Saint Petri Church

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Saint Petri Church in the heart of the old Latin Quarter in Copenhagen is more than 400 years old. The church has a German-speaking congregation and is a treasure of stories about Danish-German relations for centuries.

Johan Friedrich Struensee was German and came to Denmark at 31 years old as King Christian 7's physician. He belonged therefore to the German-speaking congregation in Copenhagen but was a declared atheist and man of the Enlightenment. Thus he never set foot in the church while he was alive.

Yet it is in Saint Petri Church's chapel, you will find his bones - or what is thought to be his bones. After the unveiling of his affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde, he was sentenced to death and beheaded on Østerfælled 28 April 1772.

His body was dismembered and his body parts taken to Gallows Hill, where his body parts probably hung for some years before they were buried in the gallows. In 1885, some human bones were dug up at the site, which then belonged to Vestre Kirkegård (cemetery).

Struensee's human remains

When they dug the bones at Gallows Hill up, they found human remains from several different people. They were examined in 1927, and some of the bones showed traces of an axe and came from a man in his 40s. It is therefore considered that it may be Struensee.

The bones were examined again in 1944, but without any further results, and since then they have been left in peace in a child's coffin in the crypt under the tomb of Saint Petri Church.

In the chapel, you will also find some of the people who played a role in Struensee's life and death. Here is the supreme court's assessor Henrik Stampe, who sat in the inquisition commission that sentenced him to death, and the carpenter, Johan Boye Junge, who built the scaffold on which Struensee was beheaded.

Saint Petri Church in the heart of the old Latin Quarter in Copenhagen is more than 400 years old. The church has a German-speaking congregation and is a treasure of stories about Danish-German relations for centuries.

Johan Friedrich Struensee was German and came to Denmark at 31 years old as King Christian 7's physician. He belonged therefore to the German-speaking congregation in Copenhagen but was a declared atheist and man of the Enlightenment. Thus he never set foot in the church while he was alive.

Yet it is in Saint Petri Church's chapel, you will find his bones - or what is thought to be his bones. After the unveiling of his affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde, he was sentenced to death and beheaded on Østerfælled 28 April 1772.

His body was dismembered and his body parts taken to Gallows Hill, where his body parts probably hung for some years before they were buried in the gallows. In 1885, some human bones were dug up at the site, which then belonged to Vestre Kirkegård (cemetery).

Struensee's human remains

When they dug the bones at Gallows Hill up, they found human remains from several different people. They were examined in 1927, and some of the bones showed traces of an axe and came from a man in his 40s. It is therefore considered that it may be Struensee.

The bones were examined again in 1944, but without any further results, and since then they have been left in peace in a child's coffin in the crypt under the tomb of Saint Petri Church.

In the chapel, you will also find some of the people who played a role in Struensee's life and death. Here is the supreme court's assessor Henrik Stampe, who sat in the inquisition commission that sentenced him to death, and the carpenter, Johan Boye Junge, who built the scaffold on which Struensee was beheaded.

Saint Petri Church in the heart of the old Latin Quarter in Copenhagen is more than 400 years old. The church has a German-speaking congregation and is a treasure of stories about Danish-German relations for centuries.

Johan Friedrich Struensee was German and came to Denmark at 31 years old as King Christian 7's physician. His remains are buried in a child's coffin in the crypt under the tomb of Saint Petri Church.

Johan Friedrich Struensee was German and came to Denmark as King Christian VII's physician when he was 31 years old. As a declared atheist and man of the Enlightenment, he never set foot in the church while he was alive, but it is in Saint Petri Church's chapel you will find his remains. After the unveiling of his affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde, he was sentenced to death and beheaded on 28 April 1772.

In the chapel, you will also find some of the people who played a role in Struensee's life and death. Here is supreme court assessor Henrik Stampe, who sat in the inquisition commission that sentenced him to death, and the carpenter, Johan Boye Junge, who built the scaffold on which Struensee was beheaded. Visiting the chapel costs 25 DKK.

Entrance to the chapel (graves) costs DKK 25. Tours cost DKK 40 and should be booked in advance through Saint Petri Church's website.

Saint Petri Church in the heart of the old Latin Quarter in Copenhagen is more than 400 years old. The church has a German-speaking congregation and is a treasure of stories about Danish-German relations for centuries.

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Saint Petri Church | Church | VisitCopenhagen

Saint Petri Church in the heart of the old Latin Quarter in Copenhagen is more than 400 years old. The church has a German-speaking congregation and is a treasure of stories about Danish-German relations for centuries.

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Adres Larslejsstræde 11
1453 København K
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Openingstijden

20. jan 22 / 31. dec 22
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Saint Petri Church

Adres Larslejsstræde 11 
1453 København K
T 3313 3833
kirchenbuero@sankt-petri.dk