We are in Copenhagen, Denmark; in the pretty neighborhood of Bispebjerg where an unusual facade imposes itself on the surrounding buildings, it's the Grundtvig's church, one of the few churches of its kind and because of this one of the most visited. Like a giant monolith grown from the earth, or depending on its interpretation, plunged from the sky.
In 1913 Peder Vilhelm won a public competition for the construction of the church to be named after the Danish philosopher and hymn writer N. F. S. Grundtvig.
The foundation of the new church was only laid after World War I, on 8 September 1921, Grundtvig's birthday.
Building took place mainly from 1921 to 1926 when the tower section was completed, leading to the initial inauguration of the so-called Tower Church in 1927. 1940, however marks the definitive completion of the church by Klint's son Kaare Klint after his father's death in 1930.
Peder Klint with the Grundtvig's church achieved the ultimate synthesis of the Danish architecture. For his project the architect studied a number of typical Danish churches, inspired by traditional construction forms, the most used materials and decorations of popular churches. Klint tried to merge the geometric shapes of the so-called Backsteinexpressionismus (that is the expressionist current typical of northern Germany, whose most evident characteristic is to use the typical brick of the Baltic regions) with the classic Gothic lines, with a boldly vertical development.
The interior, with a strong Gothic flavor, can accommodate a total of 1,800 people. The construction was carried out using around six million ocher bricks, a typical material for public housing in Denmark.
The interior of the church, totally devoid of ornaments and characterized by a pure white, conveys a primordial intensity. The columns, the pointed arches and the ribbed vaults reach exorbitant heights emphasizing the solemnity of the space.
The light plays an important role within the church.
It is mostly lit through high plain-glass windows allowing the weather, time of day, and season to largely determine the mood.
The Grundtvig’s Church is not only monumental in appearance but also in size. This triple-aisle hall church has an internal length of 76 m, a full width of 35 m and the Gothic vaulting 22 m high. The bell tower is 49 m high and the ridge of the roof covering the central nave 30 m high.