To the east of Nørreport proper is the beautiful early-17th-century Rosenborg Slot with its fairy-tale moat-and-garden setting. It was built between 1606 and 1633 by King Christian IV in Dutch Renaissance style to serve as his summer home. A century later King Frederik IV, who felt cramped at Rosenborg, built a roomier palace north of the city in the town of Fredensborg. In the years that followed, Rosenborg was used mainly for official functions and as a place in which to safeguard the monarchy’s heirlooms.
In the 1830s the royal family decided to open the castle to visitors as a museum, while still using it as a treasury for royal regalia and jewels. It continues to serve both functions today.
The 24 rooms in the castle’s upper levels are chronologically arranged, housing the furnishings and portraits of each monarch from Christian IV to Frederik VII. In the basement is the dazzling collection of crown jewels. There’s Christian IV’s ornately designed crown, the jewel-studded sword of Christian III and Queen Margrethe II’s emeralds and pearls.