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N.F.S. Grundtvig and Tommerup Kister

Product number:   900029
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Tommerup Kister was asked to build a new coffin for the Danish philosopher Grundtvig's sister-in-law Franziska Carlsen. She was to be transferred to a new coffin after her old coffin had been ruined by damp. The new coffin is hand-made of solid Danish oak. In the tomb Grundtvig himself is embalmed and lies in a zink coffin. He has been mummified and it is still possible to see his characteristic long white hair and beard in the family tomb in Køge. />

Grundtvig lived to the ripe old age of 88 år. His coffin was transported by a special train from Copenhagen to Køge Ås, followed by hundreds of mourners. He was one of the most famous Danes at the time.



Grundtvig’s thoughts on schools and teaching profoundly altered the Danish school system. Grundtvig is considered the father of the Danish Folk High School-movement, and wanted to educate the Danish youth on culture and society. To Grundtvig, it was important to educate young people on national culture and history as well as to teach people to take active part in society.

Grundtvig formulated his thoughts on folk high schools through the 1830’s and 1840’s and believed that the state should establish a high school. The state never founded a high school, but the first folk high school was built in Rødding in 1844 by a private group.

The school in Rødding was only the first of many folk high schools to be built in Denmark and today there are about 80 high schools. It was important to Grundtvig that learning is motivated by curiosity and the desire to learn rather than exams or tests, and that is still the ideal for the Danish folk high schools today.

However, not just the high school, but the whole of the Danish school system has been influenced by Grundtvig’s thoughts on learning for life, not for exams.

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