This is a really interesting church to visit, and particularly because of the set of stairs which is incorporated into the outside of its corkscrew-shaped spire.
Our Saviour's Church (Vor Frelsers Kirke) is one of Denmark's most famous churches. At the beginning of the 17th century, King Christian IV launched an effort to expand Copenhagen by building several fortifications and canals southward on the island of Amager. The newly occupied area needed a church, so construction on the Church of Our Saviour began in 1695. For many decades it was without a spire; its iconic spire was inaugurated in 1752.
The church has a beautiful baroque interior; it’s light, with some curious features including a stone elephant at the entrance. The church’s altarpiece is stunning; it is the work of Nicodemus Tessin and is regarded as a masterpiece. It depicts a scene from the Garden of Gethsemane between two columns, where Jesus is comforted by an angel while another angel hangs in the air beside them, carrying the golden chalice. On each side, two figures of Pietas and Justitia stand watch. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and a close inspection should not be missed.
But it’s the spire which is the main drawcard. The copper-clad wooden spire stands on an octagonal base and features semicircular arches and round windows with gilded frames. Four statues guard its base. The stairs twist counterclockwise, looping around the tower four times. A plinth holding a gilded globe and a sculpture of Jesus stands at the end, seemingly keeping watch over the royal city of Copenhagen.
Since it was built, it has been a popular pastime of visitors to climb the 400 steps to the top. Some 150 of these steps are on the outside of the steeple The stairs outside the steeple get more narrow the higher you climb, and come to a point. You take the same stairs down, and need to be considerate of others on the stairs. You’ll get some great views of Copenhagen as you climb the steeple. There’s railings to keep you safe.
Whilst the church is free to visit, there is a charge to climb the steeple, and it has to be done online. We arrived without reservations, but had to buy the tickets online, and get the time slot. Fortunately the wait was only about 15 minutes, but it was worth it. It’s not for everyone, and it is a bit of a strenuous climb, but it’s a great thing to do if you are able.
The church is located close to Christiania and is about a 25 minute walk from the Nyhavn. The closest Metro station is Christianshavn.