Dating from the 13th century, this is the only purely Gothic cathedral in Denmark. It was named after King Knud (Canute), who reigned from 1080 to 1086. Of a certain ghoulish interest in the crypt is the skeleton of Knud II, who was slain in 1086 by farmers angered at the taxes he'd imposed on them. Amazingly, he was canonized 15 years later when the furor had died down. The crypt lay buried for centuries until it was rediscovered and opened in the 1870s, at which time tombstones of several royal personages were discovered. The kirke's chief treasure -- indeed the finest piece of art on Funen -- is the intricate wooden altar in gold leaf, carved by Claus Berg, the German sculptor, in 1526. The 5m (16-ft.) triptych is practically luminous -- no doubt because of its whitewashed walls -- and it contains some 300 intricately carved figures, the central panel of which depicts the Crucifixion. All this work was done at the bequest of Queen Christina. Other notable treasures include some wrought-iron pieces by Caspar Fincke, who was the official craftsman to King Christian IV.
- © Frommer's 2013
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