Heilig-Geist-Kirche (Church of the Holy Spirit)
The Heilig-Geist-Kirche was built in 1386 and has served as a place of worship for the Danish-speaking citizens of Flensburg since the Reformation. The church still houses 2 ship models, the TORDENSKJOLD and the DANIA.
In many churches on the coasts of Southern Europe, so-called votive ships remind us of a custom that is characteristic of Christian seafaring in earlier centuries. Among other things, votive ships were intended to commemorate salvation from distress at sea. In Denmark, too, the tradition of hanging ship models in church interiors is still known today. They served representative purposes and, as symbols of maritime navigation, were intended to show the risks for ship and crew. In earlier centuries, a warship was often chosen as a model to donate to a church. From them, not only sailors hoped for protection from enemies and dangers on the sea, but also the other churchgoers.
The TORDENSKJOLD was a war frigate with 20 cannons. The model was donated to the church in 1863 by the association "Danish Brothers in Arms in Flensburg". This association had been founded in 1859. One member was the customs officer I. E. R. Praëm, who had been part of the Danish fleet in the war of 1848-50. He was the builder of the TORDENSKJOLD replica. The name Tordenskjold harks back to a Danish naval hero, who was commemorated by this warship, built in Copenhagen. As is, the models, even though their names refer to a specific ship, are usually not faithful replicas. Today, the TORDENSKJOLD votive ship is placed under the roof of the side aisle.
The DANIA (= Denmark) is also a square-rigged warship, equipped with 70 cannons. Its donor is supposed to be H. A. Petersen, and the votive was probably transferred to the church in 1863, perhaps earlier. Today it is to be found in the nave, on a console on the south wall of the church. The two ships sailed under the Danish flag, Dannebrog.