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The 16th Century
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The 16th century was the century of the the Renaissance and the Reformation in the Sound region.

The first third of the century was marked by power struggles between the king and the four estates. The struggles culminated in the so-called Count´s Feud, where the king, Christian 3., and the nobility strengthened their positions

Thus the road was paved for the definite victory of the Reformation in 1536, and the church lost its strong financial and political power.

In the latter part of the 16th century there was a great upturn in the domestic and foreign trade, which led to large income via the Sound Duty..

The capital was among other things used for the building of the king´s and the nobility´s magnificent castles and manor houses.
The period around the years 1500 marks the transition from medieval times to the Renaissance. Renaissance means rebirth (from Italian: Re-nascio) and refers to the comprehensive rediscovery, reuse and development of knowledge and technique from classical times, which started in Northern Italy in the 14th century and spread to North-western Europe.
Gradually the Renaissance concept also comes to cover a more united, new, or if you will, modern reality and human perception, weighting the creative powers of the individual and its desire to explore the surrounding world. Man appears as an individual and creates reality in his own image.
The tendency is clear in the development of the portrait in the art of painting. Royalty, nobility and the middle classes have their portraits made and the artist too appears as a named person.
King Christian 2. (1513-23) appears as the typical ruler and Renaissance prince of the time: At once despotic and far-sighted. He sees the cities and the middle-classes as the future but is not able to implement his visions.

Within the church the reform catholic currents are strengthened influenced by the Renaissance humanism. Malmo becomes a literary hotbed of the reformation, which starts with the banishment of the Franciscan monks before 1536.

The royal power is strengthened with the confiscation of the property of the church in 1536. Class struggle between king, nobility and peasants, which culminate with the Count´s Feud in 1534-36, makes the time up to 1550 to a stagnation period. The royal power barricades itself with new stronghold-like castles, for example Malmøhus.
The time around 1550 is marked by European improved market conditions, which results in increased trade and export in the Baltic Sea area and increased traffic through the Sound. Especially raw materials – corn, cattle, wood and minerals – are exported for consumption and processing in Western Europe.
The increasing trade and export constitute marked increase in income for the Danish royal power via the Sound Duty and for the nobility through export of agricultural products. This income is the starting point for a number of royal and aristocratic buildings and a magnificent mode of life in the spirit of the Renaissance.
Under the reign of Frederik 2.(1559-1588) the royal power gathers large parts of its estates in Northern Zealand and builds Kronborg and Frederiksborg Castle in Renaissance style. Among the nobility many go on culture trips to the south and the interest in the culture and science of the renæssance is increased.
Tycho Brahe and his science centre in Uranienborg in Hven is a shining example of the flourishing interest in science and culture.
Noblemen build extensive private libraries and the interest of the past is expressed in the collecting and writing down of medieval folk songs. In this area women are a factor too.

In the beginning of the century there were three Nordic realms. Denmark, Sweden and Norway connected by Margrethe 1.s Kalmar Union. Gradually Sweden breaks away from the union, the relationship between Denmark and Sweden is worsened and the result is the Nordic Seven Year War in 1563-70, the first of a number of larger, military confrontations in and around the Sound region.

©  Øresundstid 2009