Terii’s Cycling Babble

Craziness In Copenhagen » 07-15 ar Marble Church

Frederiks Church a.k.a The Marble Church

This Evangelical Lutheran church is famous for its architecture.

It was designed by Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and, with the rest of Frederiksstaden (Frederik’s City), was intended to be commemorate 300 years since the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg.

The church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31 meters though there are three larger domes in Europe. It rests on 12 columns and was probably inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

King Frederik placed the foundation stone on October 31, 1749 but construction was slowed by budget concerns and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were abandoned by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several attempts to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years.

In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark’s Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen for 100,000 Rigsdaler – none of which to be paid in cash – on the condition that Tietgen built a church in a style similar to the original plans and donate it to the state when complete. In return, he would aquire the rights to subdivide neighboring plots for development.

At the time, the deal was highly controversial, leading to charges of corruption against Krieger on January 25, 1877. He was eventually acquitted.

Tietgen got Ferdinand Meldahl to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial restrictions, the original plans calling for the church to be built almost entirely from marble were discarded and limestone was used instead. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894.

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