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Abdication of Queen Margrethe II

Aarhus Cathedral, the setting for a service marking the start of a new reign

On 14 January, Denmark will have a new monarch. With Queen Margrethe’s abdication, King Frederik will ascend the throne. While the Danish monarch does not have a coronation to mark the new reign, there will be a service for this historic moment on 21 January at Aarhus Cathedral. 

Aarhus Cathedral is the main cathedral for the Diocese of Aarhus, a diocese in the Church of Denmark. It is still known as St. Clement’s Church- it is dedicated to St. Clement, the patron saint of sailors and protector against storms. 

Construction on the cathedral began in the late twelfth century and was completed in 1300. It was originally built in the Romanesque style, and featured half-rounded arches that are typical of the style and a timber roof. 

However, after a fire in 1330, much of the cathedral burnt down and it was abandoned for over a century. In 1449, construction began again and the cathedral was rebuilt in the favoured Gothic style of the period. Work continued through 1500- there are surviving frescoes in the cathedral that date from the later years of construction. 

The cathedral is both the longest in Denmark at 93 metres and the highest at 96 metres. 

The Danish Royal Family was recently at Aarhus Cathedral, as they attended a Christmas Eve carol service together there. The family often attends services there, including Easter service.

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com