The Grundtvig Church in Copenhagen... - Secret World

På Bjerget 14B, 2400 København NV, Danimarca

Halle Richardson


The Grundtvig Church is located in the Bispebjerg district of Copenhagen.This church is, due to its unusual appearance, one of the best known religious buildings in the city and one of the few examples of an expressionist style church. The church is dedicated to the Danish philosopher Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig and was designed by Peder Klint in 1913.Peder Klint achieved with Grundtvig Church a synthesis of Danish architecture. For his design, the architect studied an enormous number of typical Danish churches, taking inspiration from traditional building forms, the materials most commonly used and the decoration of folk churches. Klint tried to merge the geometric forms of the so-called Backsteinexpressionismus (that is, the expressionist current typical of northern Germany, whose most obvious feature is to use the typical brick of the Baltic regions that had already characterized the great Hanseatic season of the Backsteingotick) with the classic Gothic lines, boldly vertical development. The western façade, reminiscent of a Westwerk or organ, and including a 49-metre high bell tower, is undoubtedly the most interesting structure in the complex. For the decoration of the sides Klint reinterpreted the typical Danish motif of gables with a staircase crowning, designing an unusual double point. The naves are very wide; the total length is 76 metres, the total width 35 metres, and the three naves, conceived as Hallenkirche (side naves at the same height as the central one) reach a height of 22 metres. The interior, with a strong Gothic flavor, can accommodate a total of 1,800 people. The construction was made using about six million ochre-coloured bricks, a typical material for social housing in Denmark.