Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nakskov Church. Nakskov, Lolland

Nakskov church behind the town square

A portal by the entrance


The altar piece

The pulpit with sounding board

The gallery with the organ

Iron bound coffer with three locks.

Nakskov church was built during a very long time with various periods' perception of architecture. There is not much left from the original Romanesque brickwork church. Ab. 1400 the citizens started a rebuilding project for a Gothic cathedral which never was finished. A serious fire in 1420 was probably one of the reasons why the rebuilding stopped, and it was not completed until the middle of the 1600s. Much work was made through the centuries and in 1906 was the result. The church and its tower is a strange product of mixed style. Frederick IV said about the tower: "I have never seen such a big man with such a small hat."

The finest piece in the church is the big altar piece from 1657. It was made by the fine Odense-carver Anders Mortensen, who had made a similar altar piece for Sct. Knud church in Odense. The best carver at Lolland from the same period, Jørgen Ringnis made the fine Renaissance pulpit with the sounding board, which is dated 1630. The gallery from 1631 by the church organ (from 1648) was also carved by Jørgen Ringnis. The baptismal font of alabaster is a rare piece. It was made in 1758 by court sculptor Simon Carl Stanley, who is known from his stucco work at Amalienborg Castle and several Danish manors.

The church was heavily damaged during the Swedish attacks on the city in 1658 and 1659. Left of the choir arch is placed a Swedish canon ball which 19. June 1659 was shot through the choir vault "og gjorde på altertavlen stor skade" (damaged the altar piece seriously). Other Swedish shells are walled-in in the tower.

Nakskov church is surrounded by a close built-up area with the town square (Axeltorv) on the south east side. The original church yard was confiscated in 1810, and a new cemetery was placed on the road to Maribo.The name Klostergade a few steps north of the church gives witness to that the town had a Kloster (Monastery) which was established in the 1300s. In the 1400s it functioned as a hospital, but after the reformation it lost its significance as a hospital and was furnished into a fattighus (house for poor people). After the Swedish ravage of the town which was taken after two and a half months siege on the 15. July 1659, only the church building was still standing, but damaged like most other houses in the town. Klosterkirken was heavily damaged and was demolished in 1689.

photo 2003: grethe bachmann

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