Elsinore, Or Elsineur(Dan. Helsingor), a maritime town of Denmark, in the bailiwick of Frederiksborg, island of Seeland, 23 m. N. E. of Copenhagen; lat. 56° 2' N, Ion. 12° 38' E.; pop. in 1870, 8,891. It is built on the narrowest part of the Sound, here but 3 1/2 m. in width, opposite the Swedish town of Helsingborg. It commands the principal passage between the Cattegat and the Baltic, and is the spot where the Sound dues (abolished in 1857) were formerly paid by all foreign vessels, except those of Sweden, navigating that channel. The town is substantially but irregularly built on ground rising gradually from the shore. The harbor is very small, but has a depth of 18 ft. The roadstead is excellent, and is generally crowded with vessels, and there is a large foreign commerce. Adjacent to the harbor, on the N. E., on a tongue of land running out into the sea, is the castle of Kronborg, built by Frederick II. about 1580. Modern fortifications have since added to its strength. It is now chiefly used as a prison. Caroline Matilda, queen of Christian VII., was imprisoned here until the interference of her brother, George III. of England. Under the castle are casemates capable of holding 1,000 men.
According to a popular tradition, Hol-ger Danske, the legendary hero of Denmark, resides in one of the subterranean vaults. In the courtyard of the castle is the lighthouse, showing a fixed light 113 ft. above the sea. A short distance N. W. of the town is the palace of Marienlyst (Mary's delight), once a royal residence, but now in private occupation. Near by is shown a pile of rocks, erroneously called the tomb of Hamlet, of whose story, as told by Shakespeare, Elsinoro is the scene. Local industry is mostly engaged in the refining of sugar and brandy, printing cottons, fishing, etc.; and there is an extensive manu-factory of arms at Hammerwolle in the suburbs. - Elsinoro was erected into a city in 1425; was taken and burned by the forces of Lubeck in 1522, and was retaken in 1535 by Christian II. It was enlarged by Dutch colonists in 1576. The castle was taken Sept. 6, 1058, by the Swedes, under the orders of Wrangel, but was restored to the Danes in 1660. It failed to prevent the passage of the British fleet under Sir Hyde Parker, with Nelson as his second in command, in 1802.