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Trinitatis Church was commissioned in 1637 by King Christian the 4th to be part of a building complex comprising a church for the student body of the University of Copenhagen, Rundetaarn (the round tower) which functioned as an astronomers’ observatory, and a university library in the attic above the church.

The king himself was active in the planning of the building and on the front of the Round Tower we find a rebus that can definitively be attributed him. His draft of it is found in the Royal Archives on the back of his sketch of three barges that he wished to be built at the Royal Shipyard in 1640. The rebus can be interpreted in several ways; Thomas Bang, professor at the University and the first librarian in the new hall above the church, took it in 1648 to mean: “Govern knowledge and justice, Lord, in the heart of the crowned king Christian IV.” Knowledge is understood as the right and proper Christian learning.

 

The church is about 50 m long, 20 m wide and 18 m tall on the inside. There are suggestions that the dimensions may have been decided by the library’s need for floor space. The Round Tower was finished 1642-3, the last capstone was set in the church in 1651, and the church was consecrated on Trinity Sunday, 1st June 1656.

 

In 1683, the church was granted a parish, which made regular earnings possible, but at the same time weakened the bond with the University.

In 1728, a great fire destroyed large parts of Copenhagen. Trinitatis Church was heavily damaged and was closed for repairs for 3 years; the church furnishings and the university library perished. The church reopened in 1731, and most of the baroque furnishings are from ca. 1730. Over the years, several restorations have added to the interior, most recently in 1981-82.

Trinitatis Church belongs to the National Church of Denmark (Den Danske Folkekirke), which is Lutheran-Evangelical. It is today an active and vibrant place of work and worship. Mass is held every Sunday, and from September through May there is a weekly and well-attended Evensong.

Trinitatis Night Church also has a weekly music service directed more towards a younger congregation and often experimenting with the form and music of the service.

The church takes an active part in its community; it has a very active Community Care assisting parishioner in need and supporting worthy projects in and around the church. Trinitatis Church has long upheld good relations with neighboring churches and places of worship, twice-monthly well visited lectures or sing-alongs are organized in cooperation with the Church of Our Lady.

Music has a very prominent position in the day-to-day life at Trinitatis Church. Most weeks from September through April see at least one concert – often performed by the church’s own accomplished, professional musicians - and during the summer months a series of concerts especially planned for visitors take place. The Royal Danish Academy of Music is also a valued collaborator, and throughout the year, students from RDAM will participate in services and concerts, acquiring valuable experience for their professional life.