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St. Peder’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

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St. Peder’s Dansk Evangelical Lutheran Kirke
1919–1921. 1796 7th Ave.
  • View northeast (Photograph by Peter Olshavsky)
  • Nave (Photograph by Peter Olshavsky)
  • (Photograph by Peter Olshavsky)
  • Pulpit (Photograph by Peter Olshavsky)
  • Detail of carving on pulpit (Photograph by Peter Olshavsky)

St. Peder’s Dansk Evangelical Lutheran Kirke, as it was originally called, is located in the very small, unincorporated village of Nysted. Named for a town in Denmark, Nysted lies within Howard County, one of the first areas of Danish settlement in Nebraska. Both the village and the church were established in the early 1880s. In 1921 the current church replaced the Danish community’s first church, a wood-framed structure built in 1887. Its design is typical of Danish village churches and incorporates the traditions of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Danish ecclesiastical architecture.

The building is a one-story brick structure over a raised basement. Rectangular in plan, the nave and chancel are covered by a gable roof with the central entrance located under a square bell tower. That tower, along with the other facades, features engaged buttresses. The pointed arch windows have concrete caps. The stepped brick gables on the ends of the nave and chancel and on the four sides of the bell tower link the church to its Danish architectural precedents. The modest interior features a ceiling and sanctuary walls that are unadorned except for the wooden arch that frames the chancel. Noteworthy appointments include the hand-carved pulpit and altar, the latter displaying a stepped design that mimics the characterizing exterior feature of the church.

This church, along with the Danish Folk School (1888–1937) located across the street, forms an integral part of Danish cultural heritage in Nysted.


Christensen, Marjorie, Barbara Sorensen, and Jill Dolberg, “St. Peder’s Evangelical Lutheran Church,” Howard County, Nebraska. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 2006. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Writing Credits

H. Keith Sawyers
Peter Olshavsky
H. Keith Sawyers
Peter Olshavsky



  • 1919

    Design and construction

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H. Keith Sawyers, Peter Olshavsky, "St. Peder’s Evangelical Lutheran Church", [Dannebrog, Nebraska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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