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Vor Frelsers Kirke in Copenhagen
Public Clocks
No: 60   Contributor: Peter Langsdale   Year: 2005   Country: Denmark
Vor Frelsers Kirke in Copenhagen

Photographed on 18 April 2005, this is the Church of Our Saviour, a Dutch baroque church most famous for its corkscrew spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering extensive views over central Copenhagen. It is also noted for its carillon, which is the largest in northern Europe and plays melodies every hour from 8 am to midnight.
Construction of the church, to the design of Lambert van Haven, did not start until 1682. The church was inaugurated 14 years later in 1695 but important interior features like the altar had a notoriously temporary character and the tower still had no spire. The church got its permanent altar in 1732 but plans for construction of the spire was not revitalized until 1747 under the reign of Frederik V. The new architect on the project was Lauritz de Thurah. He soon abandoned van Haven's original design in favour of his own project that was approved by the King in 1749. Three years later the spire was finished and the King climbed the tower at a ceremony on 28 August 1752.
The black and golden spire reaches a height of 90 metres and the external staircase turns four times anticlockwise around it. Inspiration for the design came from the spiral lantern of Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, which turns the same way around.
It is built as a timber-framed structure, octagonal at its base, with round-arched openings and round windows with gilded frames. The windows are flanked by gilded pilasters in the composite order. Around the octagonal base of the spire, on the four corners of the square tower, stand four statues of the four evangelists. The octagonal structure is topped by a small platform with a gilded railing and it is from this point that the staircase become external. There is a total number of 400 steps to the top of the spire, the last 150 being outside.
The spire is topped by a vase-like structure, carrying a gilded globe with a 4-metre tall figure, carrying a banner.
Picture added on 22 November 2010 at 08:47
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