Christensen C.S. The history of the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark (1741-2016) seen in a Danish-Russian historical perspective

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THE HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN DENMARK (1741-2016)

SEEN IN A DANISH-RUSSIAN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Christensen C.S.

The article deals with the history and the problems of the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark – and here seen in a Danish-Russian historical perspective, especially, in the last 300 years. The relations between the Danes and the Orthodox Church began, however, around 900 years before, in the Eastern European state of Kievan Rus. The article shows that the history of the church is closely linked to the political development in Russia. In this article, the history of the church and the changing Russian congregations will be illuminated in a historical perspective so that both the church and church buildings will throw a new light on the role of the Russian Church in both Danish and Russian history. In addition, it will be analysed to what extent trade policy, strategy and power policy and family relations have influenced the role and position of the Russian Church in Danish history.

Keywords: Russian Church, Tsar, Princess Dagmar (Maria Feodorovna), Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate, Bredgade 53 (Copenhagen).

 

ИСТОРИЯ РУССКОЙ ПРАВОСЛАВНОЙ ЦЕРКВИ В ДАНИИ (1741-2016)

СКВОЗЬ ПРИЗМУ ДАТСКО-РУССКИХ ОТНОШЕНИЙ В ДИАХРОНИЧЕСКОМ АСПЕКТЕ

Христенсен К.С.

Статья посвящена исследованию истории Русской Православной Церкви в Дании, которая рассматривается сквозь призму датско-русских отношений в диахроническом аспекте, в особенности, в течение последних 300 лет. Однгако взаимоотношения датчан с Русской Православной Церковью начались на 900 лет ранее – в восточноевропейском государстве Киевская Русь. Автор статьи демонстрирует тесную связь церковной истории с политическим развитием Российского государства. В данной статье история Церкви освещается с точки зрения исторического развития, чтобы данные о церкви и отдельных храмах могли показать значение Русской Православной Церкви для истории Дании и России в новом ракурсе. В статье дополнительно рассматривается влияние политики, экономики и семейных отношений на роль Русской Православной Церкви в датской истории.

Ключевые слова: Русская Православная Церковь, царь, принцесса Дагмар (Мария Федоровна), Русская Православная Церковь за границей, Московский Патриархат, Бредгейд 53 (Копенгаген).

 

As a religion institution, the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark can soon celebrate its 300th birthday. However, the Danish-Russian relations with the Russian Orthodox Church are much older. The Vikings and the first orthodox priests in the church's history had good relations in the state of Kievan Rus already around 860. In this article, the history of the church and the changing Russian congregations will be illuminated in a historical perspective so that both the church and church buildings will throw a new light on the role of the Russian Church in both Danish and Russian history. In addition, it will be analysed to what extent trade policy, strategy and power policy and family relations have influenced the role and position of the Russian Church in Danish history. 

In particular, emphasis will be placed on the historical period 1880-2017, where the results of, in particular, the 19th century nationalism have meant, among other things, that national churches are enshrined in national laws and constitutions. However, the period 860 until 1880 is also taken into consideration, because this era enlightens the later events of the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark after 1883. Likewise, it was a discovery of nationalism that the churches began to function as a backdrop for national festivals throughout Europe.

By the end of the 19th century, the link between nation and church also created a strong identification between national supply and religious status. Thus, certain circles in the peoples of European countries still perceive the particular identity of the individual country based on religious affiliation. A true Dane is a Protestant and a member of the People's Church, a real Englishman is Anglican, a real Spaniard is Catholic and a real Russian is orthodox.

In today's Europe, however, national and religious affiliation is no longer as important a link as it was 125 years ago for the 19th century nationalists. Globalization and the consequent migration have meant that the members of the different European churches have spread over new areas and new schism in the individual church have emerged. This of course also applies to members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Early History (862-1883)

Since the Viking age, Scandinavians and Danes encountered both the Byzantine Empire and their neighbours, the Rus people. Several of the Viking chiefs and kings not only resided in Novgorod but also helped to make Kiev an important medieval centre around 862. Furthermore, there is evidence that the first Christian Bishop was deployed in his ecclesiastical office in the years 866-867. Sent by either Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, who reigned in Constantinople in those years. At some point during the late ninth or early tenth century, Kiev fell under the rule of the Varangian’s and became the nucleus of the Rus' policy. At the same time, the Vikings came in close touch with the Russian Orthodox Church and its congregations around 988, when the Russian Orthodox Church was born in Kiev. However, for the next several hundred years, it was not the church but the trade by sea, maritime affairs and arctic discoveries that connected Denmark and Russia [10, s. 79-87].

