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06/04/2011

Frederick's Church (Marble Church), Copenhagen, Denmark


This is a photo of Frederick's Church (Frederiks Kirke), popularly known as the Marble Church (Marmorkirken), a church in Copenhagen, Denmark. The church was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and was along with the rest of Frederiksstaden, a district of Copenhagen, intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg. Frederick's Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m, though there are three larger domes elsewhere in Europe. The dome rests on 12 columns. The inspiration was probably St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The foundation stone was set by king Frederik V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754 and in 1770 the original plans for the church were discarded by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several initiatives to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years. A further consequence of this lapse was that the original plans for the church to be built almost entirely from marble had to be discarded and instead construction was completed mostly with limestone. The present version of the church was designed by Ferdinand Meldahl and financed by Carl Frederik Tietgen. It was opened August 19, 1894. Above the columns is inscribed: HERRENS ORD BLIVER EVINDELIG (Danish for "the word of the Lord endureth for ever"). A series of statues of prominent theologians and ecclesiastical figures, including one of the Danish philosopher Kiekegaard (who incidentally was very critical of the established church by the end of his life), encircles the grounds of the building.

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