Copenhagen, Denmark

Vor Frelsers Kirke, Copenhagen, Denmark

The distinctive tower of Vor Frelsers Kirke (The Peoples' Church) dominates the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen. Strictly speaking this is the Church of Our Saviour, but is also known as The Peoples' Church, The King's Church and Grundtvig's Church.

The Church was begun in 1682 and consecrated in 1696. The Church was designed by Lambert van Haven, very much in the "Dutch" style in vogue in Copenhagen at the time. Christianshavn was designed to be a rival for Amsterdam and looks strikingly similar.

The interior of the Church has a number of important monuments, including the Royal Elephants of Copenhagen which seem to be supporting the church organ (Christian V founded the Order of the Elephant in 1693, it being Denmark's highest honour).

The most distinctive thing about the Church, though, is the spire - designed by Laurids de Thurah and finished in 1752. There is a spiral staircase around the exterior of the spire affording superb views across Copenhagen. It is said that Thurah, depressed because the staircase winds to the right, leapt from the tower. In truth he died in poverty seven years after the towers completion. A film was made about his life Himmelstigen (Ladder to Heaven) in 1997 by Nils Vest.

Vor Frelsers Kirke is probably the most satisfying of Copenhagen's many great churches.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions and Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton
and Shaun Runham
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller
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