This period was not only the end of a century but also the last part of an period of prosperity. It was also a time of peace, with a pause in the otherwise regular wars with Sweden. Frederik II, who had been King since 1559, therefore concentrated on securing the Danish position of power in the Nordic region. The conversion of the medieval castle “Krogen” to Kronborg in the decade from 1574 was aimed at strenghtening the control over Oresund.
When Frederik died in 1588, his son, Christian IV, was still a minor and a regency was installed. Christian IV was crowned in 1596, and the celebrations were more lavish than anything seen before in Denmark. At the same time, however, a power struggle between the aristocracy and the royal power was beginning to grow.
Art and architecture in Denmark were first and foremost inspired by the Dutch Renaissance. Many artists from the Low Countries were called to Denmark, where they headed all important projects, of which the conversion and design of Kronborg was the largest.