Christiansfeld, with a population of 2,977 (1 January 2022),[1] is a town in Kolding Municipality in Southern Jutland in Region of Southern Denmark. The town was founded in 1773 by the Moravian Church and named after the Danish king Christian VII.[2] Since July 2015 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting its status as the best-preserved example of the town-planning and architecture of the Moravian Church.[3]

The Moravian Church in Christiansfeld
The Moravian Church in Christiansfeld
Coat of arms of Christiansfeld
Christiansfeld is located in Denmark
Christiansfeld is located in Region of Southern Denmark
Coordinates: 55°21′24″N 9°29′11″E / 55.35667°N 9.48635°E / 55.35667; 9.48635
RegionSouthern Denmark (Syddanmark)
 • Urban
2.36 km2 (0.91 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
6070 Christiansfeld (in Danish)
Official nameChristiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement
Inscription2015 (39th Session)


The town was constructed around a central Church Square bordered by two parallel streets running east to west.[3] The Hall, Sister's House, fire-house, the vicarage, and the former provost’s house were built directly around the square, and shops, Brother's House, family residences, a hotel, and a school were built along the parallel streets. [4] Many of the residential buildings are communal, which were typical of Moravian settlements and were used by the widows and unmarried women and men of the congregation.[3] The architecture of Christiansfeld is homogeneous, dominated by one or two-story buildings made out of yellow brick and red tile roofs.[3] Many of the buildings in Christiansfeld retain their original uses.[4]


Most of Christiansfeld was constructed in the years 1773–1800, following a strict city plan that drew inspiration from the earlier Moravian settlements of Herrnhaag and Gnadau.[4] To encourage construction, king Christian VII promised a ten-year tax holiday for the city and paid 10% of the construction costs of new houses.[4] By 1779, the town's population reached 279, and by 1782, it had about 400 residents.[4] It was one of many towns in Schleswig officially designated a small market town (flække).

In 1864, Christiansfeld and the rest of Schleswig was ceded to Prussia as a result of Denmark's defeat in the Second Schleswig War. It remained a part of Germany until 1920 when, as a part of a plebiscite called for by the Treaty of Versailles, Northern Schleswig voted to rejoin Denmark. After reunification, the Moravian church lost some of the rights it had obtained as a part of the town's founding in the 18th century. For example, it no longer had the ability to choose the towns leadership, paving the way for the town's first Danish mayor who was not a member of the church in 1920.[5] The church also sold its schools at this time due to the declining membership of its congregation.

From 1970 to 2007, the town was the administrative seat of Christiansfeld Municipality, but it lost this status and was placed in the Kolding Municipality as a part of the Municipal Reform of 2007 (Kommunalreformen 2007).

In 2009 Kolding Municipality and Realdania-foundation agreed on a 100 million DKK restoration project of the inner-city. In 2012 the A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond donated 60 million DKK for the restoration of the Sister's House.[6]


Today, the city is a tourist attraction: the old city core, the Moravian Church with its light, simple and impressive hall and the special cemetery draw thousands of tourists each year. Its well preserved architecture is one of the reasons it was nominated as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.[7] It was finally inscribed on the main list on 4 July 2015.[8]

The town is famed for its honey cakes. These are baked to a secret recipe from 1783. Until 2008, the cakes were baked in the original 18th-century bakery, which was then renovated because of new national sanitary standards, but still uses the original recipes.

Notable peopleEdit

Carl Fredrik Kiörboe, 1901
  • Christian David Gebauer (1777–1831) a German-born Danish animal and landscape painter, brought up in Christiansfeld
  • Carl Fredrik Kiörboe (1799 in Christiansfeld - 1876) a Danish-born Swedish artist, painted animals
  • Johann Christian Gebauer (1808–1884) a Danish composer, organist and music theorist, brought up in Christiansfeld
  • Camilla Collett (1813–1895) a Norwegian writer, maybe the first Norwegian feminist, went to school in Christiansfeld
  • Samuel Kleinschmidt (1814 in Greenland – 1886) a German/Danish missionary, teacher in Christiansfeld 1837-1841
  • Theodor Brorsen (1819–1895) a Danish astronomer, discovered of five comets; went to school in Christiansfeld
  • Carl Bock (1849–1932) a Norwegian government official, author, naturalist and explorer; went to school in Christiansfeld
  • Hans Lunding (1899 in Stepping, near Christiansfeld – 1984) military officer and head of the combined army and naval intelligence services; also a bronze medallist in the 1936 Summer Olympics
  • Henrik Toft (born 1981 in Christiansfeld) a Danish professional footballer, who currently plays for Kolding BK
  • Maya Olesen (born 1991 in Christiansfeld), competitor for Denmark [9] in Miss World 2011 [10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ BY3: Population 1st January by urban areas, area and population density The Mobile Statbank from Statistics Denmark
  2. ^ Dansk Stednavne Leksikon, JYLLAND - Sydlige del, FYN med omliggende øer, (page 30). ISBN 87-00-55221-6 (in Danish)
  3. ^ a b c d "Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Annemette Løkke Borg Berg; Lene Lindberg Marcussen; Karen Stoklund (2013). Danish World Heritage Nomination: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Settlement (PDF) (Report). Kolding Municipality. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  5. ^ A Town Walk in Christiansfeld Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Heggland, Nils-Ole (24 January 2012). "Stenrig A.P. Møller-fond udskriver millioncheck". (in Danish). Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  7. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  8. ^ "Sites in Denmark, France and Turkey inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  9. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 2 May 2018
  10. ^ Miss Denmark website (in Danish) retrieved 2 May 2018

External linksEdit

  Media related to Christiansfeld at Wikimedia Commons