In the year 1493, Russia and Denmark established the first diplomatic relations and a friendship declaration was signed in St. Petersburg. In the declaration, there were no words about church compounds or other religious connections. The reason for the friendship declaration was new strategic conditions in the Baltic Sea in the early 1500's. The two countries had namely a common enemy: Sweden.

From 1517, Danish merchants got trade privileges in the area of Novgorod and Ivangorod and the right to establish companies in Russia in the Narva area and in the following 100 years, many Danes worked in the Russian fleet, where the main target was to conquer the Polish fleet. On March 30 1570, the first Dane, Carsten Rode, became admiral in the Russian fleet. Still there was no traces of a special Russian congregation in Copenhagen and no bigger colony of Russians in Denmark existed, although there were tight connections between the two states. On the other hand, in 1617, the first Russian Orthodox Church in Scandinavia was inaugurated in Stockholm [3, s. 4].

In the 1700's, however, after the Tsar Peter the Great made Russia a Great power in Europe, hereby the strategic conditions changed and Russia needed new another very important thing in the Danish-Russian connections took place. The house of Romanov was connected to the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp (a part of Denmark) by supporting Duke Charles Frederick in his conflict with the federal kingdom of Denmark. Furthermore, the duke married a Russian princess and thereby connections to the Danish royal family was established, too. A fact that mend far-reaching consequences for the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark a 100 years later. 

From the beginning of the 1700’s, the first traces of the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark can be found in Copenhagen. Around 1741-1747, a so-called transportable Russian Church existed. The church is thus called, because it was affiliated with the Russian envoy and had to follow him from country to country. The Church, which the Holy Synod in Moscow, in 1741, had allowed the envoy to take with him on his travels, consisted of a priest, a cantor, a portable church (altar tables and icons) and books for use in the worship services. The congregation consisted only of five persons, all affiliated to the Russian Embassy in Copenhagen [8, s. 138].

In the following 50 years, all the traces of a Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark end blindly. However, from 1797, the transportable church was awakened alive again. From 1797 until 1852, the Russian Orthodox Church was housed at many addresses in Copenhagen. In different apartments, in the embassy and even in the priest’s own residence. When the church has existed for so long in Denmark without having a fixed address, it is due to the fact that the need for this has been very small. In the first 150 years, the congregation did not count much more than 5 to 10 people, namely the people that belonged to the embassy [8, s. 138].

Not only in Copenhagen, would you find an Orthodox congregation, in the beginning of the 19th century. In the period 1780-1808, in the city of Horsens, on the east coast of Jutland, the city housed a Russian court for four refugee Russian princes and princesses. Catherine the Great expelled them exactly to Denmark, because his father’s sister Juliane Marie was dowager queen after Frederic 5. The court lived in a small palace in the centre of Horsens and a small Russian orthodox chapel was set up in the palace, where a Russian priest and two deacons organized the fair. The Russian princes and princesses are all buried in an orthodox way of burial at a local cemetery in the central part of Horsens [7, s. 172].

In the period from 1852 until 1873, the Russian state rented an apartment on the address, Laksegade 2 in the central part of Copenhagen. The grant from the Russian to the maintenance sum rose during the whole period [8, s. 138].

The first and actual important contact between Denmark and the Russian Orthodox Church arose when the Danish-born Empress Dagmar in 1866 married the later Russian Tsar Alexander III. During a visit in Copenhagen around 1870, Dagmar or Maria Feodorovna that became her name in Russia, became acquainted with the bad conditions under which the worship in the Orthodox Church were held. She was very responsive to the ambassador's wish for greater support for the benefit of the church and the possible construction of a real church building. 

In 1873, the Russian state rented a bigger apartment in Store Kongensgade 45 in Copenhagen, the so-called Russian mansion, which besides the church room also gave room for the residence of the priest and the deacon. This was the home of the Russian Orthodox Church until 1883, where the Russian Church in Bredgade 53 became a reality [8, s. 138].

