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22.10.2020

Frederick Church, Copenhagen

Frederick Church, widely known as the Marble Church for its Rococo architecture, is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Copenhagen, Denmark. The church forms the center of the Frederiksstaden district; it is located west of Amalienborg Palace.

The church was designed by the architect Nicholas Eigtvedev in 1740 and was located along with the rest of the Frederiksstaden district of Copenhagen, to mark the 300th anniversary of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg .

Church Frederick has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31 meters. The dome is supported by 12 columns.  Inspiration is probably the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.

The foundation stone was laid by King Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but construction was slowed down by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were left by Johann Friedrich Struensee . The church remained unfinished and, despite several initiatives to complete it, stood in ruins for almost 150 years.

In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, then Danish Finance Minister, sold the ruins of the unfinished church and church square to Carl Frederik Titgen for 100,000 rigsdalers - none of which was paid in cash - provided that Titgen built the church in a style similar to the original plans and handed it over to the state after completion, and he, in turn, received the rights to subdivision the neighboring plots for development.

The deal was very controversial at the time. January 25, 1877 Volketing filed a case in impeachment court (Danish : Rigsretten), Krieger was charged with corruption in this transaction. Ultimately, however, he was acquitted.

Titgen asked Ferdinand Meldal to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial constraints, the original plans to build the church were almost entirely made of marble, and instead, Meldahl preferred limestone. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894.

On the entablature of the front portico in gold letters are written: HERRENS ORD BLIVER EVINDELIG. 

A number of statues of outstanding theologians and church figures, including one of the outstanding Danish philosophers Kierkegaard (who, by the way, by the end of his life became very critical of the existing church), surround the building.

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