The castle was originally a fortress, which was built around the year 1170 due to its strategic position when defending the nation. During the 13th and 14th century the fortress was gradually expanded and was both under Danish and German rule. From 1532 to 1549 the strong fortress was transformed into a prison for the Danish King Christian the 2nd. In 1550 King Christian the 3rd and Queen Dorothea started the reconstruction of the fortress to a castle in Renaissance style with a castle church, which was one of the first protestant chapels in Scandinavia. Later the castle was taken over by Duke Hans the Younger in 1571, until it finally belonged to the Danish crown after the bankruptcy of the duchy. After being simplified into a baroque castle, the building functioned as both barracks, infantry barracks and dungeon during various wars. After the reunion in 1920 the castle was sold to the Danish government.
Today the castle has been transformed into a museum about the history of South Jutland with varying exhibitions from the Middle Ages until present day. When visiting the historical museum you will be entering different eras of the castle, experiencing the dungeon, the knights' hall and the castle church along the way. The permanent exhibitions portrait the meaningful events such as the war in 1864, First World War and the Reunion in 1920.
The historical tilting lane is laying alongside the eastern wall of the castle. The lane was built as a copy from a copperplate. Each Tuesday from 2 July to 6 august 2019 you can see a free show, where riders in medieval costumes compete. The show begins at 5 pm and lasts about 30 minutes; thereafter there is time top at the horses.