My original plan was to visit Germany in a year and I hoped to stay there in winter, yet, my plans changed and somehow I ended up staying in Copenhagen.
Denmark has so many notable things in its culture. There are a few things that come to mind: from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and stories, the Little Mermaid, and the Vikings… just to name a few! I had a great time exploring the museums in Copenhagen, and with the Copenhagen Card, I had free entry to basically all the major museums (with only the cost of purchasing the card). Not only that, these passes include free access and free transportation to a number of places in the city’s outskirts. While Malmo (transportation is not included for the Card) Odense, or Roskilde are some of the more obvious choices, one location that I recommend is Elsinore, or Helsingør, because the port city has an exciting number of places to see and do, and it’s quite easy to get there from downtown Copenhagen. Now, let’s follow in my footsteps and check out some of the highlights of a recommended day trip and see the best of Elsinore.
Something about… Elsinore
Elsinore is a city in eastern Denmark, 45 kilometers north of Elsinore, and 4 kilometers from Helsingborg, a Swedish city on the other side of the strait. Together, Elsinore and Helsingborg form the northern reaches of the Øresund region. The city has a population of over 60,000 today, and it’s known for its castle Kronborg. The castle was actually the backstage of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Apart from the castle, the city has an exciting development of art, culture, and architecture. The Culture Harbour Kronborg is only a short walk away from the train station and it’s designed to attract tourists, a great place to just chill and enjoy some sun. The other parts of the city also have a relaxed small-town charm that would be nice to have a stroll and walk around.
How to get to Elsinore
Since I went there from Copenhagen, it’s easy to get there by train from Copenhagen Central Station – The Danish Railways (DSB) takes passengers to Elsinore, the last stop of the line, in about 50 minutes. On the way, you may also stop by Karen Blixen Museum Rungstedlund and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, if you have more time. European route E55 joins the two cities; On another note, the car ferry line between Helsingør and Helsingborg is the busiest in the world with more than 70 departures in each direction every day.
If you are visiting Elsinore by train, the first stop of your stroll may probably be Skibsklarerergaarden, because it’s just around the corner of the train station. Skibsklarerergaarden is a Trade House from the time of the Sound Tolls, and one of the four museums of Elsinore. The house in Strandgade 91 was built in three steps: basement and ground floor in 1580 by Groser Jorgen Mahr from Skaane. In the basement he sold wine. In 1637, the first floor was built by grocer Chresten Rasmussen. He lived here with his wife Kirsten’s initials on the house front. The last floor was constructed in 1780. On this floor, the lodging house of the shippers was furnished. The lodging-house existed until 1840. The house was sold around 1928. It was preserved in 1918. During the 20th century, the house was owned by architect Mads Drosted who lived with his family in the apartment on the first floor and had his drawing office on the second floor. In the 1980s the local newspaper “Op og ned langs kysten” had their editorial office on the ground floor. In the shop, the editor had his office, and in the skipper’s room, the editorial staff worked. In 1993 the restaurant keeper, Søren Fisker, bought the house with the aim of restoring and furnishing a museum about the Sound Toll of Elsinore and the shipbrokers. Søren Fisker paid for a thorough examination of the house and restored the ground floor with the assistance of The National Museum’s Department of Conservation and Preservation. The former colors have been reconstructed on the basis of archaeological color studies, which you will see all over the house. The master-builder Bjarne Rasmussen bought the house in the year 2000 after the death of Søren Fisker, and in 2005 the Skibsklarerergaarden opened as part of the Museums of Elsinore, where the story of the Sound Toll in Elsinore is being told.
The old Trade House is not big but a few interesting rooms and locations to see:
The shop is Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest grocery store was established and opened in 1809. The latticework over the counter was added in the early part of the 1820s. The panels are from 1637, where the first floor was constructed. The graffiti on the walls have been made by customers, especially sailors who visited the shop. Apart from the ordinary grocery store and ship’s chandlery you could also buy a dram. On the back wall of the shop, you will see the shipping list. All ships’ arrival, departure, and destination were written down. If you were to travel or to forward a letter or parcel, you could make inquiries at all the shipping agent houses as to when they had a skipper in the house that was sailing to the destination of the travel or parcel.
Skippers’ room is where captains sat together to enjoy a meal, a drink, and maybe to have a pipe. News in general and generalities were exchanged while the ship’s papers were filled in. When goods and quantities were written down, the clerks went to The Sounds’ custom house to calculate and settle the Sound Tolls. The captain could proceed, provided that wind and weather permitted.
