Photographer's Note

Absalon Statue at Højbro Plads & the Nikolaj Church

Bishop Absalon was the founder of Copenhagen. The statue of Absalon was erected on Højbro Plads in 1902 and symbolically the monument faces Christiansborg Castle and The Danish Parliament, where Bishop Absalon (1128-1201), built his castle on a little island called “Slotsholmen” near the city harbour around 1167, where he also founded the city of Copenhagen. The task to build a city on the east coast of Zealand and to protect trade on the Sound (Øresund), was given to him by King Valdemar I. (1131-1182 – ruled 1158-1182)

On the base of the statue you can see fish; these symbolise the early source of wealth for the capital, namely herring fishing; the fish in the Sound were once said to be so plentiful you could lift them from the water with your hands.

Absalon is facing Christiansborg Palace at Højbro Plads. The statue was raised in 1902 and created by sculptor Vilhelm Bissen (1836-1913) in bronze and the plinth is made of granite, with an engraved belt praising Absalon as a mighty brave warrior.


Højbro Plads is located beside Amagertorv and the pedestrian street “Strøget”. Nearby is the Round Tower, Nikolaj Church, Christiansborg Palace, Thorvaldsens Museum, the Old Stock Exchange and Holmens Church.

Nikolaj Kirke - Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center.

The first church

The first Nikolaj Church was built around year 1200, and one of the oldest church buildings in Copenhagen that have a remarkable history. There were two large churches that served the citizens at that time in the medieval period – Nikolaj Church and The Church of Our Lady, later Copenhagen’s Cathedral.

The great fires in 1794

The tower building is the only remains of the original church from 1580, as most of the church building was destroyed by the catastrophic fires that razed Copenhagen in June 1795, and only the solid brick tower construction survived – except for the spire. Since 1805 the Nikolaj Church has not been in function for Christian church services.

New spire

Until 1909 the tower was without a spire – but with help from the founder of Carlsberg Brewery Carl Jacobsen, who donated a new spire identical to the original one from the Renaissance period, the present tower has now a fine copper spire that is a recognized landmark of the city that highlights the skyline of Copenhagen.

Church building with commercial activities

In 1914 it was decided to re-establish the buildings in the same Renaissance style as the previous buildings, and in 1917 the church complex was inaugurated - not for church services, but to be used for other cultural and commercial events and activities.(Source: visitcopenhagen &

Photo Information
Viewed: 1986
Points: 30
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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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