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 first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.