Copenhagen's Cathedral - 'The Church of Our Lady'

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*
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COPENHAGEN'S CATHEDRAL - 'The Church of Our Lady'
20 - worth seeing sites
 
COPENHAGEN'S CATHEDRAL
The statue of Christ and the beautiful baptismal font made of Italian marble by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

 
 
Copenhagen's Cathedral - 'The Church of Our Lady'

Church since 1209

On the site where Copenhagen’s Cathedral (The Church of Our Lady) is located - the area has housed several churches since 1209. The Cathedral has been rebuilt four times - after the first church from 1209 of limestone - placed on the highest spot in town - burnt down and was reconstructed in 1316 - then when the second church was razed by a great fire in 1728 together with five other churches in Copenhagen and rebuilt in 1738 - and finally during the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 - when the spire was hit by a Congreve rocket and nearly burnt the church down to the ground.
 



Since 1209 - A Church
has been built four time on the same place - and on the highest spot in Copenhagen
The second Cathedral in 1520
The second Cathedral in 1520 was the church of the Danish Royal House and conducted all ceremonial handling's like crowning and weddings for the Royals. The church burnt down in 1728 together with five other churches during the heavy fires in Copenhagen.
The third Cathedral from 1738
In 1738 the third Cathedral was built with the highest tower and spire in Copenhagen, and was raised by a fire in 1807 during the bombardment of the city. The Royal House had selected the Palace Chapel at Christiansborg Palace as their future parish church in 1732.
 
The Royal Cathedral
The Cathedral had for a long time been associated with the Royal family - where the Royal House used the Cathedral for their ceremonial events such as crowning and weddings. The first royal ceremony in the second Cathedral from 1316 was when King Valdemar IV - nickname Atterdag - (Tomorrow - there is also a day) - (1320-1375 - ruled Denmark 1340-1375) let his ten-year old daughter Margrethe - later Queen Margrethe I - marry to King Haakon of Norway in 1363 - and then when King Christian I and Queen Dorothea were crowned and married in 1449 - the Cathedral obtained the status of being the prime church for the Royals.

Reformation 1536 and national church

After the crowning in 1536 of King Frederik III in the Cathedral - and in the same year when the reformation came to Denmark and abolished Catholicism - the church became a national church - where the mother tongue was allowed and future services was conducted after the Evangelical Lutheran order - and in Danish.

Battle of Copenhagen (1801-1807)

The background for the battles was the result of multiple failures of diplomacy in the end of 1800 and the beginning of 1801 during the Napoleonic wars. To size the Danish fleet to avoid its ending up in the hands of Napoleon - the naval Battle of Copenhagen (Slaget på Reden) was fought in April 1801 by the British fleet under the command of Admiral Hyde Parker Jr. The main attack was led by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson - who famously disobeyed Parker's order to withdraw and destroyed many of the Danish-Norwegian ships before Denmark-Norway agreed to a truce.
 
The Battle of Copenhagen - 1807
The Second Battle of Copenhagen in September 1807, was a British attack on the civilian population of Copenhagen, with over 14,000 rounds fired in three days. More than 2000 civilians were killed and 30% of the buildings were destroyed.
Copenhagen Burning - 1807
Painting by C. W. Eckersberg showing the spire of the Cathedral on fire during the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. The Round Tower and the Trinitatis church complex to the left - survived the daily attacks on the city.


Copenhagen was attacked by the
British Armada
in 1807 - and many historical buildings
were destroyed
 
Attack on the civilians and buildings
The Second major Battle of Copenhagen in September 1807 was a British attack on the civilian population of Copenhagen and buildings - among them Copenhagen’s Cathedral and the neighbouring University. The British fired 5,000 rounds into Copenhagen on the first night of bombardment - only 2,000 rounds into the city on the second night - and 7,000 rounds on the third night. More than 2,000 civilians were killed and 30% of the buildings were destroyed during the battle. The bombardment had included Congreve Rockets - which caused many fires. In October 1807 the British fleet left Copenhagen for England. The war continued up to 1814 - until the Treaty of Kiel was signed.
 



The new Cathedral was inaugurated around 1840 - and can seat more than 1500
church goes.

The famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen was assigned to decorate the interior of the Cathedral

The Cathedral was inaugurated in 1840
The newly built Cathedral in 1840, with the University building on the left - and the Round Tower from 1642 at the back. The University was ruined by fire in 1801 and rebuilt in 1836.
The prestigious pediment from 1862
The imposing and prestigious pediment from 1862 supported by columns is created by the architect C. F. Hansen in neoclassical style - and the Pantheon Temple in Rome was used as a model.
 
Cathedral Data
The building length of the Cathedral is 83 m - and the width is 33 m. The nave is 60 m long - and over 25 m from floor to ceiling. With all galleries open - the church can seat more than 1500 people. The tower is 60 m high and houses the four church bells that weigh over 4 tons - and is the largest bell in Denmark. The smallest bell in the tower is the oldest bell in the country - dating from 1490.
 
