The history of Nyborg

Photo: Østfyns Museer

In Nyborg Kings and Queens have lived in lots of years. The first Danish Constitution was signed in the great hall on Nyborg Castle and Nyborg has once been the capitol of Denmark. Sounds interesting? Continue the reading and learn more about the exiting history of Nyborg. 

Nyborg Castle in the strategic hub

There’s no getting away from the significant role Nyborg Castle has played in the history of Denmark. Nyborg Castle was founded under the rule of Valdemar Sejr (1202–41) in around 1200. The castle was built adjacent to one of the kingdom’s most important hubs: by the crossing through and across the Great Belt – at the heart of the kingdom of Denmark. Both routes could be monitored and controlled from the tower on Nyborg Castle.

The Christiansborg of the Middles Ages

By virtue of its central location, Nyborg Castle was chosen as the meeting place for the so-called Danehof, the country’s legislative and judicial assembly. Here, the king met with representatives of the church, the nobility and the people. The Danehof was the parliament of that time and served as
the medieval Christiansborg in the days of the itinerant court or travelling kingdom. Danehof was held at Nyborg Castle until 1413. In 1282, the Kingdom’s first constitution was signed at Nyborg Castle.

Seat of the royal power

During the reign of King Hans (1481–1513) and Queen Christine, Nyborg again became central to the royal power, and in 1525 – under Frederik 1 (1523–33) – the town was designated as a permanent royal town of residence. Christian III (1534–59) remodelled and extended Nyborg Castle and town, rendering it worthy of a new and strengthened royal power after the Reformation in 1536. Nyborg Castle was extended to include a splendid, new great hall, and a large tournament square (the current square) was built in front of the castle as part of an impressive mirror of princes intended to showcase the royal power. Christian III also built the King’s Quay so that the king and his entourage could arrive in style.

The garrison’s armoury

In the 1560s, the royal power moved to North Zealand. The Swedish wars in the 1650s took their toll on Nyborg Castle, and the castle was abandoned as a royal residence. Instead, the castle served as a storage facility and armoury for the military in the town until 1913. During this time, parts of the castle complex were demolished.

Cultural heritage monument

In 1915, the National Museum of Denmark began extensive restoration and regeneration work on Nyborg Castle. The work ceased in 1923 due to lack of funding. The castle was then opened to the public as a museum. In 1918, the castle, the ramparts and a number of other historic buildings in the
town were listed.

At the heart of the kingdom of Denmark

Under the header Nyborg – At the heart of the kingdom of Denmark, focus will now be placed on the history of Nyborg as a hub and meeting place in Denmark. A history that has defined the town for more than 800 years. Efforts are under way to make Nyborg Castle and town a candidate for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

The castle project – restoration and refurbishment

Nyborg is currently undergoing a transformation. The unique cultural heritage of the castle and the town must be protected and made even more visible. Nyborg Castle is therefore currently under restoration and expansion. The royal wing with its historic halls is being restored to perfection. A new ring wall will recreate the former courtyard, and the watchtower will be raised so that you can again look out over the Great Belt. The castle reopens in 2021.
Nyborg’s central square in front of the town hall is being transformed into a beautiful, open space, re-establishing the connection between the castle and the tournament square – and the rest of the town.
Information about the castle project is provided at an information pavilion at the castle, where you can follow the project and learn about its current status. And even while we’re building, there will be plenty to experience in the royal town of Nyborg.