Contoir’s work started early at 4 am where the guard ship in the Sound fired its cannons, till 10 pm. Four clerks stood around the writing desk to go through the ship’s papers and took care of the grocery store’s accounts. In the back of the shop, the shipbroker sat and kept an eye on everything. He was only the one who approved the accounts. The many footsteps between writing desks is a copy of a writing desk from the 1820s.
The blue room is the library furnished with a writing desk by the window. The painting represents shipbroker Lundvall and their family, while at their country mansion; “Belvedere” in 1853. Behind the entrance to the right, is a hectograph, a kind of travel duplicator. In the cupboard, you will see a Helsingør bowl. These were made in China. In Denmark, the ship was painted on the bowl and given to the captains who visited Skibsklarerergaarden.
“Hall of the Sea” is the finest living room of the house. Also here, the furniture has been placed along the wall which was custom in the early 1800s (French empire). At that time there wasn’t an unobstructed view of the Sound. Where the parking space is now, a row of trading houses and warehouses existed until the end of the 1930s.
The lodging house of the shippers’ in the exhibition case to the left at the landing, with copies of the English gold coin, a rose noble. The coin was collected by the Erik of Pommern as a charge for passing through the Sound. The Sound Toll was charged between 1429 and 1857. The room straight ahead is furnished as a room of the Shippers’ lodging house. The whole floor of the front building was the shippers’ lodging house. Only the captains were allowed to pay for a stay for a night or more. If they need more nights, or could not proceed and sail due to bad weather or no wind. On the walls to the left, there is a photostat of a target from the Shooting Society. You get the impression of the buildings at that time, on both sides of Strandgade. The Skibsklarergaarden is the third house before the fenced-off and guarded area of the custom-house. The round panes of glass in the food are so-called crown glass. You will clearly see that the glass is mouth-blown.
Walk along the water and Kulturværfte, the Culture Yard, is a striking glass-walled venue with an auditorium for concerts and theater, and spaces exhibition and meetings.
Designed by architectural firm AART architects, the Culture Yard has a sail-inspired facade of glass and steel presenting a modern, sculptured appearance. Inside, the old shipyard buildings are preserved as a historical cone of the building. Here you will find raw concrete walls, exposed ceiling beams, magnificent windows, balconies facing the harbor, and a roof terrace with a clear view towards Kronborg and its exquisite surroundings. The large modern library in the heart of the building was in 2015 named as one of Europe’s best and is an experience in itself with exhibitions, great places to take in the view, and an entire floor dedicated to children. The modern house of culture also hosts a large variety of local, national, and international culture-related events. In the entrance hall, one can find “Spisestedet”, which is the Culture Yard’s cafe. Here you can eat your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee with cake while taking in the fantastic view towards Kronborg and the sea.
It is a modern transformation of the old Shipyard, which is closely connected with other attractions, which I will be introducing below.
Elsinore’s urban space by the water with a direct view towards Sweden and the ferries that sail back and forth between Elsinore and Helsingborg. Where once there were ships being built, there is now being delivered knowledge and experiences to the public. The ambition has been for Kulturhavn Kronborg to become a diverse and unique universe to the public.
The ambition has been for Kulturhavn Kronborg to become a diverse universe that can attract visitors both locally… regionally and internationally. A node where culture, architecture, and history are reflected on each other in the shape of the Culture Yard, M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark, Kronborg Castle, and the harbor. Every year, the harbor is at the center of a range of events in which visitors can participate. Anything ranging from outdoor concerts to Hamlet theatre, guided tours, treasure hunts, and running events. The great square in front of the Culture Yard can also simply be used to relax and enjoy the moment.
On the far end of the pier in front of the Culture Yard, you will find the sculpture “HAN”. The young male figure in polished steel was created by the world-famous artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, and it has become a landmark for Kulturhavn Kronborg and Elsinore. With his posture and delicate expression, “HAN” is a clear reference to Edvard Eriksen’s sculpture, “The Little Mermaid” by Langelinie in Copenhagen. “HAN” is a clear reference to Edvard Eriksen’s sculpture. “The Little Mermaid” by Langelinie in Copenhagen. “HAN” which was unveiled in 2012, bears witness to the changes that have happened since “The Little Mermaid” came into being. And now ”HAN” heralds new, post-industrial times.
