On the way to Kronborg Castle from Helsingor St, I passed a unique glass balustrade and mysterious concrete structures underground. While searching for the M/S Maritime Museum, I found myself walking into the mysterious concrete structure! It was the M/s Maritime Museum! Based on Copenhagen Card’s site, M/S Maritime Museum has been named as “a cutting-edge cultural venue” by New York Times and “one of the eight greatest new museums” by BBC. It is an underground museum shaped like a ship.
Previously the Kronborg Castle housed the M/S Maritime Museum which was founded in 1915. After the designation of the Kronborg Castle as UNESCO Heritage Site, the museum was relocated to a nearby dry dock which had a history of serving the city’s shipbuilding industry. Elsinore or Helsingor plays an important role in Danish maritime history as the Kronborg castle served for centuries as a point to collect tolls and passing ships.
I had my Copenhagen Card scanned at the entrance. I kept my bag in the locker and spent more time than expected browsing through the souvenir shops located at the entrance. The souvenir shop of M/S Maritime Museum is a good place to buy souvenirs. By default, I did not expect much from maritime museums. As a person who enjoys exploring decommissioned-ships-turned-museums, I thought it would not do any harm to visit the M/S Maritime Museum as it is included in the Copenhagen Card. The interactive museum galleries surprised me as I ended up spending longer time than expected exploring the museum.
With a centred mini red lighthouse, lighting assisted video was projected on the wall to show the history of shipping in Denmark. Saphire blue light illuminated the space to invoke the feel of sailing in the open ocean. The wave sounds filled the soundscapes. Slipped into a dreamy mode, I time-travelled to live a sailor’s life.
The exhibits consist of miniatures donning sailor uniform, comics and cartoons of sailor’s life, the Danish myths told to the children, nostalgic letters sent by the sailors to their loved ones, the activities done by the sailors on board the ship and the nameplates of the ships, which were name after women’s names. There were also ship models of various Danish ships, maps, sea navigation tools and compasses.
M/S Maritime Museum is not only meant for adults. The galleries are interactive and child friendly. In fact, there is a 400m2 maritime play area known as “The Dream Ship”. The Dream Ship is supported by the Nordea Foundation and the Lauritzen Foundation.
M/S Maritime Museum is not to be missed if you are visiting Copenhagen!