The privately owned island Slotø is best known for the now ruined fortress, Engelsborg, erected on the orders of King Hans in 1509-10. This fortress is a very special combination of a shipyard and fortress. It was purposely built here since ships could be launched without problems due to water depths of up to 8 meters just outside the fortress. Combined with the fact that the navigable channel to Nakskov was midway between Slotø and Vejlø so the cannons on the fortress could protect the entrance to Nakskov, which was then one of the country's main maritime towns, it was a good location. Especially as at that time, all of northWest Lolland was covered by vast forests, so there was plenty of marine timber which could easily be floated to the island.
Coming ashore, one can guess that the shipyard slipways were between the two flanking walls that previously ran into the water. The fortress tower with 3 meter thick walls is still in evidence. Numerous arrow slits can be seen. There are still holes to be seen in the arrow slits, created when heavy oak baulks were walled in. These beams could take the recoil from the cannons of the day. These cannons were called ’stone guns’, as they fired round stones. Behind the fortress can be seen the remains of the moat, which originally consisted of two excavations, which went into the water. The bottom of the moat was probably protected by hammered-down sharpened oak pilings, to prevent the enemy from entering via the moat.
Engelsborg is definitely worth a visit, as one feels transported to a completely different era when shipwrights built some of the first Danish warships.
There is an information board on the island.
A short stay on Slotø underway with the Post boat tour is possible, or alternatively, you can go on one of the many guided tours, where a lot of information about the fortress is given.
Much more can be learnt about the ruin of Slotø at Ole Bengtson’s website where Engelsborg is covered intensively. See also the fine 3D animations under ’terrain’ See more here.
Note: There is only access to the ruin area, the rest of the island is privately owned.