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Beskrivelse af Bregninge kirke på engelsk

 A short history of Bregninge Church on Taasinge



ca. 1000:       Probably a little, wooden church.

ca. 1100:        The church is built up in roughly hewn boulders and whitewashed – Foundation in                                            dressed granite. The style is romanesque with small windows with rounded arches.                                            The church is dedicated to St. Andrew.

ca. 1500:       The beamed ceiling is replaced by Gothic vaults – and the church gets a tower.

1570:                                   The southern side aisle, the porch, crypt and a vestry to the North are added to the                       building.

1750:                                   Niels Juel the grandson of Niels Juel, the danish naval hero, enlarges the church to                                             the North and creates the sepulchral chapel of the Juel family.

1883:                                   The whitewashed church is given a red brick facing and the tower acquires its                                                    present  appearance

1997:                                   The church is given a major restoration.





In the floor there is a gravestone shaped  like a coffin. May originally be from the wooden church that predated the stone church. It is one of Denmarks finest gravestones with a runic inscription,

 the viking alphabet developed from the Latin alphabet, “Sasser Sassersen lies here beneath – Helge clerk of the church carved these runes – Master Bo made me”. On the “lid” a figure of Christ, or maybe a priest?  The side is adorned with a frieze.


A gravestone of red sandstone can be seen built into the west wall of the Porch. It was formerly in the chancel floor and was used for a long time as a stepping stone and so the text has been worn down except in the sides. The text was in Latin and in translation says, “ Here lies Benedict Jacob vicar of Bregninge Church on Taasinge who died in the year of our Lord 1375 on the first of January – May he rest in peace”





Why are ships hanging in the church?  Bregninge is a parish with an old seafaring tradition and furthermore carries the stamp of the descendants of Niels Juel, the naval hero. The room between the tower and the chancel is called the nave (in Danish “the Ship”). The Chancel was set apart for the clergy, and the nave was for the laity of the parish, who in the kingdom of our Lord can thus securely navigate  the “Ocean of the World”. In Bregninge Church there are 3 very fine ship models; sailing  symbolically on a course due East, towards the Altar.

In the nave furthest East: a model of a small naval vessel from the 17. century built by Christen Jensen Thorsøe around the year 1700 – and further to the West: a model of the “Ingolf”  a full-rigged ship built 1888 by one of the shipbuilders of the skipper community of Troense. In the side aisle: a model of a naval frigate the “Sofie Frederikke” named for the wife of baron Fr. Juel-Brockdorff. Built 1791 by L. C. Møller.



 has always been in the church. It is in Romanesque style with crosses, lilies and, down at the base, four heads, presumably  effigies of the four main heathen gods: Odin, Thor, Frey and Tyr being defeated by the Christian baptism!  The baptismal vessel is modern.


above the baptismal font is, to quote the catalogue text from the exhibition in connection with the 750 year anniversary of  “The Jutland Law Code”, Treasures from the Time of Valdemar the Great, “A Christ figure from a crucifix ca. 1230-1240, oak.  Only the torso has been preserved and the slightly inclined head whose crown has lost its leaves. The hair has been swept behind the ears and undulates down over the shoulders. Its mild dreamy expression with a faint smile

is reminiscent of  similar east Danish art (Ølsted, Vallensved, Særslev) which would indicate that the artist was from Sjælland. The missing part of the figure seems to have been carved separately. The back has been hollowed and the wood cleaned.”

A real jewel from the Catholic past of the church and one of the best of its kind in Denmark. It was moved to its present position from its former rather humble position – lying on top of the carved canopy above the pulpit in 1950.



A beautiful late renaissance piece of work and like so many others it has a carved and painted picture series telling about the life of Our Lord framed by Greek columns. The pictures have the following motives starting from the chancel arch 1. Annunciation. 2. Birth of Jesus. 3. The coat-of- arms of Jacob Rosenkrantz and that of his wife Pernille Gyldenstjerne and the initials I R K F and F P G F and down below the coat-of-arms of  Hardenberg and  Rud.  4. Crucifixion.  5. Resurrection.

In the panels of the frieze are the following carved texts:

1.                   Mark 13,31   Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away.

2.                   John 8.47      He that is of God heareth God's words.

3.                   Luke 11.28    Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.

4.                   James1.23     For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man                                                          beholding his natural face in a glass.

5.                   John 8,51      If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.


In the bottom panels is the following text carved in the same way, but joined together in two long “lines”: if a man love me, he will keep my word, and my father will love him and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14  ANNO 1621.


In the side aisle to the south-west hang the remains of a crucifix saved from a Midsummer bonfire on the south-west of Fyn by the painter Albert G. Hansen and later donated to the church. It is a fine work from mid 16. century.


In connection with a major renovation of the church in 1997 a new altar and altar railing was installed, designed by the architect Allan Havsteen-Mikkelsen, as well as a new altarpiece painted by Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen (1912-1999) who for many years lived in the parish.



It has three subjects:

To the left we see the Garden of Gethsemane, a figure kneeling in prayer beneath a cold, pale moon – Jesus praying, “ Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done” - a human in fear – his life is running out.

In the middle we see Golgatha, a figure is hanging on the central cross in the reddish light of an obscure sun – the light of life has departed from the suffering Saviour who cries out his desperation,”My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me”.

The cry which is answered on Easter morning when the light of life shatters the darkness of death like a defiant fist or the delicate petals of a flower as we see  on the right side of the altarpiece which Havsteen-Mikkelsen himself calls “The Return”