Cobblestone streets from Helsingor in Denmark.

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Fascinating Helsingør commands the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound that separates Denmark from today's Sweden. In the 15th and 16th centuries the city became immensely wealthy by taxing shipping that had to pass this way between the Baltic Sea and the open ocean. For a sizeable town, Helsingør has done a pretty good job of maintaining mementoes of its medieval character, best appreciated by strolling through the grid of narrow cobbled streets between the harbour and the bustling shopping core. Here, half-timbered back-alley houses lean precariously behind towering hollyhocks and creeping ivy. The main sight, however, is the gigantic Kronborg Slot, made famous as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, although the intimate psychological nature of the play is a far cry from the real-life military colossus.


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