The Seabass from Oresund
The Seabass from Oresund: Yodogawa Technique: Hideaki Shibata, Kazuya Matsunsga, Yuragi Wakiya (2014) The enormous fish that was sent on a journey around the Oeresunds region was originally created in Elsinore by a group of Japanese artists called “Yodogawa Technique”’. The group focuses on making art that addresses environmental issues, global changes, and especially plastic and micro-plastic in the oceans. In the summer of 2014, the Yodogawa Technique and a group of volunteers built the huge fish out of waste. If you look carefully, you will see spare parts from cars, jerry cans, garden furniture, a ski, the base of a Christmas tree, together with a lot of old plastic toys – some even fitted with sound. As Hideaki Shibata and Kazuya Matsunaga from Yodogawa Technique explained: “We make art out of objects that people want. When viewers look at the waste, they might also think of the story it tells”.
The museum was built in 1516 and was originally a house for the sick. Today, it contains all of Elsinore’s history with a treasure trove filled with various items and exciting exhibitions.
These three pictures tell the story of the church in Elsinore from the Middle Ages through the Protestant Reformation and the time following it. Look closely, as there are many minute details.
Saint Olaf’s Church
St Olaf’s church got its present look back in 1559, and it could therefore celebrate its 450th anniversary in 2009. The oldest parts of the church wall, however, are from the 13th century.
The first church was established here on what was once the beach of the castle at the time, Orerog, before Kronborg was built over it. The church takes its name from its guardian saint, the Norwegian Viking king and national saint, Olaf the Holy, who managed to both unify and Christianise Norway.
When Erik of Pomerania began collecting the Sound Dues, Saint Olaf’s Church underwent a transformation. The church had to keep up with Elsinore’s growing importance for the country, and it was therefore expanded several times. Since 1961, Saint Olaf’s Church has formally become a cathedral, due to the fact that northern Zealand became an independent diocese.
On the east gable of the church, one can see a door leading to a burial vault. Above it, there is a skull and crossbones, the symbol of death. The French inscription reads: Thus do we all become. Inside the church, the interior is dominated by an 11.5-meter tall altarpiece from 1664. The altarpiece is constructed of 19 reliefs, depicting the life of Jesus Christ. There is also a treasure trove of Renaissance and Baroque art, such as the pulpit, from the year 1567.
Proceed from the church towards the yellow house with the large mural towards Sct. Anna Gade. The yellow house, which lies on Sct. Annagade 6, but is also facing the church, was the childhood home of the composer Diderik Buxtehude. In the years 1660-1668, he was the organist at the Church of St Mary, and he was known as one of the 17th century’s most important composers, inspiring names such as Johan Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Handel.
The paintings on the gable across from Buxtheude’s house in Sct. Annagade depicts the era of the Sound Dues. They show the cosmopolitan, rich, and very vibrant mercantile town which for the many ships that had to stop and pay the Sound Dues.
Sct. Mary’s Church and the Carmelite Priory
Sct. Mary’s Church, together with the Carmelite Priory, is one of Northern European’s best-preserved priories from the Middle Ages. The doors are open during the day, so feel free to enter.
The priory was founded in 1430, shortly after the introduction of the Sound Dues, when Erik of Pomerania invited the Carmelite monks, the so-called Whitefriars, to Elsinore. The church and priory were completed in their present form around the year 1500. After the Reformation, in 1541 the priory was converted to a hospital and a retirement home. The priory also housed Elsinore’s grammar school, and in the 1800s it was a retirement home for those deemed in worthy need. Enter the priory, and experience how the noise and worries of everyday life are replaced with inner harmony. When you stand there at the intersection, where you can choose to go one way or the other around the green priory grounds, it is as if your shoulders relax, and you can take a deep breath.
Since 1991, the priory buildings have served as the administrative building of the Elsinore diocese, and they also serve as meeting rooms for the St. Mary parish. Inside the church the floor is covered in numerous, partly worn down gravestones, which originate from the time where it was possible for wealthy citizens to buy a burial site in the church. The church’s prestigious chalk murals were made from 1440-1500. A large attraction is the church organ which was put there in 1662-63. It was this very same organ that the native son Diderik Buxtehude used while he was the church organist.
Following the Protestant Reformation, the church was at first desolate. Later, it was used as a stable for travelers’ horses. It was on the brink of being torn down, but since there were many foreigners in the city, Frederick II gave it to the German and Dutch congregation. From 1576, the sermons were performed exclusively in German. In 1851the German sermons were halted, however, but the many German inscriptions still bear witness to the long period where it served as a German church.
