The architecture of religious buildings

The earliest church in the Danish West Indies was situated at Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas. A source gives the impression of a simply decorated chapel with burials under the floor and a wooden ceiling decorated with a painting of the Archangel Gabriel.

The first Danish colonists were Lutheran Protestants, but they allowed the French Huguenots, Dutch Reformed and other Protestant churches to establish themselves on the islands. Sephardic Jews from the Portuguese and Spanish colonies also enjoyed religious freedom here, along with Anglicans and Catholics from the surrounding colonial Caribbean islands.

In Charlotte Amalie there are many faiths, but since the town has been plagued by several fires – most recently in 1832 – none of the church buildings predates that year. The large, neoclassical church in the town, the Frederic Lutheran Church, was built in 1820 and rebuilt after the fire, presumably by the Danish architect Løvmand.

The synagogue dates from 1833 and was also rebuilt after a fire in 1832, when the early synagogue from the end of the 1700s burnt down. It was built in the neoclassical style and is situated on a narrow site in Krystalgade, where it is wedged in as town house in the street.