dannebrog flags, tied up like red and white garlands over the pedestrian street Stengade, people stroll around in an easy-going throng. The atmosphere is international. There are Chinese tourists with their gaze turned towards the map, their course set for Kronborg. There are Danish families taking their children on a trip down the shopping street they know so well. And there are Swedes. Lured here by a favourable exchange rate for Swedish crowns, and the many lucrative deals, they wander in and out of the different shops. A few steer purposefully for the ferries, dragging behind them smalls trolleys full of alcohol.
Did you know, that the name Axeltorv refers to the fact that it is a market square reserved for vehicles (with axles). During a Danish orthographical reform in the 1870ies, words with X were changed to SK, but conforming to ‘Axeltorv’s in other Danish cities, Elsinor’s Axeltorv kept its x.