M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark
The M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark has, since it opened in 2013, been one of the most discussed museums both nationally and internationally. The museum, designed by the star architect Bjarke Ingels, is located inside the old Elsinore Shipyard’s dry dock, which has thus been preserved as a historical monument to the age of industrialization. Access to the building is through the bridges that are located over the dock. Follow the sloping bridges down into a colorful world with loads of exhibitions about Denmark as one of the world’s leading maritime nations, both past, and present. The splendid maritime exhibits of the museum tell their story through engaging and dramatic exhibitions with films, interactive games, and personal accounts. Here you can see, listen to, and actively experience the maritime world. You can also take a break in the museum’s cozy M/S cafe.
The museum is built as an underground room, which has been formed by the use of 3D-modeling and innovative steel and concrete constructs. A total of 461 ground anchors penetrate 40 meters into the earth in order to keep the foundation of the building steady and to prevent the groundwater from pressing the building out of its hole.
In the courtyard of the dock, the ground anchors stand as nail-like iron rods and work as both a technical solution and an architectural statement. These solutions, implemented by the consulting firm Ramboll, have been described as world-class engineering work.
The Shipyard Halls and the Red Square
The route is now back at the Culture Yard and passes through the small passage between the Culture Yard and Building 14, one of the large shipyard halls. These days, the large halls are open for new opportunities, with exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and events of all types. Among the most memorable events that have taken place is the Click Festival, which explores the intersection between art, science, and technology. The halls have also been used for the presentation of the largest design prize in the world, the INDEX:Award, which celebrates innovative design solutions from around the world. Designs that contribute towards improving human lives and securing the future of the planet.
The Shipyard Museum
The museums’ exhibitions detail the events surrounding the 101 years wherein the city’s shipyard built ships and the working class of the city grew strong. The shipyard was founded by M.C. Holm was one of Denmark’s large shipyards. The shipyard period allowed Elsinore to experience its second economic boom after the Sound Dues were scrapped. The stories from this bygone era are about toil, noise, dirt, pride, and togetherness – and also about a city where the shipyard whistle determined the pace of life. Both economically, employment-wise, socially, culturally, and politically, the shipyard was Elsinore’s natural focal print until it closed in 1983.
The impetus towards creating the Shipyard Museum came from a group of former shipyard workers, many of the members of the Danish Metalworker’s Union.
Kronborg Castle has towered above the Sound between Denmark and Sweden and played a key role in Northern European history for four centuries between the 1420s and 1857. The Renaissance castle stands majestically with its spires, towers, columns, sandstone and copper roofs. Kronborg is also world-famous as the home of Prince Hamlet in Shakepeare’s tragedy.
Kornborg is surrounded by massive fortifications, which back in their day made it one of Northern Europe’s strongest fortresses. In more recent years, large parts of the fortifications have been recreated, so that they can now be seen in their full extent. The World Heritage route goes around the castle and you can feel the power of the fortress walls and defensive bastions. In the old barrack buildings there are now stores, workshops for artisans, and cafes and restaurants. A mobile phone guide can be followed around the area, and in the old gunpowders store room there is an exhibition on the history of the fortress. On the far side of the northern mole you can find Rudolf Tegner’s statue, Herakles and the Hydra, which was completed in 1932. It requires a detour around the ramparts by Kronborg, or a trip over Scholten’s ravelin, but it is definitely highly recommended to go and see it. Hercules was the son of Zeus and the greatest of the Greek mythical heroes of old. To ensure his place on Olympus, he had to kill the monstrous Hydra. Hercules attacked with his sword, but for every head he cut off, another three grew back. There was no way this was going to end well. The residents of Elsinore have given the sculpture its own nickname: “The little guy’s fight against the tax authorities.”
Few places in the world have garnered as much drama and history in one place as Kornborg has. Here, the deadly fortress merges with the opulent Renaissance castle, while the spirit of Hamlet floats through the passageways. It is no surprise, then, that precisely this place made it on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the year 2000, a list reserved only for the world’s most important cultural heritage sites. It was the Renaissance-king Frederick II who from 1574 to 1585 managed to rebuild the old Middle Age castle Krogen so that it came to resemble a contemporary royal castle with the characteristically rich decorations of Renaissance-era architecture. The purpose was to demonstrate to everyone what a powerful king Denmark had: The master of Oresund. The King’s purpose was achieved. In just a few years, the castle’s fabulous design and copper-plated roofs and spires became world-famous, so famous in fact that the English playwright William Shakespeare near the end of the 1500s chose it as the location of his play, Hamlet.
