Saturday, February 5, 2022

2021 November: Adventure in Denmark

Our daughter's husband, Andy, has ancestors from southern Sweden . . . so . . . we joined them as they flew down to Malmö.  It's a 7-hr drive or a 1 1/2 hour flight.  You can guess we chose the 1 1/2 hour flight!  We had heard that there were wide open fields in southern Sweden and almost didn't believe it after the forests and bedrock of central and northern Sweden.  But they were right.  Wide open fields and beautiful sky.

A day trip into Denmark took us to the Frederiksborg Castle and then to the Copenhagen Church of Our Lady to see the magnificent Resurrected Christ and the Apostles sculptures.  The next day was a mission zone conference and then we were off to see more sites and then home to Stockholm.  Enjoy the descriptions of the things we saw and did!  Some fun videos too of missionaries singing with LeRon accompanying.

At last . . . crops as far as you can see from horizon to horizon!  Andy and LeRon are checking out this winter canola field.  Andy may be a potato specialist but he knows a good crop when he sees one.

We feel like we are almost home!  So many trees in Stockholm and surroundings that you almost never notice the sky.  I do love trees but only in moderation.  And I love open sky with or without clouds.  Everyone told us the Malmö area had lots of cropland and they were definitely right!

Andy took this cool picture of a grain loader bricked into a grain storage facility.  How cool is that?  Except maybe when it has to be replaced?  On second look, I can see that it's actually coming out of a window.  So no, it's not bricked in, but it's definitely a fairly permanent fixture more or less.  So interesting how things are done differently in different countries.

I grew up on a sugar beet farm north of Taber, Alberta, Canada, so sugar beets are in my blood.  But we never stored sugar beets on the ground like they obviously do here.  As soon as they were dug, they were hauled by truck to the sugar factory in Taber.

For those of you who don't know what a sugar beet looks like, here's an image of one.  And no, it doesn't taste good to eat cooked like a red beet (nor raw either).  I know because I have tried it and it's nasty tasting.  But sugar beets are refined into delicious sugar for those of you with a sweet tooth.

Here's a close-up of the pile and if you click to enlarge the photo, you will see the sugar beets spilling out from under the tarp.  The tarp protects them somewhat from the weather until they can be hauled to a sugar processing factory.

This sugar beet harvester looks a lot different from what my dad used when I was young.  This harvester tops the beets and digs them in one operation.  My dad used to top the beets with one machine and then go back with another machine to dig them.  The first machine was called a topper and the next a digger.  At least that's what I remember.  Of course, now in Canada, it's done with one machine.

When it's full, the beet harvester dumps the beets into a pile.  In Canada, they dump into a truck and then transport immediately to the sugar factory.  In Sweden, they dump into a pile and then truck to a sugar factory as needed.  Who knew sugar beets could grow this far north?

Now we're crossing the bridge between Malmö, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark.  It's 8 km (5 miles) long.  

Here's an internet picture of the bridge.  Pretty cool.  It's hard to take a picture of a bridge as you are driving over it.

We're at Frederiksborg Castle in Hilerød, which is about a 40-minute drive from Copenhagen.

The castle was originally built as a royal residence in the 1600's.

After a fire in 1859, it was rebuilt according to the original plans and drawings and opened as the Danish Museum of Natural History in 1882.

The stunningly beautiful chapel was built in 1617 and was largely spared the fire.  Click to enlarge to see its beauty.

Lovely painting of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Second half of the painting showing the people greeting Jesus and laying down coats and garments and waving palm leaves.  Such a happy day before the sobering events of the trial and crucifixion and then the joyous resurrection.

Ha ha.  I tried merging the two paintings with a free software program and it obviously didn't work well.  Or I didn't understand the instructions!  Oh well.

The chapel ceiling is incredibly detailed and ornate.

The 1610 organ is the oldest organ in Denmark and has 1001 wooden pipes and a manually driven blower.  It is decorated with ebony, ivory, and silver.  Wouldn't LeRon love to play this organ?!

