First planned city in Denmark

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Christianfeld is a well-known name in Denmark the town is famous for the production of honey cakes which a lot of Danes have eaten when they have been visiting their grandparents. I might know the name of the city but if anybody asked to pick it out on a map I would have to search for a while before I would find it.

House on the street of Christiansfeld

The small city has got a lot more famous in recent years. In July 2015 UNESCO named this town as a world heritage. It is actually the only town in Denmark which has been included in UNESCO’s world heritage list so I am wondering what the city is all about. I finally managed to pick out the city on a map – it is close to Kolding so we could go there on a half day trip during our visit to Kolding.

Main square in front of the church

It is only less than half an hour by bus from Kolding to Christianfeld – but the buses are pretty infrequent especially on the Sunday where it seems like there is only a bus every second hour for most of the day. Hence we do have planned our drive to the city and back pretty carefully unless we want to wait for ages at the bus station. We arrived on the long distance express bus which stops at the main highway outside town. We just walk across the road and then we are at the city.

Cake shop in Christiansfeld

The city was founded in 1773 by the Moravians religious community which is a Lutheran-Evangelical independent religious society which was unusual during this era where membership of the Danish Lutheran Church was generally mandatory in the Danish territory. Maybe they were helped in getting the approval by the fact they named the city after King Christian VII.

Courtyard in Christiansfeld

The city was built in a grid system around two main streets. The individual lots were all in two different sizes a small and a large with the large being exactly double of the small. The houses in the city are all build in a similar style along the streets giving the city a uniform impression. It is this uniformity of the city which has earned it the inclusion on the UNESCO list supposedly it is the best preserved of the Morovian cities in northern Germany and Denmark area where they were founded.

Street in the city

The main attraction of the city is a square in front of the church it is a fairly big open square covering the area between the two main streets of the city. The church is open so we have a look inside. The lay out of the church is strange compared with a usual church. The priest does his service in the middle of the church instead of the end of the church and the seats are rotated 90 degrees compared with a standard church.

After the visit to the church we go out wonder the last of the streets of the city. There isn’t a lot to see – the biggest attraction of the city is apparently a small garden called Comenius Garden which is made as an example of how the gardens in the town were laid out in the old days.

From the garden we head to Gudsageren – or the God’s Acre which is the cemetery of the city. The graves here are all the same size and they will be kept for eternity unlike other cemeteries in Denmark. The people are buried according to sex with the men on one side of the central path and the women on the other side of the path.

By now we have actually finished visiting the old town. And we walk to an old church just outside the town. Its claim to fame is the fact this was the church where Christian X went for a service on the day of the reunification of this area with the rest of Denmark. This area down here was German between the Second War of Schleswig and World War I.

We walk back to the city and go for a little cake shop to try out the famous honey cake. After eating cake we still got time to spare before the bus arrives. I guess I wasn’t too impressed with the city and I am losing my confidence in the World Heritage list since I really don’t think this city truly deserve to be the only old town in Denmark on the list.


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