St. Peter’s German Church
Peace and quiet reign behind the high cemetery walls around St. Peter’s German Church, in the middle of Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter. This is an oasis that speaks to the soul, the eye and the imagination.
There has been a cemetery on this site since the Middle Ages, and in the 18th century it was used for plague victims. Now, the graves are long gone, replaced by plants, stone benches, lawns and an open space where children play.
With a good book, newspaper or iPad in your hand, this time warp provides tranquility in the heart of the city, refuge behind the thick walls of the church and cool shade beneath the tall deciduous trees.
The oldest parts of the church date back to the early 15th century, and the bricks are from the brickworks that gave its name to the neighbouring street, Teglgaardstræde. Today, the church is a place of worship for Copenhagen’s German community.
A long baroque chapel extends from the church, with richly ornate brickwork that’s pleasing to the eye and stimulating to the imagination. Inside the cool chapel, a number of Copenhagen dignitaries have been laid to rest in impressive mausoleums. Behind the burial vault is an enclosed herb garden on a site that used to serve as a cemetery.
On the wall facing Skt. Peders Stræde, as if to underline the site’s history, stands Niels Hansen Jacobsen’s symbolist sculpture ‘Death and the Mother’, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale ‘The Story of a Mother’.
Photo: Søren Rud
DATA & LINKSSkt. Petri Kirkes Anlæg
(St. Peter’s German Church)
Sankt Peders Stræde 2
1453 Copenhagen K
- Relaxation, contemplation and fun for kids.
- Open all year.
- The church is open every day during the summer, 11:00–15:00.
- The burial vault and herb garden are open during the same period. Entrance: DKK 25.00.
- Worship in German every Sunday, 11:00.
- For guided tours of the church, burial vault and herb garden: Call (+45 )33 13 38 33, Monday–Thursday, 09:00–12:00.
- There has been a church on this site since the 13th century. The present church dates from the 15th century and is the oldest in Copenhagen.
- If you could look through the floor of the burial vault, you would see the remains of hundreds of corpses stacked over three floors. Until 50 years ago, you could see the skeletons in the basement of the vault through the basement windows.
- St. Peter’s has been the church of the German-speaking Lutheran congregation in Copenhagen for more than 400 years.
- The popular Danish name for the area around Skt. Peders Stræde is ‘Pisserenden’ (The Pissoir).
- Skt. Peders Stræde 29 houses Copenhagen’s oldest functioning bakery.
- Green trees and lawns.
- Wheelchair access throughout.
- There are several general stores and a baker’s in the neighbourhood.