Bits and Pieces of Aarhus

I’ve been in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, for three days. It is a lovely city with many reasons to visit. I only made it to a few.

Many years ago the city filled in its canal and made it a street. They came to their senses and restored the canal.

Aarhus Cathedral was begun in 1191 but not finished until about 1500.

With the Reformation in 1563, the church was stripped of its frescos and Catholic art.

The Lutherans went a bit overboard and reoriented the altar to the middle of the church. New pews were added in 1587. At some point the altar was moved back to the apse, so now about 1/3 of the pews face backwards.

Aarhus has a wonderful open air cultural and historical museum, Den Gamle By (The Old Town), Danish buildings from the 16th through the 20th century are open. I spent several hours exploring.

Møllestien is a lovely cobbled street with colorful 18th-century houses. The owners and tenants must get tired of the tourists.

I don’t know what this ad is for but it fascinated me.

New construction dominates the waterfront, including Dokk1, a new cultural center, exhibition space, and library.

There is so much more to see but I am headed out tomorrow. I recommend Aarhus and wish I had another day.

Need A Tune-up?

A public bike repair stop near my hotel in Aarhus, Denmark.

Baubles and Bangles

After palaces, castles, and old churches, what do I like best: jewels. Big, gaudy jewels. And the Danish crown jewels aren’t bad.

In the sub-sub basement beneath Rosenborg Castle you can visit the treasury, in which some beautiful things are displayed along side the jewels.

Christian IV’s crown dates from 1596 and is the oldest crown in Denmark.

The crowns used between 1671 and 1731 by the “absolute monarchs.” Labels in all the places I visited were very precise noting items, monuments, and actions related to the period of the absolute monarchs, as opposed to today’s constitutional monarchy.

The crown jewels (four sets) can only be worn by the queen and only in Denmark. They were willed to the crown in 1746 by Queen Sophie Magdalene.

A few other trinkets in the Treasury. The glass cases make the photos a bit fuzzy.

Silent Sunday

Tomb of the Unknown Concentration Camp Prisoner, Copenhagen, on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church.

Roskilde Cathedral

The resting place of Denmark’s kings and queens

I took a short train ride to Roskilde today to visit the Roskilde Cahedral. It is famous because it is the first Gothic church built from brick and it is the burial site of Denmark’s kings and queens.

The original brick church was begun in the 1170s, shortly after brick making was introduced. Several earlier churches had been built on the site.

Until the Reformation in 1563, the cathedral was a Catholic church. It is now the Church of Denmark, which is Lutheran. Most of the frescoes and ornamentation from before 1563 was destroyed or covered.

Some earlier decoration still exists in a few side chapels, which hold sarcophagi and funerary monuments. Ceiling from the Chapel of the Magi, mid 15th-century.

I was amused by the nude woman on the pulpit staircase. Even for the early 17th-century, this seems very risque for Lutherans. Maybe it is Eve, or Salome.

The sarcophagus of Queen Margrete I, dated 1423.

The glass sarcophagus in which the current queen, Margrethe II, will be buried is under this covering. Her husband Prince Henrik, who died last year, refused to be buried in Roskilde because he had never been made king.

I have always admired Protestant churches for something you don’t find in many Gothic Catholic churches: central heating.

Copenhagen Canal Tour

It was a sunny but brisk day in Copenhagen. Perfect for a late afternoon canal tour.

Departed from Nyhavn, or new harbor. Now a trendy and tourist area, it used to be a bad section of town.

The Opera House, a gift to the country from Denmark’s richest man.

The National Theater

One of the kings liked Amsterdam so he built canals.

There are lots of low bridges.

You can climb the spire of Our Savior’s Church. Spot the tiny people.

Three entwined dragons top the Borsen, a 17th-century stock exchange. The dragons represent Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Back to Nyhavn.

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