The Alexander Nevsky Church and the Romanov dynasty (1883-1917)

Overall, the Russians needed allies to keep the growing great power of Germany under control. Between 1883 and 1917, there were close links between Denmark and Russia. Moreover, the relations between the Danish royal family and the Russian tsar family, which had evolved in the late 1700s, became even closer in the mid 1800's. The good relationship had already started around 1848-1850, where Russia had helped Denmark in the war against Prussia. During the war in 1864 against Austria and Germany, the Russians also tried to mediate between Denmark and its opponents, but failed. 

The Alexander Nevsky Church in Bredgade 53 in Copenhagen is actually the only Russian Orthodox Church building in Denmark. It was built by the Russian Government between 1881 and 1883, prompted by Princess Dagmar of Denmark's marriage to Alexander Alexandrovich on 9 November 1866 and their later ascent to the Russian throne as Tsar Alexander III of Russia and Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna The church is dedicated to the Russian patron Saint Alexander Nevsky son of Jaroslav 2 of Novgorod.

Around 1880, the Russian government decided to buy a property for a new church in the central part of Copenhagen. However, it was the plan that the Russian government would buy the property, Churchillparken 11 in Copenhagen, a much bigger property, where the St. Alban's English Church now is erected. The plan was to build a church building, which was placed in open space with five domes, one big dome in centre and four small domes in the corners. The church should be surrounded by a garden with a residence for the priest and the deacon. Nevertheless, in 1881, the Russian bought the property on the address of Bredgade 53, in the royal neighbourhood of Copenhagen [8, s. 140].

A competition was held and the Russian architect David Iwanowitsh Grimm, who acted as a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, was responsible for the winning drawings. Along with 15 others, he had participated in a prior competition where his project had won. However, architect Albert Nielsen under F. Meldahl’s supervision led the practical work [7, s. 164-165].

The church was built in the years 1881-83 by the Russian government and Tsar Alexander III who personally contributed to the building at the request of Emperor Dagmar, the Danish king Christian 9's daughter. The Russian state paid 300.000 rubles, whereas Tsar Alexander 3. paid 70.000 rubles. The Danish financier and industrialist C. F. Tietgen acquired the property Bredgade 53 that was much smaller and not in open space. It is said that the tsar for religious reasons was not satisfied with the acquisition of the land in Bredgade. Other rumours said that Tsar Alexander III was angry with his ambassador because he owed Tietgen a lot of money and paid his debt of the amount sent by the Russian government. Therefore the smaller property in Bredgade 53. However, Tsar Alexander 3 was also angry with the Englishmen, too, because they were quicker to buy the right property [1, s. 76].

On September 9 1883, Janysev, who was the rector of the Theology Academy in St. Petersburg, appeared to Copenhagen to inaugurate the church. He was assisted by the ward priest Volobujev and a monk from the Alexander Newsky Monastery. The Danish, Russian and Greek royal houses were also represented on the day of initiation. As a curiosity, it was written down that the Emperor was so dissatisfied with the size and placement of the church that his anger was influencing the whole ceremony. Among others thing by slamming the doors in a way that frightened the churchgoers and that the priests who could not hold the worship service according to the regulations and the inauguration of the new altar was almost impossible [5, s. 175; 7, s. 164-165].

Behind the building's design with the three gilded onion domes and the gilded crosses with hanging chains, lies the rich Russian tradition, but with the emphasis on the 17th century building hall in Moscow. The facade is in red and grey bricks, while sandstone is used for the ornamental details. In a niche at the top (above the bells) is a statue of the church's consecration Alexander Newsky, one of the most important figures in the history of the Russian people. Alexander Newsky, the prince of Novgorod, met in 1240 a Swedish army by the river Neva and defeated it. Later he also won victory over the German Knight's Order when it attacked Russia from the west.

A bit further, down the facade, you found the carillon that is very special for the Russian Church in Bredgade. Normally the belfry is separated from the church, but because of the missing space, it is built into the wall. The total weight of the bells is 640 kilos and the biggest church bell weight 288 kilos. Until 1962, the citizens of Copenhagen could hear the fantastic sound of the carillon, when the bell-ringer hit the bells with the strings that were tied to the bells. Depending on the different feast,   beautiful tones filled the air in Copenhagen. In 1962, the last bell-ringer who mastered this art, died [8, s. 142].

The church room itself is decorated in the top floor of the building, with a marble staircase leading up. Thanks to its location on the first floor, the church room is very bright, while the ground floor, which functions as the residence of the envoy, is very dark. Contrary to any other traditions in a Russian church, the altar points westwards and not eastwards. It was the architect's fault.

