The Middle Ages

The castle at Nyborg was first mentioned in written sources in 1193, when King Knud VI held the royal council there. The fortress had ostensibly been built around 1170 by the king's cousin, Knud Prislavsen, according to written sources a few years later. When Knud Prislavsen died, possibly when the walls of Acre were stormed in 1191, during the Third Crusade, Knud VI took over the fortress and the town of Nyborg; it remained a royal castle throughout the Middle Ages.

We don't know the appearance of the original castle. The first known structure on the site was a four-sided ring wall from around 1200. There must have been wooden or half-timbered buildings inside the walls, but we have not, as yet, found traces of them. The fortress was built on a small hill. Archaeological excavations have shown that the first moat around the fortress was a dry moat. 

As a step towards increasing royal power in the second half of the 1100's, such castles and fortifications were established around the country by the king, his family members and his close supporters. They had three purposes: to secure the king's power against enemies from within, to protect the kingdom against foreign enemies, and to function as a base for several Danish crusades that resulted in a Danish empire in the Baltic region. 

In the first half of the 1200's, a palace was built along the western ring wall of the Nyborg fortress. The most recent excavations show that a corresponding stone building was raised along the north wall; they were connected. The palace building was the finer of the two, built of bricks in two stories, and still exists in the remaining wing. There is a small, blocked-off arched window and an arched door leading to the cellar, which belong to the palace. In the preserved building, the king met with his parliament. Apparently the royal council and later the Danehof (parliament) met on the second floor.

The Danehof Market

In the first weekend in July, all of Nyborg will vibrate with life and excitement!

Days of Battle in Nyborg

The old royal castle will again echo with the shouts of warriors and the thud of swords on helmets and shields.