Christian IV King of Denmark and Norway

Christian IV in 1630-40. King of Denmark.

Christian IV (1577-1648) was King of Denmark and Norway from 1588 to 1648. He was the eldest son of King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway and his wife Sophie of Mecklenburg, a descendant of Frederick I of Denmark. With a reign of over 59 years, Christian IV has the longest reign of any Danish king.

Christian IV worked actively to strengthen his kingdom, partly by providing favourable conditions for trade. In military terms, he tried to make Denmark the leading power in northern Europe, but his participation in the Thirty Years’ War was a complete failure and Sweden gradually took over as the leading power in the Nordic region.

Although his reign was characterised by military defeats and economic decline, Christian IV remains one of the most prominent, popular and admired kings in the royal line. This is not least because he was a very active builder. He founded many new towns and built a number of important buildings, including the Royal Armoury, Rosenborg Palace, Børsen, Holmen’s Church, Nyboder and the Round Tower. In addition to founding the cities of Kristiansand, Kristianstad, Kristianopel, Christianshavn and Glückstadt, he also initiated the construction of the castles of Frederiksborg and Halmstad. He also had a strong cultural interest.

Christian married Princess Anna Cathrine of Brandenburg in 1597 and, after her death, the noblewoman Kirsten Munk in 1615. With his wives and mistresses he had more than 20 children.

Source: “Sheets for costume design: historical and folk costumes. Published by Franz Lipperheide, 1876-1887.

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