Four church bells - over 4 tons
The present tower building is 60 m high and houses the four church bells that weighs over 4 tons, which are the largest bells in Denmark. The smallest bell in the tower is the oldest bell in the country - dating from 1490. The church became the main Cathedral of Copenhagen in 1922.
John the Baptist's preaching in the tympanumon
The present columns from 1862 outside of the main entrance of Copenhagen's Cathedral. The tympanumon displays John the Baptist's preaching. Many buildings around the town were attached with pediments - which belongs to the neoclassical style in the middle of the 1900 century.


Copenhagen's
Cathedral is built in neoclassical style
-
after the foundation stone of the present Cathedral was laid in 1817
 
Consecrated in 1829
After the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 - where most of the Cathedral was destroyed and after being a ruin for almost ten years - King Frederik VI (1768-1839) - ruled Denmark 1808-1839 and Norway 1808-1814) laid the foundation stone of the present Cathedral in 1817 - and the Cathedral was consecrated on Whitsun Day in 1829 - after being under construction and rebuilding for nearly twelve years. It was the architect C. F. Hansen who was given the task to design the new modern Cathedral in a neo-classical style with a dome - a colonnade and a prestigious fronton (pediment) supported by columns.
 




Bertel Thorvaldsen has created and decorated the entire Cathedral with his marvellous
sculptures in marble of Christ and the twelve Apostles plus the baptismal font
Bertel Thorvaldsen's Sculptures
Bertel Thorvaldsen's sculptures of the Apostles Jacob (James, son of Zebedee) and Paulus (Paul of Tarsus) are being set up in 1834 alongside the nave of the church. Painting by Niels Simonsen.
The Twelve Apostles
All twelve Apostles are placed as decorative monuments on either side of the nave in the Cathedral and each statue represents a symbol that is associated with each apostle.
 
The interior and decoration
The famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen was assigned to decorate the interior of the Cathedral by creating the sculptures of Christ and the twelve Apostles together with the font. The statue of Christ above the altar captures the attention and creates a peaceful atmosphere for the entire church with its gentle welcoming gesture.
The twelve apostles are placed in the nave and each statue represents a symbol that is associated with each apostle. In front of the altar is the beautiful baptismal font made of Italian marble and shaped like a guardian angel that holds the font. The font and the rest of the marble works in the church was Bertel Thorvaldsen's personal gift to the church.

The Cathedrals bishops and deans
In the aisles a bronze bust of Bertel Thorvaldsen - modelled by H.W.Bissen - is on display along with many portraits of the Cathedrals bishops and deans.
 
Copenhagen's Cathedral can seat 1500 Congregants
There is over 25 m from floor to ceiling and the nave is 60 m long - here with the twelve Apostles and the statue of Christ at the altar. The Cathedral can seat 1500 congregants.
 

Royal Events and Prominent Funerals


King Christian IV
King Christian IV - also known as the architect of Copenhagen was crowned in 1596 in the Cathedral. The King was the builder of Rosenborg Castle - Round Tower, Old Stock Exchange - etc.
King Frederik III
King Frederik III - founder of the absolute monarchy in 1665 was crowned in 1648 in the Cathedral. The King had a passion for collecting books and created the Royal Library in 1648.
Sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen
The funeral of master sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen took place at the Cathedral in 1844. Bertel Thorvaldsen was assigned to decorate the interior of the entire Cathedral.
 
1363 - The wedding of Margaret I of Denmark (1353-1412 - ruled Denmark, Norway and Sweden 1375- 1412) and Haakon VI Magnusson of Norway - Margaret I is buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
1449 - October 28 - The crowning and marriage of King Christian I of Denmark (1426-1481 - ruled Denmark - Norway and Sweden 1448-1481) and Queen Dorothea of Brandenburg - King Christian I is buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
1536 - The crowning of King Christian III of Denmark (1503-1559 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1534-1459) - Buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
1559 - The crowning of King Frederik II of Denmark (1534-1588 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1559-1588) - Buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
1596 - August 17 - The crowning of King Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1588-1548) - Buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
 
Royal Crowning Ceremony
One of the many ceremonial events at the Cathedral was the crowning of King Christian IV in 1596. The coronation procession started at Copenhagen Castle and went through the city to Copenhagen's Cathedral - where the crowning ceremony took place. The royal event was later painted by Otto Bache in 1887.
Royal Wedding
At the Royal wedding in May 2004 of Crown prince Frederik and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson - a marvellous floral decoration at the Alter and Chancel steps of the Cathedral was masterly created by royal floral designer Erik Buch in close collaboration with the mother of the groom Queen Margrethe II - who is an accomplished artist too.
 
