Danehof 2020: The King’s Greatness and Fall

Tid: 3.-5. juli 2020
Sted: Nyborg Castle and city

Medieval market, knights and much, much more. In the first weekend of July each year, we uphold the tradition from the Middle Ages and gather in Nyborg to celebrate Danehof.

Every year, the Municipality of Nyborg and the Museums of Eastern Funen recreate an historical event that was forgotten for more than 600 years. On the first weekend in July, all of Nyborg buzzes with life and activity, just as it did in the days when the king and his men met in medieval Nyborg for the Danehof.

Danehof is an annual, historical festival in Nyborg, with its spotlight on Nyborg’s unique history as the meeting place for the Danish parliament of the Middle Ages. The festival also breathes life into this long, but long-forgotten, tradition. With a big market, events, plays, fighting shows, music and much more, Nyborg turns up the volume and the lights to show what the history of Nyborg and of the royal house was like, setting the stage for a fine experience for all ages.

Every year, an historical theme is chosen for the Danehof Festival in Nyborg. In 2020, the focus will be on King Christian ll’s grandiose ambition and plans to lead a crusade to Greenland.

Tema 2020: Christian ll and his North Atlantic ambitions

It’s 500 years ago, in 1520: Christian ll has big plans to expand his kingdom and strengthen his position as one of the most powerful princes in Europe. From the Vatican, he has just received papal permission to lead a crusade, aimed at Greenland.

The stage is set in Nyborg, the birthplace of the king. Christian ll has announced his arrival and commanded his navy’s highest-ranking officer, the Funen noble and naval hero, Søren Nordby, to meet him there. Søren Nordby has been chosen to lead a crusade to Greenland, which will bring power and riches to Denmark. Maybe it will also reveal a sea passage to India. But at the same time, unrest is brewing in Sweden, and they turn out to put bloody obstacles in the way of the king’s love of power and his ambitions.

Danehof procession 2020

The high point of the Danehof in Nyborg is the big historical procession through the town. in 2020, it will be led, for the first time, by a royal coach.

King Christian ll and his wife, the Queen, will be driven in the coach from the harbour and through the town, with all of his followers in procession after him. The naval hero, Søren Nordby, will be among them, along with townspeople, and a great many from out of town: nobles, knights and bishops; merchants selling their wares and curious, local peasants will bring up the rear.

The Danehof procession ties the historical heart of town together and draws attention to all the things that will happen during the weekend, as part of the town’s common history and identity.

Background: This is why we celebrate the Danehof in Nyborg

In the Middle Ages, the Danish king met with his parliament, the Danehof, at Nyborg Castle. Today, Nyborg Castle is the only place in the land where you can stand in the exact room where the Danehof was held in the Middle Ages. Here, at the medieval Christiansborg, Denmark’s first constitution was signed in 1282, and the kingdom’s last regicide was condemned in 1287. For almost 200 years, Nyborg Castle set the stage for all the central decisions about the destiny of Denmark.

Since 2010, there has again been a Danehof in Nyborg, and throughout these few years, the historical festival has grown. From Nyborg’s historical town centre, it has spread with activities on Nyborg’s ramparts and down to Nyborg harbour. A big market has spread out from the middle of town and carries on a tradition known back to the 1200’s, when a market was held here on Visitation Day.

The Danehof is an important part of the effort to make Nyborg Castle and town a worthy candidate to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The big event creates life and activity throughout the centre of town by reenacting the town’s unique history.

Read more about the Danehof here.

A special thank you

To the many volunteers and organizations that contribute to the Danehof Festival.


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