Frederik II who reigned from 1559 to 1588 held sumptuous banquets at Kronborg Castle. The castle was built to impress the many visitors who came from far and wide to feast with the king for days. They were treated to a wonderful spread of gourmet dishes and lashings of beer.
Before Frederik II married, his primary occupation was to try to become Scandinavia's most powerful king. For seven years, he fought an exhausting war with his rival the Swedish king Erik XIV. At the end of the war, neither of them was in a position to be able to declare himself the victor.
Frederik II spent the rest of his reign rebuilding his reputation as Scandinavia’s most powerful king in the Baltic and refilling the state coffers which were largely empty after the unsuccessful wars. With Peder Oxe’s help, Frederik II managed to make changes to the Sound Dues, so that he was able to collect a large sum of money every time a ship sailed past Elsinore. It proved to be a goldmine, and the revenues collected paid for the rebuilding of Kronborg Castle in 1588.
In 1572, Frederik II married his young queen Sophie. Their relationship was reputed to be one of the happiest royal marriages in Europe. In the first ten years of their marriage, they had seven children and the couple were inseparable. Sophie would accompany the king on most of his journeys.