The roof of the Church of the Redeemer (Vor Frelsers Kirke) looks like a giant snail and my personal highlight of the Copenhagen visit was climbing up the church tower and visiting the roof of the spire.
In front of Frelsers Kirke in Copenhagen
In the 80s of the 17th century, construction began on the Church of the Redeemer (Vor Frelsers Kirke). The construction work was difficult because the church was built on a former seabed, which made complicated foundations necessary. It was not until 1696 that the church could be consecrated. The tower was not built until 50 years later and was not included in the original plans.
The spire was built of oak. This is noticeable when you climb up there on a windy day. It sways back and forth a little. At the very top of the roof is a globe. It is said that you need some courage to touch it.
There is a legend that the architect of the tower committed suicide and threw himself down the tower. He had built the staircase turning to the right, contrary to Frederick V’s wishes. This does not correspond to the truth. He died at home in his bed a few years after completion.
It goes high
A long queue awaits us at the entrance to the tower. I’m usually put off by that. But not this time!
Only a certain number of visitors are allowed up the tower at any one time, so you wait patiently for someone to come down from the top so you can climb up yourself.
Then we set off. 400 steps awaited us, which is actually enough effort. But honestly, it was the last 150 steps that really challenged me. They are on the outside of the spiral staircase around the top of the church tower!
But first you go up the stairs inside the tower. In some places it is so narrow that you have to let the “oncoming traffic” pass before you can continue.
Finally, you reach a level. Here is the carillon (a musical instrument/chimes) in the spire, it is the last carillon in Copenhagen. This musical instrument was hung in the spire from 1928 to 1933. In the watchman’s room is the staff console from which the carillonneur plays the 48 bells. We had the indescribable luck to be there at exactly the right time and so we could listen to the beautiful play of the bells.
Then you step onto the outside spiral staircase. Here, too, it is narrow and it gets narrower and narrower with every step you climb. If you climb up, you hold on to the gilded iron grating, and if you go down, you press yourself as close as possible to the roof of Vor Frelsers Kirke.
At the beginning, I found this path quite good. I could see well, took photos and joked with my companion, who didn’t like to climb so high, but really wanted to take photos from up there. When the steps finally became so narrow that we couldn’t get past each other, even I stopped laughing. Now I still had the goal of getting to the top, but I preferred to avoid the last steps. It was so narrow, steep and wobbly that I preferred to turn around. Oh yes – I didn’t touch the globe, it was still too far away!
When I was standing in the tower again, I was honestly glad to have undertaken this adventure on the steeple roof of Vor Frelsers Kirke. What a view and what an experience – I won’t forget it in a hurry.
Sankt Annæ Gade 29,
1416 København, Denmark
mid December – end February
The tower will also not open during: Rain, snow, high winds or other safety reasons.
Adults: 65 DKK
Discounts are available.