1648 - The crowning of King Frederik III of Denmark (1609-1670 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1648-1670) - Buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
1844 - 30 March - Funeral of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) - Sculptor and the master of decorating Copenhagen’s Cathedral - Buried in a tomb in the inner courtyard of his museum.
1855 - November 18 - Funeral of Søren A. Kierkegaard (1813-1855) - World known Danish philosopher and theologian - Buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen.
1875 - 11 August - Funeral of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) - World known writer - Buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen.
1931 - Funeral of Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) - International Danish composer and national hymn writer. Buried at Vestre Cementary in Copenhagen.
2004 - May 14 - The Royal wedding of Crown Prince Frederik (XI) of Denmark and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson - Australia - later Crown Princess Mary.
 
Philosopher Søren A. Kierkegaard
The funeral of philosopher and theologian Søren A. Kierkegaard took place at the Cathedral in 1855. Best known for his work about existential psychology.
Author Hans Christian Andersen
The funeral of world famous writer and poet Hans Christian Andersen took place at the Cathedral in 1875. Best known for his many fairy tales.
Royal Wedding Ceremony
The wedding ceremony of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson - later Crown Princess Mary - took place at the Cathedral in 2004.
 
The Organ
The great Cathedral organ with 87 stops and 5 manuals and pedal - and was inaugurated on Easter Sunday 9 April - 1995 - with a choir organ added in 2002. The entire organ unit is built by the world’s oldest organ-builders Marcussen & Son - who are based in south Jutland - Denmark. The company was founded in 1806 by Jürgen Marcussen (1781-1860) in Aabenraa and the firm has during the years achieved international reputation - with a reference of 1125 organs built and supplied worldwide.
 




The entire organ unit
is built by the world’s
oldest organ-builders
Marcussen & Son




The Cathedral is
located in the heart
of Copenhagen
The Great Organ
The great organ in the Cathedral was inaugurated in 1995 and is built by a Danish company and the world’s oldest organ-builders Marcussen & Son.
The Old Latin Quarters
The Cathedral is located in the heart of the city and in the Latin Quarters of the town - next to the University of Copenhagen.
 
 
The Runic Stones - Jelling - Jutland
 
Brief History - The National Church of Denmark
The Danes became Christians more than 1000 years ago - when the Danish King Harald Bluetooth raised the runic stones at Jelling around 965 in Jutland stating that Christianity had come to Denmark. The Runic Rtones at Jelling are recognised as a National Symbol and the Danish kingdom's Birth Certificate has the inscription that praises King Harald for making all Danes Christians. The stones are also strongly identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation.
 
King Harald Bluetooth
The big runic stone at Jelling in Jutland was raised by King Harald Bluetooth in 965 stating that the Christian religion had come to Denmark and was rooted among the Danes. The stone has a figure of Christ on one side and on another side a serpent wrapped around a lion with runic alphabets.
Birth Certificate of Denmark
The inscription of the big runic stone pronounces that “King Harald made this monument in memory of his father Gorm, and in memory of his mother Thyra. "The Harald who won the entire Denmark and Norway and made all the Danes Christian." The runic stones are great tourist attractions.



"The Harald who won the entire Denmark and Norway and made all Danes Christian"
 

State and National Church
Since the Danish Constitution was introduced in 1849 - the Danish Church became a state church and belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark - officially supported by the state and is an outcome from the Lutheran Reformation in 1536. The Danish parliament ("Folketinget") is the supreme legislative authority for the church.

The Holy Communion
Today 85 % of all Danes are Protestants and members of the National Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark - called "Folkekirken" (The Peoples Church). Many Lutheran churches with great historical and cultural importance are placed in Copenhagen - and open for tourists 7 days a week. All visitors are welcome to participate in the church service and take part of the Holy Communion. Churches in Copenhagen

 
Other Denominations
Numerous Churches and Places of Worship belonging to other religious denominations than Evangelical-Lutheran are located around the city - where tourists can attend services - as the following world religions are represented by Places of Worship in Copenhagen: Baptist - Buddhist - Charismatic - Christian Scientist - Church of England - Hare Krishna - International Christian Ministry - Islam - Jehovah's Witnesses - Judaism - Methodist - Mormon - Pentecostal - Quaker - Roman Catholic - Russian Orthodox - Salvation Army - Seventh Day Advent and Sikh.
 
Location
The Cathedral is located in the heart of the old Latin Quarters and beside Copenhagen’s University - St. Petri Church - and the pedestrian Street “Strøget”.
 

Copenhagen's Cathedral - The Church of Our Lady

Address:

Copenhagen’s Cathedral - Vor Frue Kirke
Nørregade 8
1165 Copenhagen K

Busses: 1A - 6A - 350S

Trains - Nørreport Station
Metro - Nørreport Station

 

Copenhagen's Cathedral
(Københavns Domkirke)
 
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