St. Petri Church - Copenhagen

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*
 
 

 

 

 

 

St. Petri Chuch
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Saint Petri Church
 
 
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St. Petri Church is the oldest church in Copenhagen with the only burial vault in North Europe from 1648.
 
St. Petri Church
St. Petri Church is a historic church being the oldest preserved church in the city of Copenhagen - and the domicile of the German-speaking congregation connected to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark


Burial Vaults from 1648
The Church is dated back to the late middle age and has continuously been rebuilt - the tower - nave and choir are from to the 15th century - and the burial vaults under the church were established around 1648. The church is located in the very heart of the city - beside Copenhagen’s Cathedral and the University of Copenhagen.
 
St. Petri Church - 1795
Drawing of St. Petri Church - and daily city life from 1795, with the copper spire from 1757. The Church is located in Copenhagen's old Latin Quarters.
Burial Vaults
Illustration from 1883 showing the huge burial vaults from 1648 under the church, where many prominent people are laid to rest.
 

German-speaking congregation
Being one of four Catholic parish churches, the church was handed over to the German-speaking congregation in Copenhagen in the year 1585 by King Frederik II (1534-1588 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1559-1588).

Under constant reconstruction
During the 17th century - the church was extended with an extra transept at the north end in 1631 (where the organ is situated today) and a south transept (where the main entrance is today) in 1634. King Christian IV (1577-1648 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1588-1648) created the cruciform style church of today - which once again frames the church service. After 60 years - the building was too small for the congregation - and during the reign of King Christian V (1646-1699 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1670-1699) yet another north transept was added and called "Christian Vs - Sal". The last rebuilding of the church was after the fire in 1728 - and bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. The prestigious copper spire was erected in 1757.

 
New Baroque Altar - 1730
After the great fire in 1728 - a new Baroque Altar with Corinthian columns was donated by the distinguished Copenhagen merchant and nobleman Constantin Brun (1746-1836).
"Christian V. Salen"
Marble plaque with the monogram of King Christian V on the wall of the north transept called "Christian V. Salen". (Christian V hall), that leads down to the burial vaults.
 
 The Burial Vaults
The remarkable huge burial vaults under the church - were used from 1648 to 1740 - and are the only type of underground burial plots built in this part of Northern Europe with several porches and old chapel halls. There are more than hundreds of graves under the floor - and it was mainly the affluent and prominent persons that were buried here in impressive sarcophagus with heavy monumental architecture ensuring their posthumous reputation. Some sections in the crypt are for ordinary coffins placed in layers in which the dead were laid to rest - and where a memorial stone was set in the wall near the tomb. The very last burial ceremony in the vaults took place in 1970. The burial vaults are worth a visit - and a great attraction.
 
Nicolai Eigtved
Royal court architect Nicolai Eigtved - and master of Danish rococo is buried at the boundary wall right alongside Nørregade.
Ernst H. Berling
In the Herbaceous Garden of the church is the final resting place of publisher Ernst H. Berling. The founder of "Berlingske Tidende".
Johann Friedrich von Struensee
Burial plot for Count Johann Friedrich von Struensee, who had an affair with Queen Caroline Matilda and later beheaded.
 
Resting place for prominent and historic persons
Many prominent and historic persons have their final resting place here at St. Petri’s Church among them the royal court architect and master of Danish rococo Nicolai Eigtved (1701-1754) - who also was the master planner of fashionable Frederiksstad quarters, where the Amalienborg Palaces are located - and Ernst Heinrich Berling (1709 – 1758) - the founder of the still existing newspaper “Berlingske Tidende” - published first time in 1749 - as well as Count Johann Friedrich von Struensee (1737-1772) - who was a German doctor and royal physician to the schizophrenic King Christian VII (1749-1808 – ruled Denmark and Norway 1766-1808). Struensee’s affair with Queen Caroline Matilda (1751-1775) - and his increasing political power caused his downfall and dramatic execution by being beheaded in 1772.
 
 
A ROYAL AFFAIR
A ROYAL AFFAIR is the true story of an ordinary man who wins the Danish queen's heart and starts a revolution. Available on DVD.
“A Royal Affair”
The film called “A Royal Affair” (Danish - En Kongelig Affære) - produced in 2012 - is a historical drama film that focuses on the romance between the Danish Queen Caroline Matilda - and the Royal Physician Count Johann Friedrich von Struensee.

The True Story and Screenplay
The main screenplay is the true story about a young Danish Queen Caroline Matilda - who is married to an insane Danish king - King Christian VII - and falls secretly in love with her German physician - Johann Friedrich von Struensee - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever - but ended dramatically by the fall of Struensee in 1772.
 
A ROYAL AFFAIR - Official UK trailer
 
The international trailer for Nikolaj Arcel's periodic drama A ROYAL AFFAIR starring Mads Mikkelsen - Alicia Vikander - Mikkel Boe Følsgaard - Trine Dyrholm - David Dencik - Cyron Melville - Thomas Gabrielsson - Laura Bro. Zentropa Entertainments.
 
 

Location
St. Petri Church is located in the heart of the old Latin Quarters - and beside Copenhagen’s University - Copenhagen's Cathedral - (The Church of Our Lady) - and the pedestrian Street “Strøget”.

 

St. Petri Church

Address
St Petri Church and Burial Vaults
Sankt Peders Stræde 2
1453 Copenhagen K


Busses – 5A - 6A - 150S-350S

Metro and S-train from Nørreport Station

St. Petri Church - Copenhagen
 
 
 
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