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.

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Details

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

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Leslie Shoemaker (7 months ago)
This is a lovely spot to pause, take in the beautiful surroundings, catch your breath and even plan where to go next. The surrounding area this church is located in is stunning and full of history and is worth a ramble.
Mariah Schimon (7 months ago)
This is a spectacular church. I'm glad I decided to go inside and check it out. It was well worth the visit.
O Everything (9 months ago)
Beautiful old church. It’s right next to Amalienborg, so I went to it after the changing of the guards. You must be quiet inside, so it isn’t something you should visit with young kids. From the outside it’s stunning, but from the inside it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a nice stop after a busy day and I definitely recommend you see it from the inside too.
Shai Ghelberg (10 months ago)
Well, it's a church, quite beautiful and impressive from the outside, not as impressive from the inside. It was quite crowded when we came. It's located very close to many other attractions so it's worth a visit but I wouldn't make a special trip for it.
Frederic VALLUET (10 months ago)
Nice monument. It has to be visited for its wonderful painted cupola and its superb old organ. I can just guess its acoustic should sound amazingly.
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