Christian IV

Christian IV was the King of Denmark and Norway from 1588; crowned in 1596. Son of Frederik II and Sophie of Mecklenburg. He was married to Anna Cathrine of Brandenburg who died in 1612. He later married Kirsten Munk, in 1615. He was the father of more than 20 children, Frederik III and Leonora Christine among them.

Christian IV had received a thorough education by the time he was crowned. He sought to strengthen his kingdom, for example by giving good conditions for trade. He tried through military means to make Denmark the leading Baltic power but his intervention in the Thirty Years War in 1625-1626 misfired badly. After that, Sweden gradually became the leading power among the Nordic countries. In a naval battle against a Swedish fleet in 1644, the King lost his right eye.

Christian IV was one of the most colourful and popular kings in Danish history. He was very interested in culture, not least music. He was a very active builder too; during his reign several new towns were founded and many important buildings were erected, for example the Børsen, the Round Tower and Rosenborg, where he died.