Kippinge Church is known for its rich Renaissance furnishings and its frescos from the mid-14th century. By 1338, the villages of Vester- and Østerkippinge had grown up on either side of the parish church, which remained on an isolated site in the countryside. In the Middle Ages, the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Crown had calling rights for the appointment of clergy similar to the English advowson. In 1767, it was sold into private ownership but was soon reacquired by the State until 1868, when it was sold to the citizens of the parish. It gained full independence in 1938.
The nave, culminating in a chancel with a three-sided end, was built of red brick on a sloping plinth in the Early Gothic style c. 1300. The north door, with its pointed arch, and the priest's door are bricked in while the somewhat modified south door is still in use. The porch and tower were added in the Late Gothic period. The west chapel, adjoining the tower, which is no doubt connected with the pilgrimages, was built slightly before theReformation. The chancel initially had five small pointed windows which have been replaced with more recent round-arched windows. The Baroque spire was renovated in 1911. Its base takes the form of a sturdy dome with an octagonal lantern. The spire proper is tall and thin.
The church provides excellent examples of work intricately carved by Jørgen Ringnis in the Auricular style. The altarpiece (1633), with a central painting probably by Anthonius Clement, is flanked by the figures of Matthew and Mark. It also presents female figures symbolizing Faith, Hope and Charity and is decorated with angels. The pedestal has two figures of Christ, one at his christening, the other at the Last Supper. The figures of Luke and John stand on either side of the cornice.
The elaborately carved octagonal font and canopy are also by Ringnis (1635), the base bearing the figures of the four Evangelists. The double-arched panels present theAnnunciation, Christ's birth, the Adoration of the Magi and the Circumcision. The canopy, shaped as an octagonal lantern with arched panels as in the base, bears male and femaleherms. In the centre, there is a baptismal scene with naked figures. The highly coloured and gilded finish has been restored. The lattice choir screen (1650) consists of nine panels decorated with flowers, herms and symbols of the virtues. The pedestal bears the naked figures of Adam and Eve while the upper cartouche presents Christ bearing the globe. The screen was decorated by Hans Lauridsen in 1680, who also added the six small paintings of a woman in various positions. Ringnis' pulpit (1631) is similar to that in Nakskov Churchwith figures of the Evangelists and of John the Baptist, Christ and Moses. The coloured decorations and paintings are probably the work of Anthonius Clement.
The church has two old crucifixes, one from the 14th century, the other from the 15th century. The old font in the west chapel is of Gotland limestone. Its base is decorated with four heads.
The frescos in the chancel vault are from c. 1300. They were rediscovered under the limewash in 1904 and restored in 1909. The well executed paintings present images principally from Genesis, Chapters 3 and 4, by artists from the Kippinge workshop. In the east panel, Christ flanked by Mary and John the Baptist and two angels can be seen. To the west are frescos of Adam and Eve and the sacrifice of Cain and Abel. The north panel shows the Fratricide and St Michael combating the dragon. The eastern side of the north vault presents the Annunciation adjacent to the Fall.
Kippinge Church is famous for the pilgrims it attracted over the centuries thanks to three reputed miracles. The first miracle was the bleeding Sacrament in 1492. The second was a miraculous altarpiece depicting the Virgin Mary. The church subsisted as a result of the healing properties of its holy spring.References:
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.