M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark

The M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark (Danish: M/S Museet for Søfart) is a maritime museum located in Helsingør, Denmark. Established in 1915, its collections cover Danish trade and shipping from the 15th century to the present day.

M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark
M/S Museet for Søfart
Interior of the museum (2014)
Former nameDanish Maritime Museum
Established1915 (1915)
LocationHelsingør, Denmark
Coordinates56°02′21″N 12°36′56″E
OwnerSelf-governing institution[1][2]

The museum was originally located at Kronborg Castle. In 2013, the museum moved into new underground premises designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) around a former dry dock.[3] Until 31 December 2011, the museum was known as Handels- og Søfartsmuseet (literally "The Trade and Maritime Museum"),[4][5] which was officially translated as the Danish Maritime Museum.[6]


Model ships, paintings, photographs and related artifacts illustrate the Napoleonic Wars as well as Danish trade with China and India. Special exhibitions are devoted to navigation, the Danish lifeboat service, lighthouses, shipbuilding, and the sailor's life since the 16th century. The museum also has several thousand paintings, a collection of over 33,000 photographs illustrating virtually all Danish ships since 1880, and a library of 20,000 volumes.[3]

New museum

A new museum designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) opened in October 2013. Located in a former Helsingør dry dock, it is placed in an underground area of 7,600 square metres (82,000 sq ft) with an interior designed by Dutch architects Kossmann.dejong. Equipped with teaching facilities, workshops and a café, the museum also hosts conferences and cultural events.

BIG' decision to build underground was the result of height restrictions imposed on the design in order to protect the viewshed of nearby Kronborg. The old dry dock, 150 metres (490 ft) long, 25 metres (82 ft) wide and 9 metres (30 ft) deep, proved to be an ideal location but it was first necessary to reinforce the old dock walls before constructing the museum on its periphery. The dock itself will remain an empty space crossed by ramps and bridges providing access to the museum and the exhibition areas. The overall intention is to give the museum the feel of a ship's deck. The competition jury welcomed the proposal, believing it would create a world-class maritime museum for Denmark. Financed by 11 foundations, construction work began in September 2008 and the museum finally was opened on 5 October 2013.[7]


Culture Harbour Kronborg

Kulturhavn Kronborg is an effort of 2013 to offer a variety of culture experiences to residents and visitors to Helsingør. Kulturhavn Kronborg is a joint initiative[12] by Kronborg Castle, Danish Maritime Museum, kulturværftet and Helsingør harbour.


  1. "Presse". mfs.dk (in Danish). M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 2018-01-16. Museet er en statsanerkendt og selvejende institution.
  2. "M/S Museet for Søfart" (in Danish). Danish Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  3. "Exhibition & Collection" Archived 2011-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, The Danish Maritime Museum. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  4. Asmussen, Benjamin (2012-01-04). "Fra Handels- og Søfartsmuseet til Museet for Søfart". Fyrskibet.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  5. "Background". mfs.dk. M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  6. The Danish Maritime Museum at the Wayback Machine (archived 2011-10-07)
  7. "Danish Maritime Museum, Denmark", designbuild-network.com. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  8. "2014 Winners". Architizer A+ Awards. Archived from the original on 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  9. "The Best New Buildings". RIBA. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  10. "WAF Unveils Day 2 Award Winners". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  11. "Top 1+ Exhibition Designs". Frame. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  12. Culture Harbour Kronborg Archived 2014-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
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