Explore Denmark's impenetrable fortress protected for eternity by the Oath of Kärnan...
|Theme Park||Hansa Park|
|Park Area||Die Reiche des Nordens|
|Opened||1 July 2015|
|Max Speed||79 mph|
Part walkthrough, part dark ride, part rollercoaster - Hansa Park's Kärnan is more an immersive experience than simply a ride.
It was built in 2015 as Gerstlauer's first ever hypercoaster scale ride based on their popular Infinity rollercoaster model, and was the most expensive project ever conceived at Hansa Park.
The story behind the Oath (Schwur) of Kärnan is based upon a legend from the Hanseatic League, the powerful German confederation that grew to dominate maritime trade in the Middle Ages.
Cruel and conceited King Erik of Denmark commissioned a great castle to be built, swearing that it would be so strong it would be unconquerable by any of Denmark's enemies. The fortress was constructed by Kärnan, a master builder who discovered an ancient spell which could be cast over the castle and make it invincible as the king desired, although it came at a high price. Before the king had even heard what needed to be paid, he had arrogantly agreed to the conditions. His body quickly accelerated into old age and died soon afterwards, but his unwitting sacrifice had fulfilled the oath and gifted Denmark an impenetrable castle that still stands to this day.
Before boarding the ride, visitors pass through a fully themed queueline which takes them through the castle, following in the footsteps of a group of scientists who have been conducting research into Kärnan's curse and have recently discovered a hidden shaft. The impressive theming is complemented with an IMAScore soundtrack which was recorded in Budapest and features a 64 piece orchestra and 40 person choir.
In the station comes the only major annoyance of the ride: Spectacle wearing guests are made to remove their glasses, with no exceptions being made even for those secured with glasses straps. This is particularly annoying because of the ride's pre-lift hill dark ride section which guests with less than 20/20 vision will sadly miss out on.
Kärnan's 79 metre tall tower encloses the rollercoaster's 73 metre vertical lift. This comes with the added surprise of more special effects and the train dropping backwards in a reverse freefall before being sent over the top and out of the tower.
This impressive start leads on to the main rollercoaster layout. It features an eye-catching heart shaped element complete with huge non-inverting loop. At points the train skims low to the ground and spends part of its time over a body of water before concluding with a hidden heartline roll inside a finale show building. In contrast to what has come before though, disappointingly the actual rollercoaster element of Kärnan is a bit rough. Thankfully though, the lapbar restraints prevent everything getting too uncomfortable.
Kärnan shares several similarities with Hansa's Fluch von Novgorod Euro-Fighter which was built in 2009. Both come from Gerstlauer and feature themed indoor dark ride sections, although Kärnan is on a much grander scale than its predecessor. It's as if Hansa Park saw what they achieved with Novgorod and decided they could do even better!
Overall, Der Schwur Des Kärnan is a remarkable ride experience. The views that visitors get as they approach the ride are impressive, with the castle's tower dominating The Realms of the North section of the park. While the actual rollercoaster part is let down by the way it rattles unceremoniously around the track, the incredible queueline, initial dark ride section and reverse drop down the lift hill are spectacular.
Karnan's entrance gate
Huge heart shaped element
Inside the castle
Please do your job!
Plan of the castle
Visitors watch a train exiting the tower
Navigating the heart
High speed train
Riding the coaster
Merchandise for sale in the Kärnan gift shop