Damsholte Church is the only village church in the country built in the Rococo style. It is considered to be one of Denmark's finest Rococo buildings. The church is unusual parish church. At the beginning of the 18th century, the population of Damsholte and its surroundings had grown so much that there was a real need for a local church. That, at any rate, was the opinion of Provost Jæger in nearby Stege. It is said that at a sumptuous reception in honour of a royal visit by Christian VI, he convinced the king that Damsholte should become a parish in its own right. There is no historical record of the incident but, in any event, in 1740 there was a royal decree that the western part of Stege parish should be separated off.
The king contributed 3,000 rigsdaler to the cost of building the church. Each of the other churches on Møn contributed 1,000 rigsdaler while all the other churches in Denmark contributed 1 rigsdaler each.
Designed by Philip de Lange, one of the most prominent architects of the day, the church was completed in 1743. A finely proportioned Rococo church thus came into being in the midst of West Møn's pleasant rolling farmland, the only one of its kind in a Danish village.
The church consists of a rectangular nave with two pentagonal extensions to east and west. White pilasters decorate each of the corners. Christian VI's monogram can be seen in the triangular gables topping the outer walls of the nave. The west door and all the windows have rounded arches. The red-tiled roof is divided into three main sections covering the nave and the extensions. At the western end of the building, it is crowned with an octagonal lantern and onion spire. The bright, yellow-tinted exterior with its onion spire is impressive enough. But those entering the double doors and proceeding through the small inner porch are struck by the rather sombre, well-ordered interior with its pious restraint and dominant altarpiece. Monumental pillars supporting the gallery stretch down either side of the nave to the lofty altar with its integrated pulpit, set high above the triptych. All built of wood, they are painted in subdued tones of grey.
The austerity of Lutheran pietism is ubiquitous. A modern triptych of Jesus' crucifixion with the two robbers on either side decorates the altar. It was completed in 1993 by Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen. On the northern wall, there is a picture of Christ by Eckersberg (1825) while a recently restored figure of Christ occupies a small niche. To one side, a memorial plaque honours those who fell in the war of 1864. On the south wall, there is a picture of the resurrection by Niels Skovgaard together with a portrait of Damsholte's first pastor, Rasmus Platou. Hanging in the nave, a faithful copy of the warship Prince Christian commemorates the part it played in theBattle of Zealand Point in March 1808. The two brass candlesticks on the altar were donated at the church's consecration. The wrought iron altar rails display the monograms of Christian VI and Sophia Magdalen. The font, surprisingly enough, is made of wood complete with wooden cover.
In the churchyard, there is a burial mound for the Tutein family which, for a time, lived in Marienborg Manor which stands behind it. To the north óf the church, a burial vault houses the remains of Antoine de la Calmette, who was governor of Møn and Nykøbing, and his wife Lisa Iselin, for whom he createdLiselund, a park adjacent to Møns Klint at the eastern end of the island.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.