St. Canute's Cathedral – Odense, Denmark - Atlas Obscura

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St. Canute's Cathedral

The last Viking king of Denmark is buried inside the crypt of this cathedral.  


St. Canute’s Cathedral is a Gothic, red brick building constructed in the 1300s. The church is named after Danish King Canute IV, who was murdered at this location. He ruled Denmark from 1080 to 1086 and was later canonized.

According to legend, Canute was murdered in the cathedral when he tried to force the Jutland peasants to form a war party and attack England. With him was his brother, Benedict, and 17 hirdmen (followers). They were killed in front of the altar inside a wooden church that predated the current building.

Today, the bones of Canute and his brother Benedict rest in the crypt below the cathedral. Also buried in the crypt are King Hans, Queen Christine, Prince Frants, Christian II, and Queen Elizabeth.

Inside the church is a gilded, wooden triptych carved by Claus Berg. The triptych consists of three panels and illustrates the sufferings of Christ.

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December 29, 2020

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