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The Marble Church

MK guld frontThe Marble Church - also known as Frederiks Church was inaugurated in 1894. But already in 1749 the foundationstone was placed when Frederik V founded the Frederikstad. A gigantic central church should raise above the mansions and houses of the citizens, as a royal church in close connection with Amalienborg, the Royal Danish castle. The architect Niels Eigtved planned to build a rococo church in Norweigian marble, therefore it now goes under the name “The Marble Church”, although only the lower part of the building is actually marble. When the architect died in 1754, the project was at first handed to Lauritz de Thurah and then in 1756 to Nicolas Henri Jardin, who changed the plans to a classisist church in marble.
The church became so expensive that the project was initially terminated in 1770 by J.F. Struensen.

The 19 m high building was then abandoned for almost 100 years, more or less as a half finished ruin. Meanwhile the autocracy was replaced by democracy in Denmark. In 1874 the financier and businessman C.F Tietgen bought the ruin with the obligation to complete building the church. The church was finally inaugurated in 1894.

The architect Ferdinand Meldahl combined the existing walls with a dome in roman baroc style highly inspired by St. Peters Cathedral. Because of the financial situation the church was not completed in marble but in limestone. Also, on the inside, the stucco and painted decorations where rationalised to become less expensive. But still the result was a impressing building, with the 30 m high dome as the biggest active. The dome which is covered by copper was raise over a column decorated tambur, an arrangement inspired by the classic roman baroc style. To gather funding for the valuable copper roofing, money was collected. The cross on the top of the cupola was donated by Tietgen and his workers and was revealed in 1883 on Grundtvigs 100 years birthday on September 8th.

Tietgen thought the church not only as a gift to the royal house, but also as a monument for N.S.F. Grundtvig and the grundtvigianisme. A statue of Grundtvig was raised on the prominent spot by the main entrance together with the founder of the danish church, Ansgar, on the other side of the entrance. The whole church is surrounded by statues of biblical personas and from the danish and international church history.

Interesting are the large and disintegrated capitals appearing in the grass behind the church fence. They are the remains of the 1700 construction site and a witness of what an impressing building that was planned on the site.

The coin is made in gold, silver og copper finish.

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