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Sleeping in Denmark
November 13, 2009 - Chuck Hunt
Interviewing one of Blue Earth Area High School's foreign exchange students, Laura Nielsen, of Denmark, brought back memories of a trip to that country in 2000. Specifically, the City of Helsingore, which in English is called Elsinore. That is where Laura lives. The 80,000 population city is about an hour north of Copenhagen and is famous as the setting for Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. But Elsinore is noted in Denmark for another interesting item. The city is right on the sea channel that separates Denmark from Sweden. In fact, one can easily see Sweden just across the channel. On a clear day you can see buildings and traffic, etc. On the point of land jutting into the channel, is the Kroneborg Castle, built in the 1500s. It is meant to protect Denmark. And, in the lower dungeon area of the castle, is a secret. A giant ivory colored statue of a Viking warrior sitting on a throne can be seen. He is known as Holger the Dane, and he is obviously sleeping, with a lit lantern by his feet. The legend is, Holger was a mighty warrior king. He rests now in the depths of Kroneborg Castle, and if Denmark is ever attacked, he will awaken and lead the Danes in victory over their enemies. Sounds like a great story to me. And I am sure all of the Danes sleep much better, and feel much safer, knowing Holger is at the ready.
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