History: Churches with a Royal History

A couple of years ago I did posts called history which as the name says was a post with some kind of historical content. Because Mary do not have any plans, according to her calendar, the next few weeks I thought it was time to revive the success. I have thought a lot about it; you know what to write about. The reason why I suddenly stopped writing was because I ran out of ideas. Now I've found a few more topics, I hope you will find interesting. Today you get the first one. So why write about churches? Soon, Frederik and Mary will celebrate their copper wedding which means they have been married for 12.5 years. Crazy! 12 years are almost gone, 12 years with wonderful memories -four childbirths, several anniversaries, holiday's and gala dinners. You name it. Within the next month or so, we will have a few more babies in the Swedish royal familybecause as you know Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia are both pregnant. These upcoming events made me think: how can we celebrate that already now? Then I had an idea: what does all these things have in comment -churches. Well, it's a way we celebrate some of the biggest events in both royal families. When Mary married Frederik in 2004, the first day of her new life began the second she said "I do" in Vor Frue Church in Copenhagen. As traditions says the new royal babies will be christened later this year as well. The church is where it all "begins" -more or less. Therefor I want to begin the celebrations with a post about churches which have had a significant importance for Frederik and Mary all 12 years they have been married. Enjoy and have fun reading! 


Copenhagen's cathedral: Vor Frue Church

Since the 12th century there has been a church, or in other words, there have been more than one church at the same stop in the middle on Copenhagen since then. Several of the churches have burned down to the ground and subsequently built up again. Three times this has happened since the 12th century. More than once Virgin Mary are mentioned in connection with this church (or churches). At the time of Bishop Absalon the first church was build, finished in about 1200. In 1314, a devastating  fire did that a new church was built. At the time of Erik of Pommeren, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark and the city grew. The church then became the King's main church. During the big fire in Copenhagen, 1728 once again the church burned down. The church tower destroyed both the roof, all furnitures and coffins under the floor. Ten years later a third church was build with a 120 meters high copper spire -companied with today's on 58.5 meters. Only 69 years later, 1808, the third church was bombed by the Englishmen during the bombardment of Copenhagen. The church we have today was built in 1829 and the architect C.F. Hansen was able to remain some of the pieces from the third building among others the church tower. In 1922 Vor Frue Church became Copenhagen's cathedral. Architect C.F. Hansen was inspired by roman architecture when he designed what we see today.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are not the only royal's who have had something to do with this remarkable church:
  • 1363 - Princess Magrete was married with King Håkon 6th of Norway
  • 1449 - Christian 1st and dowager Queen Dorothea's coronation and wedding
  • 1537 - Christian 3th's coronation
  • 1559 - Frederik 2nd's coronation
  • 1596 - Christian 4th's coronation
  • 1648 - Frederik 3rd's coronation
  • 2004 - Crown Prince Frederik married Mary Elizabeth Donalsdon

Holmen's Church
When King Christian 4th decided to brought a residential district on Bremerholm, where Holmen's Church is located, for Navy officers there arose the need to have their own church. In the building where the church was "built" in 1619 was formerly an anchor smithy. In 1630's the King extended the area of "houses" on Bremerholmen and they needed something a little more substantial than the rapidly converted church in the old building. The old building was significantly expanded so it ended up with a church in the distinctive shape of a cross. The church was now the height of a three storey building. What we see today with the white walls and everything is more or less the same what it was back then. Till 1872 wealthy people had the opportunity to buy the best seats in the three "floors". The middle floor was most attractive because there was the royal family seeded when they were at a service. Today there are only one "floor" left and it goes all around the church which is dated back to the restoration in 1872.  In 1705-08 the Chapel Hall (Kapelsalen) was built along with Børskanalen.

Several royal events have taken place in Holmen's Church over the years:
  • 1940 - Queen Margrethe 2nd was christened 
  • 1967 - Queen Margrethe 2nd and Henri Marie Jean André were married 
  • 1968 - Crown Prince Frederik was christened 
  • 2011 - Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine were christened 
[holmenskirke.dk]

Fredensborg Castle Church

When Fredensborg castle was built, it has no church because the castle was built as a summer residence for the king. A church was not need because the royal family only spend very little time there. In 1724, when Frederik 4th started using the castle more frequently, a church was built along with several other building which became a part of Fredensborg. It was inaugurated two year later in 1726 on October 11th. The church now became a part of Asminderød parish which also became as a confusion for the people who lived in the town around the church. They used the castle church and because the local priest was the same in the various churches around the nearby parish, it created even greater confusion among the city's residents. Today the church is still used for services almost every Sunday and can be used by everyone, not only the royal family.

Despite the church is mostly used by the Danes, the royal family have a rather long history of using this church:
  • 1761 - Princess Sophie Magdalene was confirmed
  • 1900 - Hereditary Prince Knud was christned 
  • 1922 - Princess Dagmar married landowner Jørgen Castenschoild
  • 1955 - Queen Margrethe was confirmed
  • 1968 - Princess Benedikte married Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • 1981 - Crown Prince Frederik was confirmed
  • 1982 - Prince Joahchim was confirmed
  • 1999 - Prince Nikolai was christened
  • 2007 - Princess Isabella was christened
  • 2013 - Prince Nikolai was confirmed
[kongehuset.dkwikipedia.dk]

Christiansborg Castle Church


Christiansborg castle church was built back in the time when Christian 6th, 1783-1742, was King of Denmark. It was planned that the church should be a part of the castle but it was built separately with a passage to the castle. The first church was more or less destroyed in the fire in 1794 where large parts of the outer walls and inner walls only survived. These are reused in the present church we see today. Architect C.F. Hansen -who we also know from constructing Vor Frue Church- designed the new Christiansborg castle and church which began in 1813 and was finished in 1826. A fire hit the castle in 1884 but never reached the church so it's the last of C.F. Hansen's design we have left.  The building is rectangular and looks a lot like the roman Pantheon. It have a very long history of royals using the church to christenings, marriage and coronations. Despite the rather short history the royals have been using it for many occasions throughout the years.

To mention some of the occasion where the church have been used by the Danish royal family:
  • 1766 - Princess Sohpie Magdalene married Crown Prince Gustav of Sweden
  • 1766 - Christian 7th married Princess Caroline Mathilde of Great Britain
  • 1880 - Christian 10th was christened
  • 1930 - Princesses Alexandrine Louise was confirmed
  • 2006 - Prince Christian was christened
[wikipedia.org]

Update! I was terrible mistaken about Frederiksborg Castle and Fredensborg Castle. The only event which actually took place in Frederiksborg Castle church was the wedding between Prince Joachim and Alexandra.


Tip! On March 6th, Dr1 broadcasts a new series where Queen Margrethe has let a camera team filmed inside some of the castles in Denmark, among others Amalienborg where the Queen guide you around. Sounds exciting? -well, then we ready on March 6th, Dr1 at 8:00 pm. local time.  

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