Church of Our Lady

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Vor Frue Kirke is the Copenhagen Church of Our Lady and also Copenhagen Cathedral. It is the main church of the Danish People's Church in the Diocese of Copenhagen. Christian Frederik Hansen completed it by 1829 in the classicist style. Religious predecessor buildings on this site had fallen victim to fires.

History of Copenhagen Vor Frue Kirke

In the Middle Ages, a coronation church was located on this site as the religious centre of Copenhagen. The first small church on this site was probably built in the late 12th century under Bishop Absalon. It was later replaced by a larger building, which housed Copenhagen University from the late 15th century until it moved to its own premises.

In 1363 Margarethe I married the Norwegian king Haakon VI here, and from 1449 to 1648 the Church of Our Lady was the coronation church of Danish monarchs. During the Reformation it was initially a bastion of Catholicism, but after violent protests by Protestant citizens it was rededicated as a Lutheran place of worship in 1536. The corresponding ceremony was led by the close confidant of Martin Luther reformer Johannes Bugenhagen.

In the course of the Napoleonic Wars, the Church of Our Lady fell victim to a fire in 1728 (like other Copenhagen churches). It was rebuilt, but already in 1807 the successor building was destroyed by British shelling. The next church was built by Christian Frederik Hansen, who incorporated the remains of the previous building in order to save building materials. Nevertheless, he created a new building in the Greco-Roman style, which was considered modern at the time. This new building was inaugurated in 1829.

Work in the Vor Frue Kirke

In the following "Golden Age", Bishop Jacob Peter Mynster preached in the church, and important organists were Christoph Ernst Weyse, Niels Wilhelm Gade and Emil Hartmann. Funerals were held for famous Danish personalities, including the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1844, the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1855 and the writer Hans Christian Andersen in 1875. Since 1924 Vor Frue Kirke has been an Episcopal church.

Recent history of Vor Frue Kirke

A major renovation took place in 1977/78. Earlier additions and alterations were removed to restore the original simplicity. Two new organs followed in 1995 (main organ) and 2002 (choir organ). The cathedral still hosts special ceremonies such as church celebrations of the Danish royal family. In May 2004, Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson were married in Vor Frue Kirke. Services and devotions are held daily, and the morning service is broadcast daily on Danish radio.