Koldinghus History Center

Koldinghus History Center is a permanent exhibition about the history and restoration of the castle. The story is told in words and pictures, original pieces and a few replicas, in a video and last but not least in a number of models which tells the history and various stages of the castle better than words. The models are built by architect Lars Rothenburg and ceramist Ulla Gravesen. The historical building consultant MA, Mogens Vedsø provided valuable advice regarding the oldest building periods.

Thanks to Bikubenfonden who has enabled the creation of this exhibition.


Koldinghus 2003

Koldinghus today


Koldinghus 1880

After the fire of 1808, the castle lay in ruins. The heavy roofs crushed

everything beneath them when they fell, and half of the Great Tower crashed down through the Great Hall and the chapel. The castle was not rebuilt, and in 1831 it was decided that the ruins should be preserved as a monument to the past. One of the two hero sculptures still standing in their places atop the tower fell down in a storm in 1854.

In 1874, the walls of the south wing were leaning so much it was decided that the section at risk of falling should be torn down to prevent a complete collapse. In 1879, the garden tower on the south-west corner of the south wing collapsed.

The Stableyard did not burn and was used in the nineteenth century for military and civilian purposes. 

Koldinghus 1725

During the period 1715–23, a major renovation project was carried out at Koldinghus. The aim was to transform the Renaissance building into a castle distinguished by the simple palace style of the Baroque. Garrets and gables were removed, and the outdoor privies disappeared. All four wings now had three floors.

A sandstone portal was installed in the middle of the west wing, intended to mark the new main entrance to the castle. An enormous staircase planned for the area behind the portals was never built, however, as Koldinghus was, by this time, no longer one of Denmark's important royal residences. For this same reason, there was no longer any need for the imposing Great Hall, which was divided into several smaller rooms instead. The royal family preferred the palaces in Copenhagen and northern Zealand, and Koldinghus was used primarily for short stays during infrequent travels through the kingdom.

The Renaissance gables and the low corner towers of the Stableyard were gone by this stage. 

Koldinghus 1625

In 1597, the north wing was destroyed by fire, and the rebuilding of this wing marked the introduction of the significant building work undertaken by King Christian IV at Koldinghus. A floor was added to the north wing, making it the same height as the other wings. The Great Tower was then erected, taking its Danish name – Kæmpetårnet – from the four ancient heroes placed on top of the tower. The Great Tower could be seen from far away, and was intended to mark the border between King Christian IV's two realms – the Duchy of Schleswig and the province of North Jutland.

In addition, new stone stair turrets were erected, and an external stair turret on the west end of the south wing provided access to the bath that the king had built in the garden outside the castle. The entrance doors from the castle park were transformed by means of lavishly decorated sandstone portals painted in a variety of colours.

The main entrance to the castle through the east wing of the stableyard was highlighted by two low square towers, crowned by “balconies” corresponding to the balustrade on the Great Tower.

Koldinghus was still one of the most important castles in the kingdom, and often served as an official residence for King Christian IV.

Koldinghus 1585

In the 1540s, King Christian III had Koldinghus rebuilt. The old-fashioned strongholds were no longer able to serve their purpose. The ceiling of the marksmen's gallery in the west wing was raised, and the room converted into the Great Hall. The defensive works were dismantled, and two new wings were erected on top of the filled-in moats. One of these wings was built to the south and the other to the east, and another building was erected to connect the new east wing with the old north wing. Stair turrets were built facing the castle courtyard. The square extensions to the south wing are “privies”, i.e. latrine pits. At this time, the castle was whitewashed for the first time, and the roof was covered in slate.

Outside the castle was a gatehouse and a larger building, called the “block course”, where ball games were played. The entrance to a passage was located in this building, so that people could go from the castle to the castle park at the south of the Stableyard without being seen from outside.

The Stableyard was the same size as it is today, and the gate leading through the east wing served as the main entrance to the castle. The king's horses and carriages were kept in the Stableyard. The buildings that served as the castle farm were located to the east of the castle lake.

Koldinghus 1500

Next to nothing is known about what Koldinghus looked like during the first two centuries of its existence. This model shows how the castle might have appeared at the end of the fifteenth century.

The north wing was erected by King Christoffer of Bavaria in the 1440s. In the 1470s, King Christian I built the west wing with its marksmen's gallery on the top floor, and the two wings were connected by a ring wall with a marksmen's walkway. No trace of the gate tower has ever been found, but there must have been one. Just outside the ring wall was the inner moat.

Nothing is known about the buildings that stood on the stableyard hill during the Middle Ages. However, the hill was surrounded by a moat and the buildings thus belonged to the castle.

Medvirkende ved etableringen af Koldinghus Historiecenter

Sponsor: Bikubenfonden
Arkitekt: Tegnestuen Mejeriet - Chris Fløe Svenningsen og Susanne Magelund
Tekster: Museet på Koldinghus - Vivi Jensen og Poul Dedenroth-Schou
Video: Sydproduktion - (Lisbeth Weitemeyer og Flemming Nørregaard)
Modeller: Lars Rothenborg og Ulla Gravesen
Bygningshistorisk konsulent: Mogens Vedsø
Oversættelse: Word Design og Christine Loch
Belysning: Nordisk Solar A/S
Plancher: LH Reklame
Murer: J.M.A. Byg I/S
Maler: Ove Jæger A/S
Tømrer: Henning Kiilerich
El: Møhler & Strøh
Montrer: J. Bissenbakker Maskinfabrik A/S

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Opening Hours

Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.



80 DKK


64 DKK


40 DKK


Free admission for children and youngsters under 18 years.


Parking facilities for visitors of the museum are outside The Stableyard.


Parking fee: 11 DKK per hour.


Two parking spaces in the stableyard are reserved for cars for disabled people.



Koldinghus 1
DK - 6000 Kolding

GPS-coordinat: 55˚ 29’ 26˚N, 9˚ 28’ 20˚E


Find your way to the museum »


Museet på Koldinghus
Koldinghus 1

6000 Kolding
Postboks 91

Tlf. 0045 76 33 81 00
E-mail: museum@koldinghus.dk



Tlf: 0045 75 50 47 98

E-mail: info@koldinghus.dk