The room is dominated by the richly carved iconostasis that separates the choir from the ship. In accordance with the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the iconostasis is provided with three doors, in the middle the double-winged royal gate, and sideways single-door doors. In 1995, the church prisoners witnessed that the icon "Mother of God of Jerusalem" had torn tears. Accordingly, the icon was added to the list of miraculous icons, hereby called “Kopengagenskaja” [7, s. 176].

The flat, lime-plated beam ceiling is decorated with Russian and Byzantine motifs. The church has several beautiful icons on its own, in addition, religious images painted in the "romantic style", which characterized academic art in Russia in the late 1800s. Particular attention must be paid to the presentation by Professor P. Bogoljoboff of “Christ's Migration on the Lake”, where the light plays both symbolic and compositional role.

In the end of the 1800’s, the church mainly functioned as a church for the functionaries of the Russian embassy, Russian merchants posted from Russia, seamen and the Russian Emperor Couple during its frequent visits in Copenhagen. Two factors, however, changed that situation: 1) there was an increasing emigration of Russians to Denmark around the year 1900 and 2) recent research has shown that the size of the Russian Orthodox Church congregation rose steadily in the first decade, and that it was not only Russians who became a member of the congregation. 

During the period 1890-1915, Polish women and men, especially from the Galicia area in Poland, came to the islands Lolland and Falster as farm workers who worked in the sugar beet industry. Up to now, they have been assumed Roman / Catholic, but a look in the archives shows that they were largely baptized, married and buried in large numbers in the Russian church in Bredgade. On the verge of the long distance to Copenhagen, about 200 kilometres, Polish workers were of course rare in the Alexander Nevsky church [4, s. 155-156].

Eventually, the congregation was so sizeable that it was added to the small exclusive group of recognized religious communities in Denmark in 1915. The recognition meant that the priest was now to be regarded as a Danish civil servant and that he was given a legal mandate to baptize, worship and bury members of Russian Orthodox congregation with legal effect under Danish law. However, a new element for the Russian priests so far had to be introduced. The conduct of church books according to Danish standards. The Danish state was not aware that the Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen conducted church books, which means that you have no clue as to how many members were in fact from 1850 onward [8, s. 139].

The only decisive political crisis that ever occurred between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Danish state took place in the years 1904-1906. The Russian intelligence service operated at two places in Denmark in an effort to spy out the German fleet: from a lighthouse near the Danish city of Esbjerg on the North Sea coast and from the church in Bredgade 53. The help of carrier pigeons flew classified information from Hamburg via Esbjerg to Copenhagen, where the resident in a rented apartment in the Alexander Nevsky Church, the Danish telegraphist and translator Johan Theodor Lassen was the intermediary for the Russian intelligence service. Because of the good relations, the diplomatic crisis was avoided very quickly [2, s. 4-6].

Communism and Cold War (1917-1990)

In 1917, Russia saw some of the biggest political upheavals any country has ever experienced throughout the world history. The Tsar family was deprived and executed near Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. Furthermore, the country experienced two revolutions - first a bourgeois and then a socialist revolution. With one blow, the close ties to Denmark were cut. Not only the close ties to Denmark were cut, also for the Russian Orthodox Church the ties to Moscow and the Patriarchate were cut or at least demolished, which was very important for the Church's development in Denmark in the next many decades of the 20th century.

The Russian diaspora in Denmark, around 1917, was estimated to around 2.000 peoples. Whereas the number of registered Orthodox Christian was around 400, the real number of church attendants is not available. In the months after the revolution in November 1917, the number of Russians in Denmark rose, but like the composer Rachmaninov and the ballet star Mikhail Fokin, Denmark was only the gate to Germany or USA for many Russians. In addition, parts of the Romanov family were exiled in Denmark, among others dowager empress Dagmar in 1919 [7, s. 12-13].

The Major upheavals also meant that the Russians in Alexander Nevsky Church considered themselves as a real congregation, and when the church was built in the folkloristic, historical style, Bredgade 53 became a focal point not only for the orthodox churchgoers but also for Russians in Denmark as a whole during the interwar period and the Cold War. From 1920 until 1948, Grand Duchess Olga Aleksandrovna, daughter of Empress Dagmar and Tsar Alexander III, lived in Copenhagen and became a diligent churchgoer and more or less the patron of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1948, she was expelled to Canada by the Danish king Frederik IX, because Russia occupied the island of Bornholm in 1945-46 [7, s. 143-144].

