St. Bendt's Church

Royal burial place


Sankt Bendts Kirke (St. Bendt's Church) in Ringsted was built in the 1170s. The 66-metre-long church is one of Denmark's oldest brick-built churches. Historically, the church formed the north wing of an abbey and was a royal sepulchral church in the early…

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Dannebrog for victory

Time / Periode 1170
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King Valdemar the Victorious (1202-1241), like King Valdemar the Great, was buried at the Royal sepulchral church in Ringsted. The epithet "Victorious" (Sejr) recognises his conquest of Estonia, which the Pope compared to a crusade to the Holy Land, giving the king an excellent justification for his assault on the country, while the conversion of heathen Balts was held up as a heroic deed. The battle at Lyndanisse near modern-day Tallinn on 15 June 1219 holds great significance. The Danes were in dire straits until Archbishop Anders Sunesen knelt in prayer, arms reaching up to heaven. While his arms were reaching out, the Danes gained ground, but when the old archbishop grew tired and lowered his arms, the Estonians regained the lost ground. Suddenly a banner of the cross fell down from heaven. This was a red flag with a white cross, which later became known as Dannebrog, the state flag of Denmark. The flag helped the Danes to achieve their final victory. This picturesque account was first recorded at the end of the Middle Ages, and the oldest picture of the flag is from circa 1370. Following the conquest, Estonia became a Danish-held duchy until 1346 when it was sold to the Teutonic Order. The city of Tallinn, which means "Castle of the Danes" was founded by Valdemar the Victorious.

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Fateful drive

At the west end of the church is an almost three-metre brass plaque engraved with images and…

Dannebrog for victory

King Valdemar the Victorious (1202-1241), like King Valdemar the Great, was buried at the Royal…

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