I found the pillars fascinating and wasn't sure how they were made or why.  They don't seem to match the rest of the architecture.  I found out later.  They are grisaille frescoes of Biblical people painted in the 1690's.  This one is the prophet Enoch.

Grisaille frescoes are painted entirely in greys or browns in imitation of sculpture.  The bottom painting is of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

This grisaille fresco is of St. Peter.  I would have thought it was Jesus, but the name above him is S. Petros.  Grisaille frescoes were cheaper to paint and quicker to produce.  They are similar to line drawings, which painters during the Renaissance were trained to produce.

Click to enlarge to see the absolutely magnificent organ pipes.

Just off the chapel is the room we came here to see.  It features the paintings of Danish artist, Carl Bloch.  The 31-year old was commissioned to paint 23 paintings of the life of Christ for the rebuilt Frederiksborg Castle which had been badly damaged by fire in 1859.  This painting is of Elisabeth greeting Mary who was to become the mother of Jesus.

In the 1960's, our church was given access to these paintings and they were photographed and frequently used in church manuals and publications.  So we are very familiar with these paintings.

The paintings are smaller than we had imagined and the room is very dark and you can't get very close to most of the paintings.  But still, it was exciting to see the originals.

In 1990, our church asked permission to rephotograph these paintings.  They were taken off the walls, cleaned, and photographed in better light.  I will put the rephotographed paintings in the next post called Carl Bloch Paintings of the Life of Christ.

We love this painting of the Nativity.

And of Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount.  We have been in Israel and have sat on the hillside where this sermon was given.  It was an incredible experience.

Very sad and sobering picture of the killing of children under the age of 2 by the orders of wicked King Herod.  Bethlehem must have been a blood bath.  This is not one of the pictures our church generally uses!

Could this be a picture of the angel strengthening Jesus as he suffered in Gethsemane?  I'm not sure.

So exciting to see the original works of Carl Bloch.  We could get close to these two pictures but the rest are behind a glass barrier (which LeRon is almost leaning against).

These pictures are behind the glass barrier too.  Sad to not get closer.

I'm here with our daughter, Michelle.  I remember being here with another daughter, Heather, in 2013.  As we were examining the paintings, a small group of people with a tour guide entered the room.  We heard him say that the Mormon Church in Utah loved these paintings.  We quickly told the people that we were members of that church and that we loved these paintings because we had seen them in church manuals for many years.  It was a fun experience.

And then on to the Great Hall with its incredible ceiling.

And beautiful woodwork.

This lovely painting decorates the side of the wooden cabinet seen above.

Aw . . . the king's bedroom.

And a darling little girl.  

Click on this picture to enlarge so you can see the detail in this painting.  It was painted in 1836 by D.C. Blunck.  Danish Golden Age Artists have gathered in a cafe in Rome.  At the table on the right sits artist Thorvaldsen (seated in front with white hair, who carved the amazing Christus and the apostles statues in Copenhagen) and to his right are painters Ernest Meyer, D.C. Blunck himself, Jørgen Sonne in the tall grey hat, and others.  Nice peek into life in the 1800's.

In our search for a rest room, we ended up in the basement looking out on the lake which was lapping at the foundation of the castle.  No way out except for the lake or the elevator.  Below: The acoustics here were amazing.  Listen to Michelle, Andy, and LeRon sing Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy.  They got off to a rocky start and I should have started the recording again.  Oh well.

Last look at the Frederiksborg Castle and Museum.  Now back to Copenhagen to the Church of Our Lady to see Thorvaldsen's amazing Christus statue.

The Church of Our Lady (the Vor Frue Kirche, also known as the Copenhagen Cathedral) was built in the neoclassical style in 1829.  We were lucky to find parking on the street very close to the church.  Parking is just as much a problem in Copenhagen as it is in Stockholm.

Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, was accepted into the Royal Danish Academy of Art at the age of 11.  He was commissioned to sculpt the resurrected Christ and the 12 Apostles in 1819 and they were finished in 1838.  We were lucky to have the church almost to ourselves.  On other visits we have had to compete with many tourists and even a wedding one time. 

