Frederik's Church

Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederik's Church (Frederiks Kirke), popularly known as The Marble Church for its architecture, was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740. It was along with the rest of Frederiksstaden, a district of Copenhagen, intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg.

Frederick's Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m, though there are three larger domes elsewhere in Europe. The dome rests on 12 columns. The inspiration was probably St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were abandoned by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several initiatives to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years.

In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark's Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins of the uncompleted church and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen for 100,000 Rigsdaler — none of which was to be paid in cash — on the condition that Tietgen would build a church in a style similar to the original plans and donate it to the state when complete, while in turn he acquired the rights to subdivide neighboring plots for development.

The deal was at the time highly controversial. On 25 January 1877, a case was brought by the Folketing at the Court of Impeachment (Danish: Rigsretten), Krieger being charged with corruption over this deal. He was, however, eventually acquitted.

Tietgen got Ferdinand Meldahl to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial restrictions, the original plans for the church to be built almost entirely from marble were discarded, and instead Meldahl opted for construction to be done with limestone. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894.

A series of statues of prominent theologians and ecclesiastical figures, including one of the eminent Danish philosopher Kierkegaard (who, incidentally, had become very critical of the established church by the end of his life), encircles the grounds of the building.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1749-1894
Category: Religious sites in Denmark
Historical period: Absolutism (Denmark)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julia Zalesski (21 months ago)
Beautiful! But take note that sometimes it’s closed for wedding ceremonies (can be only for an hour or two, but sometimes the entire day) The inside of the church is lovely, and you should spend at least 20 minutes inside
Eva Milstein-Touesnard (21 months ago)
This is a beautiful church. I don’t usually love visiting churches so it wasn’t at the top of my list but I was pleasantly surprised. Inside it is very beautiful and unique. When I was there they had beautiful flower branch type things hanging. I don’t know if that’s something that’s usually there but it was a nice surprise. A lot of time isn’t needed to visit this though. I think I spent about ten minutes there.
Richard Naugle (2 years ago)
The whole church is made of marble. The outside of this church is beautiful. In the summer months, the dome is open all afternoon during all days and at the same times on weekends. It is an excellent place to find internal peace.
Daisy Swain (2 years ago)
Beautiful church, both inside and out! Lovely marble featured and an absolutely gorgeous ceiling. I couldn't believe how warm it was inside considering how cold it was outside! Really enjoyed hearing the organ play and the Christmas decor.
Sean Geraghty (2 years ago)
Probably one of the most impressively designed churches I've been into. Nothing is over the top in a typically Scandinavian fashion and the acoustics in this building are incredible! I haven't heard much like it!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.