Holmens Kirke
The Church of Holmen, Copenhagen

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A Renaissance church of the first half of the 17th century, close to the harbour. The core of it was originally an anchor forge built in 1563 by the Dutch builder Peter de Duncker. The gable to the west (second picture) dates from that time and belonged to a tower which fronted the forge towards the canal. The forge was consecrated as a navy church in 1619 at the behest of King Christian IV. It was greatly extended in 1641-43 when the tower was absorbed into the church as the choir, and transepts were added with gables matching the original one. The copper spire over the crossing also dates from that time. The blank arches in the west gable were windows until 1661 when the large altarpiece was installed (see below). The sacristy to the left is from the 1870s (Neo-Baroque) when the church underwent a major restoration. The long sepulchral chapel to the right is from 1704-6 (Baroque), designed by the court architect Johan Conrad Ernst.


East gable on the left, south gable on the right. The main entrance on the east gable is the old king's portal from Roskilde cathedral which was moved here in 1872. It carries the date 1635 and King Christian IV's monogram.
The church has been rendered and painted since the major extensions of the 1640s because of the mixture of building materials. In 1872 the walls were rendered in a red cement. When one looks closely one can see that it is painted as red and yellow bricks.

  On the north side of the choir, the Korurtegård (choir herb garden) or Tordenskjoldgård (the statue being of the famous naval hero Tordenskjold, 1690-1720). The statue dates from the 1870s and was made by a famous  sculptor of the 19th century H.W. Bissen.  


The interior is designed in the highly ornamented version of the Baroque at that time. The flattened barrel vault with stucco ornamentation dates from the 1640s with only a few alterations. The gallery running around the church dates from the restoration of 1872. The votive ship hanging in the nave is a common feature of Danish churches. It is a model made in 1904 from a drawing of 1697 of Admiral Niels Juel's flagship.

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The pulpit and altar were made by Abel Schrøder in 1661. On the pulpit, biblical scenes flanked by the apostles. On the altarpiece, scenes of the Last Supper, the Crucifixion (flanked by the evangelists), the Resurrection and the Last Judgement.

  Sepulchral chapel  
More about the church in Wikipedia
  Front page of Astoft's Danish section  
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