Denmark’s oldest and best preserved Romanesque church with beautiful modern mosaics, frescos and stained glass windows by COBRA artist Carl Henning Pedersen
Our Lady Maria Church or Ribe Catherdral is the oldest cathedral in Denmark. It was built between 1150-1250 on the highest point of Scandinavia oldest town Ribe. It supposedly replaced the first Christian church in Denmark built in the Viking age around 800. The current church is the best preserved of Scandinavia’s Romanesque churches, but reflects a abundance of different architectural styles and artistic traditions with plenty to explore. The large square north tower The Commoner’s Tower was built between 1283 and 1333. From the platform on top of the 50 meters high tower there is a spectacular view over the Wadden Sea marshes and the beautiful town of Ribe. The most recent decoration of the church was between 1983-1987, when the apse was untraditionally and impressively redecorated by COBRA artist Carl Henning Pedersen. In the arches of the apse you can see seven large mosaics with biblical motives made of over 3 million small pieces of glass tiles, then there is the stained glass windows, and last, the frescos on the vaulted ceiling. The church now sits 1 ½ meters under ground level as it has set into the marshland on which it was built. In 2013-2014 the square surrounding the church was redesigned by landscape architects Schønnherr with 110.000 various sized granite slabs of nine different kinds of natural colored granite.
Photos: Courtesy of Schønherr