The 12 Apostles line both sides of the chapel.  Here are Michelle and Andy with Judas Thaddaeus.

And here is the Apostle John, or Johannes.

An angel bearing a baptismal font stands before the risen Christ.  It is through baptism that we can come unto Christ.

LeRon and I were thrilled to see the original Christus - the Resurrected Christ.  We were the only ones in the chapel, except for an organist who was practicing.  See below for a short video.

The Apostle Paul.




It gets dark very early in this part of the world in November.

This picture is to remind me of the thousands of bikes that whiz through the streets of Copenhagen.  It's a driver's nightmare!

We spent two nights at this cute B&B.  The owner had built it himself and even thatched the roof.  Very lovely.

LeRon and I attended the mission's Zone Conference in Lund, which is near Malmö, while Michelle and Andy were off to do some potato consulting with some Swedish potato farmers.  They dropped us off at the Lund (pronounced loon-d) chapel.  Michelle got to meet her 2nd cousin twice removed - Elder Muhlestein.  So fun!

These pictures are for my benefit.  Love these syster missionaries - Syster Johnson and Syster Capener.  They are Syster Training Leaders, in charge of syster training in the whole mission.
And these are syster training leaders in charge of training systers in the zone.  Syster Evenson from Norway and Syster Searle.

And of course these missionaries live above us and we associate daily with them.  They are assistants to the president and they help train all missionaries.  Elder LaRose and Elder Hancock (my 4th cousin).

Elder Hughes and Elder Muhlestein (my 2nd cousin) are zone leaders and they train missionaries in their zone. 

Below:  After Zone Conference, we had great fun singing with the missionaries with LeRon on the piano.  That's such a highlight of serving this mission.  Nice that Andy and Michelle could be there too.  Andy took these videos for me so that I could join in the singing.

Not sure how Andy did this photo but it's very interesting!!

We're learning some Christmas Swedish hymns to sing in December.  L-R: Syster Erickson, Syster Davis, Syster Torrie, Syster Jones.

L-R: Elder Wilhite, Syster Wilhite, Syster Pippert, Syster Evanson, Syster Erickson.

L-R: Elder Muhlestein, Elder Hughes, Elder Hancock, Elder Knudsen, Elder Fredrick.

Michelle is helping out on the piano and LeRon is trying to lead the group as they sing in Swedish.  That's a hard job!

Elder McCallister popped in for a visit.  We loved working with him in the mission office for 6 weeks.  Nice to see him again.  Goodness, am I really that short?

Supper at a creperie.  Delicious food!

That's one huge crepe.  We should have shared.  LeRon and I usually do.

The Lund Cathedral is very striking.  Sad that it wasn't open this late at night.

The next morning, Wednesday November 10, Michelle and Andy are driving us to the airport to fly home and they will travel on to Kristianstad (pronounced Kri-hawn'-stawd) to see some cemeteries with Elder Hughes and Elder Muhlestein.  Andy has ancestors in Kristianstad.  How cool is that?  Oh . . . and about this picture.  Everyone is getting ready for Christmas.  Christmas lights and sculptures popping up everywhere.

Andy found this cool place by searching on his phone for interesting things to see on our way to the airport.  This is Månstorp (pronounced moans-torp), a former manor farm dating back to the Middle Ages.  A Renaissance castle was built here in 1540, consisting of a 5-meter high rampart surrounded by a ditch.

Looking out from the castle you can see . . . green farmland!  Yeah!

We crossed this reconstructed bridge to go over the ditch to the castle.

Not much is left but the walls are interesting to see.  The farmer who owns the land allows tourists to visit for free.

Goodbye southern Sweden.  It has been an adventure.

LeRon is examining the construction.  Large stones and smaller stones filling in the cracks.

Click to enlarge this picture and you will see the sign welcoming you to the town.

As you leave, the name of the town is crossed out so you know you are leaving.  Great idea!


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