Frederik II

Frederik II was the King of Denmark and Norway from 1559. Son of Christian III and Queen Dorothea of Saxony-Lauenburg. In 1572 he was married to Sophie of Mecklenburg, with whom he had Christian IV.

Frederik II was mostly concerned with foreign politics. The Nordic Seven Years War in 1563-1570 against Sweden was in reality undecided, but after the war Denmark-Norway stood as the strongest Baltic power. Frederik then strove to keep the Kingdom in that position. Furthermore, he became one of the leading Protestant princes in Northern Europe but his attempts to create a powerful Protestant alliance against the Catholics did not succeed.

In the 1570’s he erected the strong fortress of Kronborg at Elsinore, and during the same period the Danish navy became one of the largest and most modern in Europe. As part of his effort to strengthen his Kingdom, he gave much support to science and culture. For example, the astronomer Tycho Brahe received backing from Frederik II.