NYBORG is small and easily navigated and you'll have no trouble finding your way to Nyborg Slot (daily: July 10am–5pm; June & Aug 10am–4pm; April– May & Sept– Oct 10am–3pm; 30kr, for joint ticket with Mads Lerches Gård 45kr; Web: www.museer-nyborg.dk ), built around 1200 by Valdemar the Great as part of a chain of coastal fortresses to guard against Wend piracy. For more than two hundred years, the Danehof – a summertime national assembly involving king, clergy and nobility – met here (and in 1282 drew up the first Danish constitution), which effectively made Nyborg the Danish capital until 1443, when power moved to Copenhagen. The castle bears little evidence of those years, however. Many of the surrounding fortifications have been turned into ordinary homes and all that remains on view is the narrow building holding the living quarters, its distinctive harlequin brickwork a result of 1920s restoration. Inside, low-beamed chambers lead into an expansive attic; the rooms themselves are much more evocative of the past than the odd table, chest, or suit of armour with which they are decorated. English-language tours (June– Aug Wed & Sat 2pm; rest of the year Sat 2pm; free) of the castle take you through all its nooks and crannies.
With the bright lights of Odense just 25km away to the west, there's little temptation to spend a night in Nyborg. If you decide to do so, though, there's the reasonably priced Villa Gulle, stervoldgade 44 (Tel:65 30 11 88, Web: www.villa-gulle.dk ; Price: Kr500-650, en-suitePrice: Kr650-900), and there's a beachside campsite (Tel:65 31 07 56, Web: www.strandcamping.dk ; April– Sept) at Hjejlevej 99. For further information, drop in to the tourist office at Torvet 9 (mid-June to mid-Aug Mon– Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9.30am–2pm; rest of the year Mon– Fri 9am–4pm, Sat 9.30am–12.30pm; Tel:65 31 02 80, Web: www.nyborgturist.dk ).