In 1924, Denmark recognized the Soviet Union as an independent state, and thereby a new Russian embassy was opened. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union required the Russian Church in Bredgade as their legal property. They were successful at the Copenhagen City Court and the District Court, but the Supreme Court said no. The result was that in more than 70 years, the church had no registered owner of the address Bredgade 53, so when the priest has their tax, they could not pay it. In the verdict, the Supreme Court did not state who the owner was, but only that the Soviet Union was not the owner [1, s. 76-77].

Until the October Revolution in 1917, all expenses for the maintenance of the church, wages for priests and offices and the Danish choir (singing in Russian) were held by the Russian state. After the events in 1917, the congregation paid all the bills itself without subsidies from the Danish state. For many years, the largest revenue after 1917 was the sale of wax candles and collections during the worship service. About 1918 there were also many private individuals donating money to the church. As well as renting premises in the building for business use [8, s. 143].

All the political tumult meant that the need for an organized congregation increased considerably. In connection with the reintroduction of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1918, a church council was established in Copenhagen. The church council's primary tasks were of a practical nature. Church Maintenance, Church Economy, and more. The organizational principle was designed to have an active congregation that should be led by the clergy, i.e. the priest. The priest was therefore born chairperson at all times. This has been the cause of many problems in the Russian Church. 

Twice the church council has tried to remove the priest. The first time in 1918, was the about priest Ivan Stejlkunov, born in Denmark in 1870. He was accused of being too kind to the Soviet Union. In the late 1917, Stejlkunov blessed the Bolsheviks in the church. A week later, he found a note on the altar, with the message that he would be killed next time he preached worship. Under the present circumstances, the priest pronounced his job and moved to the island of Bornholm, where he worked as teacher, author, translator and lexicographer. His Russian-Danish dictionary is still in use.  For a long time, the priest would not hand out church books and the religious objects from the church, he had in his private apartment. Abbot Antonij Koribut-Daskevitj replaced him in February 1919, but the church books delivered Stjelkunov only in 1920 [7, s. 182].

The second time the priest was to be removed, was for professional and occupational reasons. In the late 1960s, the ward council sought to remove Aleksej Cipurdejev from his position as priest. It was so fierce that the Orthodox bishop of Paris dissolved the church council with immediate effect. Cipurdejev remained in his position until 1982, where he died. Nikolaj Artemoff, who at that time lived in Germany, replaced him. For a number of years, the Russian church in Bredgade did not have any priest who lived in Copenhagen. However, the circumstances surrounding Nikolaj Artemoff's deployment in the office are still the subject of divide in the Russian Church. Some believe that his deployment was illegal because it was a non-existent congregation council who put the man in office in 1982, while others in the church believe he was legally deployed when the church already had gone to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia [6].

However, 1982 should be the most important year in the church's recent history. After discussions in the congregation, the church council decided to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia instead of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was established in 1921, because of the increasing communist control over the Moscow Patriarchate. In the following many years the two churches were in conflict with each other. The Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen was referring to the archbishop in Munich and the archbishop in New York.

The events in Russia in 1917 had more consequences for the Russian Church. Russian fugitives and emigrants needed a place to be among other Russians because of the upheavals. Advice and guidance on integration in Denmark, money and spiritual materials were highly sought after in the circle around the church in Bredgade. The church also joined a network of other churches outside the Soviet Union. The social functions of the church were thereby increased.

Other important societies and social events grew up inside and around Bredgade 53: 1) the Mutual Charitable Society for Russian Officers in Denmark for wounded and disabled soldiers, 2) the Russian Charity Society that functioned until the 1940s and with as well Russian as Danish members. The revenue was obtained through membership quotes, voluntary contributions, concerts, Christmas bazars, lectures and parties. After the Second World War, the purpose of the society lost its justification. 3) The Russian Society – an exclusive association of Russians that was built exclusively on cultural and social activity for emigrants in Denmark. The society was dissolved around 1940.

New Times and more changes (1990-2016)

Communism's decline in 1990-1991 once again meant major political upheaval in Russia. The dissolution of the Soviet Union, the abolition of the strict control of the Russian Orthodox Church and the free exercise of ecclesiastical actions, once again characterized and still characterizes the Russian Church in the motherland of Russia as well as in Denmark. 

