[ Church of Holmen]

Church of Holmen

King Frederik II built the anchor smithy on the Bremerholm islet in 1563. It was later inaugurated as a church for King Christian IV's naval employees in 1619. Both the navy and its crew grew. Christian IV therefore extended the church into a cruciform church in 1639-43. The church remained almost the same except that the original yellow brickwork was painted red in the 1750s. The chapel along the canal was built in 1708 and the vestry is from 1872. The church has survived wars and fires. So inside, the Church of Holmen looks as it did when it was built in the 17th century. And you might be lucky enough to glimpse of one of the royal family attending a service.

Up and down the musical ladder

  • Story written by: Thomas Roland
  • Time / Periode 1843

Soon after he had written his first symphony, Danish composer Niels W. Gade got himself an extremely distinguished fan. None other than Felix Mendelssohn, principal conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Germany’s music metropolis of Leipzig, was enthusing about his work. In 1843, Gade travelled to see Mendelssohn in Leipzig, and four years later he was appointed to the distinguished position of kapellmeister for the Gewandhaus Orchestra; an orchestra which is thought to have included the most talented musicians of the time. Gade had taken up the single most coveted and prestigious conductor’s appointment in Europe. Understandably his feelings were mixed when he was obliged to leave Leipzig and the orchestra following the outbreak of war in 1848, and return to the provincial musical life of Copenhagen. In the 18th-19th century, the strings of Denmark’s musical life were played by the German-speaking countries, and the evolution of Danish music is therefore framed by its German origins. Musical life in the time after around 1800 was generally flourishing, and what is conventionally referred to as classical music found increasing popularity beyond the private chambers of its royal patrons. The new and often wealthy bourgeoisie wished to be entertained like the nobility, either in private residences or in the concert halls that were being built all over Europe.

The coffin of the naval hero

  • Story written by: Frank Allan Rasmussen
  • Time / Periode 1619 1721

Peter Wessel Tordenskiold, a naval hero with a mane of shoulder-length hair, has been displayed on Danish matchboxes for generations. He was born in 1690 and died in an illegal duel in 1720. He therefore missed out on a state funeral, unlike his colleague Admiral Niels Juel. Tordenskiold's coffin was rowed to the Church of Holmen under cover of darkness on a cold January night in 1721. The simple pine coffin was then moved from crypt to crypt. In 1819, it was finally placed in a black marble coffin and was permitted to stand in the chapel. Tordenskiold's epitaph hangs over it, detailing his many heroic feats during the Great Northern War. The Church of Holmen is Copenhagen's naval church.

Read more about Church of Holmen at 1001fortællinger.dk