The historic Church of Our Lady / Copenhagen Cathedral / National Cathedral of Denmark sees upwards of 500,000 tourists each year; however, once you step inside it’s doors, you forget about the busy streets outside and are captivated by its beauty.
The exterior of the church is beautiful, no doubt, but we came to behold it’s interior. Upon entering the cathedral, your eyes are immediately drawn to Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue standing at the altar in front of a gleaming gold backdrop. The twelve apostles stand along each side of the church. The baptismal angel kneels in front of the choir and altar. Thorvaldsen carved this piece himself and donated it to the church as a gift.
Churches have stood in this same location dating back to 1187, but were destroyed by various disasters as time passed. The present church is built in a Neoclassical style and was designed by one of Denmark’s most notable architects, Christian Frederik Hansen. Hansen helped shape the city of Copenhagen after the fires of 1794 and 1795, and the bombing of Copenhagen in 1807. He not only designed the Vor Frue Kirke, but he also rebuilt Christiansborg Palace. His other notable works include the Copenhagen Court House (the Dom House). The foundation stone of the Vor Frue Kirke was laid by King Frederik VI in 1817, and since has hosted baptisms and marriages for members of the Danish Royal family.
If you happen to be in Rome, be sure to check out the reproductions of Bertel Thorvaldsen's Christus statue and the twelve apostles at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Rome, Italy Temple Visitor’s Center (projected to open in late 2018, early 2019). Despite his Danish heritage, Bertel Thorvaldsen spent most of his life in Italy. The original Christus and twelve apostles were sculpted in Rome and were transported to Copenhagen in 1838 for Vor Frue Kirke. The reproductions were carved in marble from the same quarry as the original set of statues.