It kept popping up in my Pinterest feed at one of those “picked for you” places… then the cab driver asked about it…then someone told me about it…then it kept popping up in my Instagram feed too. I figured it was a sign. I’d been meaning to check out the Gruntvig Kirke and finally got to it this weekend.
As far of houses of worship here in Denmark go, this is about as Danish as it gets. Except for the fact that it’s tall (I believe it’s the tallest church in Denmark), which isn’t really a thing here, this really does embody Danish design on so many levels. Straight, clean lines; minimal interior; no items without function allowed. Add to that the fact that they were doing a massive tuning exercise on the organ when I visited, and it had a slightly more otherworldly feel to it too. If you’ve seen it in other pictures, it’s often a grey/white color, but in real life, it has a yellow tinted brick that’s quite typical in Denmark. In fact, one of the walls in our house here has the same color to it – but when the light floods in the windows, it can take on a completely different feel.
If you grew up around the midwest or other protestant/lutheran areas, the brick and simplicity of design are elements you’ll definitely recognize. But if you grew up more in the Roman Catholic side of things, especially with a European bent, you might think that someone forgot all the bling by mistake. Either way, this church, built in the 20’s, certainly has its own feel to it. One of my favorite thing about Danish churches though (and apparently this is true in Sweden as well per an instagram comment) is the fact that there always seems to be a ship somewhere so now I always enjoy looking for the maritime influence.
It could have just been the fact that it was Saturday (and a gorgeous one at that), but the church felt more like a photo club than anything else. I imagine it feels differently during services (during which I hope the organ actually plays songs and not those single tuning notes that just hang in the air), but on this particular day the only patrons were photographers…and a couple of sleeping babes. Seems like just the peace they were looking for.