As you travel the half-kilometre distance along the causeway to Kalø Castle Ruins you are also travelling 700 years back in time.
The longest medieval road in Denmark
Arriving at the end of the longest medieval road in Denmark, which was constructed at the same time as the castle, you can easily imagine the life that went on behind the castle walls. King Erik Menved (1274-1319) had the castle built after he had defeated a Jutland peasants’ revolt in 1313.
The power of the king
The castle is quite modern, e.g. with a flanking tower: the first of its kind in Denmark. Kalø Castle was impressive and nearly impregnable. However, in reality, the castle was built to keep domestic enemies under control, i.e. peasants led by noblemen: the selfsame people the King had forced to build the castle for him in the first place.
The prisoner king
The most famous prisoner held at the castle was Gustav Vasa, who was imprisoned here from 1518 to 1519, when he escaped. Gustav Vasa was later to become the King of Sweden. Until the introduction of an absolute monarchy in 1660, Kalø Castle served as the manor for all of Djursland.
Recycling the castle
When the castle was demolished, the stones were spread throughout Denmark and reused e.g. to build Charlottenborg Palace in Copenhagen.
The landscape formed by the ice
The forests around Kalø Vig include the forest of Hestehave, which offers a view of the castle ruins and the less well-known forest of Ringelmose on the other side of the Molsvej road. The entire area is situated beneath moraines that were formed during the Young Baltic ice advance.
The landscape around the inlet seems almost to form an amphitheatre, with seats up on the hills near Rønde town and the inlet and the castle ruins forming the stage. The picturesque Mols Bjerge form the backdrop.