Saint Knuds Church, Odense Denmark

Whether or not you believe in god, you must believe in mans ability to construct beautiful buildings. In the middle of the city you will find St. Knud�s Church. A very beautiful Gothic building that has inherited its name from King Knud. King Knud tried to strengthen the royal power using tough means and writing out heavy taxes. He was killed during a peasant uprising in 1086. At that time the church was a smaller wooden church called St. Albans Church. St. Knud and his men fought bravely but was outnumbered and killed, one by one, the King last, in front of the altar. Or at least so does the painting tell the story.

King Knud was canonized in 1101 and his skeletal remains can be seen in the crypt at the back of the church. It is a room with a very special atmosphere; we don�t have many saints (or skeletal remains in open coffins) in Denmark. The crypt also holds the remains of St. Knud�s brother St. Benedikt, which became honored as a local saint because he died as a martyr at his brother�s side.

The altarpiece is worth a good look. The altarpiece was originally commissioned by Queen Christine for the now demolished Gray friars Church. It is cut by the local woodcarver Claus Berg, and is seen as his masterpiece. And it is fair to call it a masterpiece. Finished in 1521, before the reformation that lead to the protestant church in Denmark, it reveals in 23-carat gold leaf more and more detail the closer you get.

It is free to visit St. Knud`s Church and it is open during daytime, except when there is a ceremony. At the entrance of the Church you will find a general leaflet in German, English and Danish. As well as a more detailed leaflet at a price of Danish Kroner. 10,-.

The church arranges midnight sermons, prayers and occasionally it holds evensongs.

Homepage: Odense Domkirke


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