Fredensborg Palace Church was built in the years 1724–1726 by the architect Johan Cornelius Krieger. The church was on of the first extensions of the Fredensborg Palace that was constructed for Frederik IV in the years 1720–1722.
The interior of the church looks very much as when it was built. What seems to be marble, on the face of it, is marbled woodwork. The column capitals of the gallery are remarkable. The columns are Corinthian, but some of the acanthus leaves have been replaced with elephant’s trunks. They are Krieger’s so-called ”Danish Capitals”, with the elephant presumably referring to the Order of the Elephant.
The altar was made by the wood carver Friedrich Ehbisch, and Henrik Krock painted the altarpiece picture, The Day of Judgement. The Communion table carries an antependium with the national coat of arms and the text:”ANNO 1779 D: 11te October” embroidered in gold wire. The embroidery is original, but the antependium has been changed. The date may refer to Frederik IV’s birthday. The pedestal of the altar carries the four evangelists. The silver on the altar was produced for the consecration of the church on 11 October 1726 and carries Frederik IV’s crowned mirror monogram.
The pulpit was the work of Ehbisch and Green. The base of the pulpit takes the form of rocks on which white doves of peace are resting. The pulpit is decorated with three female forms, symbolising faith holding the cross and the chalice, love holding the child, and hope holding the anchor. To help the rector make sure that the sermon did not exceed one hour, there is a set of hourglasses in the gallery opposite the pulpit. The four glasses show one, two, three and four quarters of an hour.
The Royal Pew
The original royal pew was placed in the north-eastern corner of the church, which offered the best view of the pulpit. From there, those in the royal pew could also see that the altar had been painted on the back. Already in 1728, Frederik IV had a new royal pew set up in the western part of the church. In 1775, this was replaced by the architect C.F. Harsdorff’s royal pew, which is still used by the Royal Family. The church organ above the royal pew was built by Marcussen and Reuter in Aabenraa in 1848. On 27 October 2006, the painter Per Kirkeby’s large ceiling painting showing the Resurrection was revealed. There had never been any ceiling painting in the church before.
The exterior of the church was restored to its original appearance about 2000. On that occasion, a new glazed tiled roof was put on the church, the timber construction of the turret was renovated, and new copper roofing added.
Religious Ceremonies Among Members of the Royal Family
Fredensborg Palace Church has been used for many religious ceremonies among members of the Royal Family. Ceremonies in recent time include: the christening of Prince Knud (Heir Presumptive to the Throne) in 1900, the confirmations of Frederik IX and Prince Knud (Heir Presumptive to the Throne) in 1915, the wedding of Princess Caroline-Mathilde and Prince Knud (Heir Presumptive to the Throne) in 1933, the confirmations of Queen Margrethe (1955), Princess Benedikte (1959) and Queen Anne-Marie (1961), the wedding of Princess Benedikte and Prince Ricard in 1968, the confirmations of Crown Prince Frederik (1981) and Prince Joachim (1982), the christening of Prince Nikolai in 1999 and, most recently, the christening of Princess Isabella 1 July 2007.
As part of Fredensborg Palace, the church has been placed at the disposal of Her Majesty The Queen. Since the day of Christian IX, Asminderød-Grønholt parishes have used the church. The parish rectors often hold services, christening ceremonies and weddings in the church. Apart from this, the church is normally closed. However, it is open to the public in connection with guided tours of the palace in July. Last updated:: Monday, March 16, 2009