In the crypt of Budolfi Cathedral visitors can see the remains of the large stones used for the original church that was built at the direction of Bishop Eskil of Viborg no later than 1132. The first church was much smaller than the current church since it was a parish church. It consisted of a short nave and choir built in Romanesque style. That means it had half-round arches supporting a flat timber ceiling.
The existing Budolfi Cathedral was built in the last decades of the 14th century over and around the original St. Budolfi Church and was listed for the first time in the Atlas of Denmark in 1399. The church was named after St Botolph, an English abbot and saint. His reputation as a learned and holy man in Anglo Saxon England as the patron saint of farmers and sailors made him a popular saint in pre-Reformation Denmark.
The church was constructed in the Gothic style out of Denmark's most common building material, large bricks. The nave and choir measure at present 56 meters in length and 22 meters wide, exclusive of the weapons porch and extensions.
In 1554 Aalborg was made a diocese and after consideration St Budolfi Church was made the seat of the Bishop of Aalborg. The tower was added to the west front in 1779 with funds given by Jacob and Elisabeth Himmerig. The square 28 meter brick tower is topped with a 35 meter metallic Baroque cupola and spire. Four identical clock faces were installed on each of the four sides of the tower in 1817. The south side has a sundial mounted on it as well. The tower houses four bells. The oldest cast in 1681 by Rudolph Melchior. The largest bell was cast by B. Løw and Son in 1892. In 1899 a sacristy was built onto the north side aisle. During 1942 and 1943 the choir was extended 14 meters and the ceiling vaulting raised. A chapel was also added to the north side.
The main altar piece was added in 1684, a gift of Niels Jespersen and his wife Margareta Erichsdatter. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen of Essenbæk Cloister near Randers. He also carved the pulpit. The altar was restored in 1980. The altar candelabras were gifted in 1686 by Jens Christense and his wife, Mette Christensdatter. Budolfi Cathedral received the gift of an altar carving from c. 1450 which is placed in the north transept. It came from the estate chapel of Holckershavn also known as Elleborg in southern Jutland.
The black and white marble baptismal font was given to the church in 1728, a gift of the widow Maren Grotum Von Pentz. The pulpit (1692) was a gift from the first apothecary at Jesn Bangs Hus in Aalborg, Johannes Friedenreich and his wife, Magdalena Calow. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen. The ornate Baroque organ facade was constructed for the Hartvig Jochum Müller organ in 1749. The organ has been restored and expanded several times, the latest in 1959 by Th. Frobenius & Sons.
Several epitaphs have been preserved as examples of what once lined the aisles of the church. The 1583 epitaph for Karine Hansdatter is a fine example of renaissance work. The epitaphs for Jacob and Elizabeth Himmerig in 1773 and 1774 are examples of neo-classical design and commemorate the churches greatest benefactors.References:
The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.