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28.10.2020

Alexander Nevsky Church, Copenhagen

The Church of Alexander Nevsky - the only Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen. It was built by the Russian government between 1881 and 1883 at the initiative of Princess Dagmar of Denmark, married to Alexander Alexandrovich November 9, 1866 and their later ascension to the Russian throne as Tsar Alexander III and Queen Maria Feodorovna. The church is dedicated to the Russian patron Alexander Nevsky.

Since the mid-18th century, the Russian delegation held services in Copenhagen, first in a small chapel in Laxegada, and then in the Store Kongensgade. Alexander Nevsky Church was built from 1881 to 1883 by the Russian government, Tsar Alexander III personally provided funds for construction, the project was proposed by his wife, Maria Feodorovna, daughter of Christian IX of Denmark. The purchase of the site on Bradgeid (Broad Street) was organized by Carl Frederick Titgen, and it was reported that the Tsar did not approve of the site for religious reasons, as tradition required a separate building.

The church was designed by Russian architect David Ivanovich Grimm, Professor at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. His project was previously selected among 15 works of architectural competition. Danish architect Albert Nielsen was entrusted with the practical construction of the building under the direction of Ferdinand Meldal.

In September 1883, the rector of the Theological Academy in St. Petersburg, Pro-Rector Yanisev came to Copenhagen to consecrate the church with the help of a parish priest and a monk from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg. The ceremony was attended by representatives of Danish, Russian and Greek royal families.

The appearance of the church is dominated by three onion domes, which rise above the pediment facing the street. Its design is inspired by the Moscow architecture of the 17th century. The facade is made of red and grey brick with sandstone ornament. High on the facade, in a niche above the bells, is an icon of Alexander Nevsky, the patron of the church, painted by Fyodor Bronnikov.

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