However, the conflict between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia was going on until May 2007. In addition, even though the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia became a staple in the Patriarchate, the conflict was still alive in the Russian Church in Bredgade in the year 2014. This is evidenced by the fact that the priest belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate were not allowed to celebrate his worship at the Russian Church's building in Bredgade 53, but on the other hand, he may borrow different premises around in Copenhagen.

In 1998, the Moscow Patriarchate opened a new Russian Orthodox Church in Aarhus. Today Sankt Nikolai Church on the address Frederiks Alle 37, together with the Roman-Catholic congregation, forms the framework for orthodox worship in Denmark's second largest city. The congregation counts 150 members, and around 40 members are frequent churchgoers [9, s. 75-78].

For churches outside of Russia, the period during the Cold War and the fight against the communist regime in Moscow meant that new converts came in partly, because i.e. the Russian residents in Denmark married Danes or Danes simply wanted to become member of the Orthodox Church to support the Russian people in their fight against communism. This meant that new converts of the Orthodox faith emerged. One requirement was, among other things, that the worship service could also be held in Danish and not as usual in Russian or Church Slavonic, the conservative Slavic liturgical language.

The two-abovementioned congregations, the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia were put under pressure of a growing Danish congregation. Already in 1956, the Danish congregation in the Russian Church grew so big that Vera Holm established the Danish Orthodox Christian Circle. Here the Danish Orthodox congregation held the church liturgy in Danish like the choir sang in Danish, too. Around 1990, some years after the death of Vera Holm, the Circle had 6-8 members. Nevertheless, the circle posed the fundamental question: is the Russian Orthodox Church dedicated only to Russians, the Russian language and the patriarch in Moscow? Many Danish Orthodox members of the Russian Church want to place the Orthodox Church in a specifically Danish religious landscape as a Danish Orthodox Church [4, s. 156].

Nevertheless, the Danish-born congregation who worked with the new interpretation between national and religious affiliation grew again in the period 1990 to 2001. Poul Sebbelov, now a Danish Orthodox priest in Aarhus, led the Danish congregation. He was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church in Bredgade in 2001. The year after Poul Sebbelov finally formed the third ecclesiastical orthodox direction within the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark. The church was called “The Protection of the Mother of God”. This group consists primarily of ethnic Danes and the declared goal of the congregation is as an orthodox church to enter into a Danish ecclesiastical understanding [4, s. 165].

The Russian Orthodox Church is therefore very alive in 2016, and is thus far from empty. Secondly, new generations of Russians and other Orthodox Eastern Europeans, especially Romanians, Serbs and Greeks, have their permanent visit in Bredgade 53. In part, ethnic Danes have come up with the special character of the Orthodox Church. There is no doubt that the Alexander Nevsky Church has thus formed the framework of the first encounter with the Orthodox Church liturgical tradition. Whether it is the icons, church songs, theology, the close connection to the most powerful family of the history of the world, the Tsar Romanov dynasty or just the intense religious mood, which has drawn in the direction of the Russian Orthodox Church in Bredgade 53, is not known. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, the Russian Church in the most fashionable part of Copenhagen and its gilded onion domes is not only a famous tourist attraction in the street life of the capital, but also a very important piece in the historical puzzle between Denmark and Russia.

 

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6. Korsholm A. Den splittede kirke [Web resource] // Kristeligt Dagblad. 20.08.2001. URL: https://goo.gl/QCwChx (reference date: 30.05.2016).

7. Lunding G. (ed.). I Dagmars skygge, 2011. 248 s.

8. Myschetzsky A. Den russiske kirke i Bredgade // Svantevit. 1988. No 2. S. 138-150.

9. Pedersen C.R. Den russisk ortodokse kirke, Skt. Nikolaj Kirke // Religiøs Mangfoldighed. Århus, 2004. S. 75-78.

10. Wolder F. Vikingerne ved Ruslands Vugge. Hasselager, 2016. 142 s.

 

Data about the author: 

Christensen Carsten Sander – Doctor of History (PhD), curator of Billund Museum (Billund, Denmark).

Сведения об авторе:

Христенсен Карстен Сандер – доктор истории (PhD), куратор Музея Биллунда (Биллунд, Дания).

E-mail: csc@billund.dk.