Sites & cities that bear the name of Kalø Castle

Kalø Castle

Today in : Denmark
First trace of activity : 1313 C.E
Last trace of activity : 1662 C.E
Recorded names : Kalø Slot

Description : Kalø Castle (Danish: Kalø Slot) is a ruined castle located in eastern Jutland, in Denmark, 20 km from the city of Aarhus within Mols Bjerge National Park. The castle was founded in 1313 by the Danish king Erik Menved (Erik VI). It was one of at least four similar strongholds in Jutland, constructed to counter the ongoing rebellions of the Jutlandic nobility and peasantry against the Crown. The other strongholds were Borgvold in Viborg, Bygholm in Horsens and Ulstrup, east of Struer. All were built by local peasants forced labour, with the goal of breaking their rebellious spirits. Kalø Slot was raised on the small island of Kalø, connected to the mainland by a 500 m long artificial embankment, rising 1,2 m above sea level. The embankment was cobbled; deep moats were dug and earth mounds heaped around the fortress. A port of call, outer ringwalls and other fortifications were all built by hand. This was a colossal task in the early 14th century. The castle of Kalø was successful in its original purpose, but already in 1320 the new king Christoffer II, was forced by the Danish nobility in a coronation charter to tear it down, along with most of the Crown's fortresses in Jutland. It is not clear how much of the castle was actually torn down, but the Crown definitely lost its grip on Kalø and it was mortgaged. From the 15th century and onwards, Kalø had a more peaceful role, as the local administrative center and state prison. King Christian II held the future Swedish king Gustav Vasa captive at Kalø during 1518-1519, until he escaped and fled to Lübeck, disguised as a common peasant. When King Frederick III converted the elective monarchy into an absolute monarchy in the revolution of 1660 in Denmark, Kalø Slot lost its function. The buildings had fallen into decay under the Swedish occupation during the wars between Sweden and Denmark in the years 1643 to 1645. In 1662, Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, Count of Laurvig, decided to tear down the abandoned ruin when he received it from his father, Frederick III. The useful materials were used to build his private palace in Copenhagen, now called the Charlottenborg Palace.

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