Since this is my fifth visit to this city, I’m getting used to Copenhagen. I have my habits, my favourite places to have coffee or enjoy a dessert. But every time I go back to Copenhagen, I try to visit a place I have never seen before. Last time, I finally climbed to the top of the church tower Vor Frelsers. This time, I decided to head for another famous church in Copenhagen: the Grundtvig church.
I have been wanting to see the Grundtvig church for a long time, but since it is located quite outside the city center and not near a subway station, I have always postponed this project. But no excuses this time: I had time in front of me and a Copenhagen public transit pass.
You have to see the church of Grundtvig to understand why it is one of the most famous churches in Copenhagen. I had seen some pictures, but it still took my breath away when I arrived in front of it.
Named in honor of the Danish philosopher N.F.S. Grundtvig, the first stone of the church was set in 1921. The architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint won the competition for its design. Klint mixed different architectural styles, drawing on traditional Danish churches, while adding a touch of expressionism.
What is striking about Grundtvig church when you see it for the first time is the fact that it blends well with the surrounding architectural style. In fact, the residential neighborhood built around the church was designed by the same architect, to further enhance the visual impact of the church.
It seems that the interior is as spectacular as the outside. But, as I tried to enter the church, I found myself facing a locked door. The Grundtvig church is open to tourists, but apparently not on Mondays (or so, not when I was there). I left a little disappointed (and it reminded me of the time I walked a long time to realize that I could not finally visit the twisted tower of Malmö).
To make me forget my disappointment, I decided to visit the nearby cemetery. The Bispebjerg cemetery is worth a visit. Its vast green spaces, its cherry tree-lined alleys (imagine in spring!) and its many small gardens make it a very charming place for a walk.
So I left the heart a little lighter. The interior of the Grundtvig church will be for another time. Anyway, that makes me one more reason to come back to Copenhagen!
To get to the church from the city center, simply take bus 66 north from Nørreport station and get off at the Bispebjerg Torv stop.
UPDATE March 2020 – My best friend now lives close to the church and I was planning to finally visit it during my recent trip to Copenhagen. Except the whole country shut down the day I landed in Denmark, which means I was, once again, only able to admire the church from outside. One day I’ll be able to visit it. One day.