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Oversæt

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The Karl Gustav-Wars took its toll on the town. And the Swedes´ bombardment of Kronborg, where the south tower succumbed, meant plans for extensive fortifications around the castle.

The proposals for a rebuilding of the south tower have, strangely enough, never been realized.

The Swede, Erik Dahlberg, suggested this during the war.

Elsinore and the War
For Elsinore´s part the Carl Gustav wars culminated with the siege of the town and the capture of Kronborg in 1658. The amassed costs, or losses, if you will, of the siege were 500.000 rix-dollars. After the peace with Sweden in 1660 the population was increased with newly arrived Scanians, who were tempted with offers of tax exemption for 25 years and in 1675 the town consisted of 833 families divided in 10 taxation classes.
The urban communities in Zealand were apparently deeply impoverished after the Scanian War. In Elsinore the pressure of taxation was increased in the following years because people moved out and in the year 1688 there were several hundred vacant farms and houses and the number of families had been reduced from 800 to 300.
At the end of the 1680´s the taxation burden was relieved in different ways and in 1690 the town was exempt from paying land tax for 10 years in order to set the town on its feet again and 32 named officials and citizens were exempted from tax payments. Around the turn of the century there were still problems with empty houses and people moving out, and it was said that members of the ferry guild signed on on foreign ships. The town itself did not own a ship for foreign navigation, only 12 smaller vessels for domestic navigation, but they had to pay around 12.000 rix-dollars a year in taxes and excise duty and as a minimum and arrange for the accommodation of 720 men.

The Fortification of Kronborg
At the peace in 1660 there were plans to reinforce the fortifications around Kronborg. It was evident that the fortification had not worked during the Swedish siege. The great south tower had been brought down, and anyway the castle was too close to the town, and the Swedes could fire directly at Kronborg from the town wall and the adjoining parts of the town. During the Swedish siege Erik Dahlberg drew a sketch with enlarged future fortifications around Kronborg. In the sketch Dahlberg chose to reconstruct the south tower after the bombardment – but that was never done. In the foreground is the district, which was shot to pieces. It was never rebuilt, which in the long term made it possible to enlarge the fortification and the building of a harbour.
Before the Bombardment
Before the Bombardment
Kronborg Becomes a Border Fortress
Kronborg Becomes a Border Fortress
After the Bombardment
After the Bombardment
Elsinore
Elsinore

The Crown Works
A plan of Kronborg´s fortification from 1663 indicates a reinforcement, which apparently includes the former state harbour and a better round towards the beach. But it was not until after the Scanian War in 1688 that they started to implement the enlarged fortification plan in earnest. The management of the work was given to Dominicus Pell, who was accommodated in Elsinore “together with 30 horses and orderlies, 26 bricklayers, 1 shipbuilder with assistants and 5 non-commissioned officers, 1 drummer and 70 men of the household troops.” The external fortification, which was finished in the course of the 1690´s was named Kroneværket (The Crown Works) and over the Kroneværk gate is a contemporary inscription by Thomas Kingo:
Trin ind, om Du est værd, jeg lader op min Bue
Og åbner Pladsen til det Cronet Slot at skue,
Tre Konger der har ført af Vand, af Ild, af Skud,
Trods Havets Svælg, trods Brand, trods Fjendens Kugle-Brudd!
Nu har Kong CHRISTIAN den Femtes Magt og Møje
Ret Kronet Værket, trods den avindsyges Øje,
GUD give Kongen og hans Slægt en evig Rod,
Så længe Øresund skal kysse Kronborgs Fod.
Kronborg with Extended Fortification 1663
Kronborg with Extended Fortification 1663
The Crown Work Gate in Kronborg
The Crown Work Gate in Kronborg
Extension plan for Kronborg, 1700
Extension plan for Kronborg, 1700
Kronborg´s Extension, 1730
Kronborg´s Extension, 1730

Enlarging
A map of the town from 1697-98 shows that the work was not quite finished at this time. The fortifications were enlarged under Frederik IV, where the front in 1713 was converted into ravelins in the spirit of the time. The Kroneværk gate was enlarged around 1740. At that time Denmark and Sweden had been through yet another war, which mainly took place in Scania. Kronborg, which now marked the frontier, now appeared as a military barracks with a garrison and Elsinore as a garrison town.

©  Øresundstid 2009