Around 1580, Frederik II commissioned about 40 tapestries featuring no fewer than 113 Danish kings. He had been provoked by the Swedish king, Erik XIV, who had presented a proposal for a similar series featuring no fewer than 143 Swedish kings. Erik XIV had reached this high number by laying claim to Noah as the progenitor of the Swedish royal line. In the end, Erik only managed to produce four tapestries.
Frederik II was far more successful and produced the whole series of Danish royal tapestries. They were specially woven for Kronborg by Hans Knieper of Antwerp. All the kings on Frederik II's list are included in the series, including Frederik II himself and his son, who was to become Christian IV. To reach such a high number, Frederik II included all sorts of legendary kings.
Fourteen of the 40 King's Tapestries have survived, seven of which are kept at Kronborg and seven at the National Museum in Copenhagen
The tapestries are on public display during Kronborg's hours of opening.
Read more about the tapestries in: The King Tapestries. Pomp & propaganda at Kronborg Castle. Buy the book in the museum shop.
Last updated:: Monday, July 23, 2012