Inside the castle, you can see Frederick II’s and Queen Sophie’s impressive royal apartments, which formed the basis for court life and parties when the King and Queen were in residence. From the royal apartments, you can move directly towards the fantastic banqueting hall, the “Hall of Dance,” which with its 62 meters in length is Northern Europe’s longest great hall. Under the castle, you will find the casemates, a large underground network of halls and tunnels where the soldiers would stay during times of war and siege. It is here that the Danish mythical hero Ogier the Dane sleeps, but he will arise and perform great deeds once more, should Denmark’s need be dire.
Elsinore’s “The Wall Speaks”
In the art project “The Wall Speaks”, the history and identity of the city are brought out on the street. Since 2012, the center of Elsinore has been graced with seventeen works of art that, both in style and theme, reflect the city’s development over the last 600 years. 10 key artworks are on display in the city that could be easily discovered on foot.
The artworks are:
- Customs of Oresund, Elsinore: Italian artists Lara Atzori and Piercarlo Carella (2012) The painting depicts the town during its heyday when merchants, shipbrokers, ferrymen, craftsmen, and sailors from all over the world contributed to its dynamic and varied life. The so-called ‘Oresnd custom’ was introduced in 1427 by King Eric of Pommern. All ships sailing through Oresund were to pay a charge to the King and later to the state which meant that all ships would put their anchors down at Elsinore to pay their custom and to stock up. Of course, this requirement had the beneficial effect of developing the city into a wealthy center of cultural and commercial activity that thrived for 400 years.
- History of the Church: Italian artists Laca Atzori and Piercarlo Carella (2012) You find yourself in the old church city center of Elsinore. Towards the East is the Cathedral Sct. Olai, built as a parish church in 1200 and funded by the fruits of herring fishing. To the West is St. Maria Church, with its distinguished murals and its especially well-preserved monastery in the North. This is where the Catholic Carmelite monks used to lead a pious life, caring about their fellow citizens. To the left-hand side of the painting, a monk helps a sick man ashore. The closed box was used for transporting ailing and infectious persons. The center of the painting depicts the period after the Reformation in 1517 where Protestantism replaced Catholicism. The monks have been expelled from the monastery which was then transformed into a hospital. The doctor dressed in black wears a mask with herbs in its long beak to avoid infections. The church was used as stables at this time until it was given over to a German congregation. To the right-hand side of the picture, the artist has produced a free interpretation of church life from the time of the Reformation up to the present day. Among other characters, the wealthy Birgitta Goye can be seen, holding a gift for the church. The murals of the music room in the monastery inspired the border of the painting. The inspiration for the painting was found in original photographs of the shipyard. It is possible to recognize several of the workers from the photographic materials.
- Time of the shipyard: US artist Garin Baker (2013) For approximately 100 years – 1883-1983 – Elsinore had a thriving shipyard which, with its approximately 3600 workers, made a clear mark on the city. Everyone knew someone who worked at the shipyard and everyone heard the every day hammering sounds that emerged from the place, following the building of the huge ships that eventually sailed out into the world. The intention of the painting that can be seen opposite the entrance of the yard by the entrance in Allegade is to create a heroic moment in time, combining human beings with the monumental task of building enormous vessels on a far larger scale. The inspiration for the painting was found in original photographs of the shipyard. It is possible to recognize several of the workers from the photography material.
- The maritime history: Spanish artist Oriol Carminal Martinez and Italian artist Piercarlo (2013) Shipping has played a major role in the history of Elsinore for many centuries. This was where the ships set sail on their way out to the world seas and it was here that they paid their Oresund customs, which provided the city and the country with great revenue. Elsinore was the city of ships, sailors, and shipbuilders. The painting is a tribute to the last 300 years of development in shipping. The painting represents three ages of Danish shipping – wooden boats with sails, steamships, and today’s container ships, from small ships with large crews and numerous manual tasks to a fully automated mastodon. Today’s container ships are now so large that they can no longer enter the ports. The model for the steamship is The Good Ship Martha, known and loved from a Danish movie from the 1960s.
