Posted by: landonrordam | July 31, 2009

North Zealand!

Busy day. I’ll try to keep it brief.  Basically, Søren Kierkegaard didn’t travel much, but when he did, he invariably got into his carriage and just rode up north of Copenhagen into and around his favorite forest, Gribskov.  Soo we decided to track him down. 

The first place we visited was Esrum, where an old (1100s or so) monastery is located.  Kierkegaard loved to ride around here.  It was a pretty interesting place, too.

Esrum monastery.  The place used to be huge, but most of it was torn down when the Danes switched from Catholicism to Protestantism.

Esrum monastery. The place used to be huge, but most of it was torn down when the Danes switched from Catholicism to Protestantism.

After Esrum, we visited Søborg Sø — translated litterally, Lake Castle Lake, and is actually no longer either a lake or a castle.  The castle is in ruins, and the lake was siphoned off in the 1800s for irrigation.  In fact, when Kierkegaard visited the lake, he noted that it was diminishing and predicted that it would soon be used up.  He was right!

The old Søborg Sø.  Apparently they are currently making plans to fill the lake back in.

The old Søborg Sø. Apparently they are currently making plans to fill the lake back in.

Then we went to Gilleleje, one of my favorite places in Denmark.  This is where in 1835 Søren Kierkegaard decided what he wanted to do with his life.  It’s a fishing village up in the north of the island of Zealand.  The first thing we did when we got there was have lunch, because we were starving.  We went to the harbor, and had very good seafood – I had flatfish.  Then we picked up some smoked mackerel (delicious!) for dinner that night.  After lunch we walked up on the cliffs looking out on the sea.  This was one of Kierkegaard’s favorite places to be.  Looking out onto the ocean, I could understand why.  It was FANTASTIC.  And what’s more, there is a giant monument to him up there!

A giant Søren Kierkegaard monument in Gilleleje!

A giant Søren Kierkegaard monument in Gilleleje!

And the view from the rock was incredible:

If I looked out onto this vista for 3 months, I'd probably get some seriously thinking done too.

If I looked out onto this vista for 3 months, I'd probably get some seriously thinking done too.

There was a steep staircase leading down from the 25-or-so foot cliffs, and my dad and I went down there and walked along the shore for a bit.  Then it was back in the car and heading for Kronborg!

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Elsinore – Hamlet’s castle, right?  Well “Elsinore” is a perversion of the Danish town Helsingør, and the castle Kronborg in that town is Hamlet’s castle!  What’s better, two of my favorite characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, happen to have been named after Danish noblemen that visited England!  Unfortunately for us (and you), Kronborg was closed by the time we got there.  But I got a very pretty picture of the outside.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!  They close too early!

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark! They close too early!

After looking at the outside of Kronborg, we went to Fredensborg, a summer palace for the royal family.  Unfortunately, by that point my camera had run out of batteries, but I can assure you we had a lovely time.  

Then we went and had the mackerel, and (I think) that was it for the day!  There, I kept it in check, didn’t I?

And here you go:

We were running late, so I only had time to snap this quick picture, but apparently Kierkegaard spent some time at this mill.  Isn't it lovely?

We were running late, so I only had time to snap this quick picture, but apparently Kierkegaard spent some time at this mill. Isn't it lovely?

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Responses

  1. Thank you sooo much for posting the photo with the view from the Gilleleje rock. I’ve been looking for such a view for quite a long time – I plan to paint a series of some landscapes Soren wrote about in his works, or that were important for him, including Gilleleje, Grib Skov, Lake Peblinge and so on. With your photo, it seems I’ve found what I’ve been looking for!

  2. That sounds like a fantastic project! I would love to see the paintings after they’re done!

    As for the pictures, I’ve actually taken quite a few. In a couple of weeks or so, I’ll be back in the USA and be able to get back to the other blog… I’m barely keeping my head above water with this one right now, what with the travelling and everything. But there will more Kierkegaard-related updates on that blog. If you would like my other pictures, I will gladly email them to you after I get back in the states. I’ll even try to catch a few good shots of Peblinge Sø – I’m staying right by there.

  3. Well, I’ve already two paintings done, and as soon as you’ll be home I will be glad to email them to you and see the other stuff! But, it’s nothing worthy… nothing professional, I mean. Anyway I’m having lot of fun, especially because I’ve taken back paper and colors after a lot of time (and, really, I’ve to thank SK for the inspiration!). Let’s stay in touch…

  4. By the way – I’ll send you a couple of photos of the place where S. lived in Berlin 1841 (right?). I live very close to Berlin and went on purpose to visit the place as a sort of pilgrimage… 🙂


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