Velkommen til Odden Kirke

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Odden Church is visited by many turists, mainly because of the Willemoes-monument with the famous poem by Grundtvig, a Danish psalmpoet and chaplain. The monument is placed over those, who fell in the war against the brittish at the battle near Oddens shore on the 22. of March 1808, when the Danish ship,"Prinds Christian Frederik", were conquered. 69 brave men were killed, among them the Danish hero Peter Willemoes. Grundtvigs poem were dedicated to the fallen soldiers and his personal friend Willemoes.

The church is from the 14. century. It was painted red instead of white in 1874. Why? Perhaps because the church is built of red monkstones, and therefor were red before it was painted white in 1800. Another suggestion could be, that is was a maritime landmark. In the old days the church was called "Odby Church" or "Odbo Church". Today Odden is divided into 3 little villages Yderby, Havneby and Overby, but was back in time divided between Yderby and Overby. Before the 14. century there was a chapel, westwards in the area of Yderby. The chapel was excavated in 1953 and is believed to have been used until the reformation in 1536. Most likely there also was a chapel in Overby, properly under the choir in Odden Church. The rich farmers in Overby wanted their own church, and the Yderby farmers joined them.

The crucifix in the belfry room is as old as the church from the 14. century. On the other side is a painting "Christ in prayer in the garden of Getsemane", by Ziegler and donated to the church in 1878.

The nave is made I 1914 as the original ship that went down in 1808. It is said to be cut from an original wreck-plank.

The pulpit is from 1821 and decorated with a line form one of Grundtvigs hymns "Little child of God, what should harm thee?" Grundtvigs father was priest at Odden for ten years (1766-76). An older brother was buried in the chancel of the church.

The font contains of two parts. It is believed, that the one below is from the old chapel in Yderby and was the holy water stoup. Did those who lived in Yderby take their holy water stoup with them to the new church in Overby, which then as a compromise were put together with the pont from the chapel in Overby?

The altarpiece is from 1632. It is of wood. The monogram at the top is King Christian The Fourths. Below that we see the risen Christ: "I am the resurrection and the life". In the center we see the crucifixion, Mary and John on each side, on each side of them John the Baptist with the lamb and Moses with the ten commandments. Two noble families coat of arms, the Daaes and the Parsbergers, is on the altarpiece, because they owned the church at that time. Below the crucifixion is a cranium to symbolize Golgata. Below the cranium: " He who believes in me though he dies yeah shall he live".

Epitaph on the wall is to a daughter of one of the priest, who died in childbirth in 1759.

At the cemetery is a monument of 3 english pilots who where shot down over Sejerø bay in 1944. Also the monument of the 69 soldiers who died in 1808 – of which 31 buried beside Peter Willemoes under the monument. The poem says:


Those ships they met in eve at sea
and the air started to glow
They played over the open grave
and the waves turned red.
Here am I placed as a single-stone monument
to give evidence for generations in the North
Danish they were whose crumbling bones
underneath me molder in the dust
Danish in speech of birth and being
they shall be mentioned for ever
fathers dignified sons.


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