The Skanderborg chapel is the only remaining part of the former Skanderborg castle which was definitively demolished in 1770. In 1562-63 King Frederick II rebuilt the medieval castle on Slotsholmen (an elevation in the ground that used to be a small island) to a modern fortress. Because of the financial difficulties of the Kingdom of Denmark the king chose to take up residence in Skanderborg.
Hence in 1572 a chapel was constructed in the newly established royal wing which at the same time was increased with two storeys. The castle functioned as a residence for the royal family for several years and among other things it could be mentioned that Christian IV learned seamanship as well as horsemanship in Skanderborg.
The present church consists of a long nave with a round tower with a conical, copper spire. The tower was originally one of the castle’s corner towers.Below the church in the castle’s old wine cellar a crypt has been established with four glass mosaics by the sculptor V. Foersom Hegndal. A variety of the original furniture in noble renaissance can still be seen in the church. The baptismal font from 1850 has been made after a drawing by Bindesbøll.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).