- Life in Oresund: Italian Ericailcane and Bastardilla from Guatemala (2014) Elsinore is surrounded by sea. Oresund is a very special habitat because the sea bed has remained almost completely untouched. This is primarily due to the near-total restriction of fishing with trawlers since 1932, resulting in a rich environment with perfect conditions for fish and benthic. The particular character of Oresund has been an inspiration to several street artists. With brushes and paint-rollers attached to long sticks, they have painted their own interpretation of life below the surface of the water. In their own painterly, poetic way they mix myths and realism with hopes for a positive future. During the course of their preparation for the project, they studied Nordic mythology. The artists also collaborated with the museum Oeresundsakvariet and the biologists who work there. All the types of fish and plant life depicted in the mural painting are local.
- Momento Mori: Dinnsih artist hands of Elsinore (2016) Next to the church where once lay a churchyard you find yourself looking at a site-specific piece of work that suggests Kind Hamlet’s grave. In the eyes of the artist, the death of the king is the very raison d’etre for the story of Hamlet and forces the prince into the actions on which the story is based. There is a subtle element of equality in death, which the artist deals with. The title of the work “Memento mori” reproduces a term that was used, in Shakespeare’s time, as a way to remind people of their mortality. No one escapes death and, in the tragedy of Hamlet, it doesn’t matter whether you are a beggar or a king. “Memento Mori” may be an old phrase and idea but, according to the artist, it is still present and relevant to our time.
- Ophelia’s Flowers: Australian artist Fintan Magee (2016) In this mural painting the artist deals with Ophelia’s tragedy and death. Ophelia is Hamlet’s finacee and, in the fourth act of Shakespeare’s play, Ophelia describes the people around her as flowers. This is her metaphorical way of talking about her relations to these people. On the mural painting, Magee has worked with flowers as symbols. As an experienced artist, he has created a work with several levels of depth and meaning. Close up, the painting appears expressionistic, with a well of strong colors, feelings, and contrasts. If one looks at it from a greater distance, there emerges a larger and more integrated picture of all the flowers and tones which Ophelia makes use of when she describes her closest relations. The depth of the painting gives a strong impression of wet flowers in a lake, crying out and drowning in the water. In this respect, the painting is closely connected to the rest of the artist’s practice, which also deals with themes such as flooding and the flight from war and violence.
- Soul of the walls: Italian artist Eron (2016) The Italian artist Eron is a legend when it comes to street art. Through his work, he investigates how we perceive images. The bottom line is pareidolia – a phenomenon that most of us will be familiar with: the ability to see figures in a picture when they are not actually there. Eron depicts the ghost story in Elsinore, which Hamlet features. He composes his work in layers, making use of colors to evoke the viewer’s interest in decoding patterns as facial features. On our way through Elsinore, we sense the outline of the ghost. Eron makes the story of Hamlet seem very present. With a skull in one hand and a can of coke in the other one, the painting becomes an investigation into “late capitalist society”. The artist also found inspiration for his version of Hamlet in the 1948 film in which the young and handsome Laurence Olivier plays the role of Hamlet.
- The use of the public space: Anonymous Danish artist (2019) The three bronze sculptures have been created in a very whimsical manner by an anonymous artist hoping to inspire people who visit the pleasant outdoor city space of Elsinore. Using the cushion as a symbol, the artist urges passers-by to sit down and contemplate life, or simply have a bite to eat, spend time with friends or meet new and inspiring people.
- Svingelport and Simon Spies: Mexican artist Andry del Rocio and the Dutch artist Ruben Pancia (2019) Andry del Rocio is street artist who specializes in 3D imagery. Together with Ruben Poncia, she has transformed a building into a magical narration of the history of the space. The mural depicts Simon Spies (a charismatic Danis man, well known for bringing package tours on to the Danish market in the 70s) as an old man, welcoming viewers into a strange mixture of Elsinore’s historical Common Custom Market and the present flea market. The idea for this site-specific piece of work was born in Elsinore when Andry met Susanne Bogelund from Skibsklarerergaarden Museum to talk about the history of the space. She spoke about the time of the Common Custom Market and the “Svingelporten” – the old city gate situated in the southwest corner of the square where the merchants were locked in to pay customs taxes on their goods. These ideas inspired Andry to create a colorful visual mix of the past and present. The image almost fools the viewer into seeing history through new eyes. Susanne has been portrayed in historical costumes. Little figures are walking into the painting through the Svingelport. Simon Spies dispatches a plane, and a beautiful swan makes references to the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.