Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


The Round Tower of Copenhagen

During the week in Copenhagen, Mrs. White had opportunity to take a little time for sight-seeing. With Willie and Elder Brorsen, she visited the “Round Tower.” The tower, a Copenhagen landmark, was built in 1642 by Christian IV as an observatory for astronomers of the University of Copenhagen. Connected with the tower is Trinitatis, the University church. EGWE 208.6

She was intrigued by the fact that instead of stairs, the tower had a broad, gradual ramp on an incline, winding to its top, nine stories high. The guide at the tower informed the visitors that once Peter the Great and Frederick IV of Denmark rode to the top of this tower. As they looked down from the dizzy height, Peter said to Frederick, “Which of us has soldiers who would prove their loyalty by throwing themselves down from here if their king required it?” Frederick replied that he could not claim to have any such soldiers, but he was not afraid to sleep in the house of the poorest subject in his kingdom. “Noble man! Noble answer!” Ellen White exclaimed in a letter to her niece, Addie Walling (Letter 101, 1886). But as she gazed down on the great city her thoughts turned from its noble past to its clouded future. She began to imagine what it would be like the day Christ comes. “This city is given up to pleasure and worldliness,” she said. “Beer-drinking and card-playing, dancing and revelling, absorb the attention of the people.”—The Review and Herald, October 26, 1886. EGWE 209.1

The people of Copenhagen, like the dwellers in Sodom, would wake only when it was too late, she said. EGWE 209.2

“As the sun arose for the last time upon the cities of the plain, the people thought to commence another day of godless riot. All were eagerly planning their business or their pleasure, and the messenger of God was derided for his fears and his warnings. Suddenly as the thunder peal from an unclouded sky, fell balls of fire on the doomed capital. ‘So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’”—Ibid. EGWE 209.3

The words sounded strangely like the warning voice from an ancient seer. EGWE 209.4

On Monday, July 26, 1886, Ellen White and her traveling companions left Copenhagen to return to Basel once again, reaching home on Wednesday, and she was glad to be back! It had been a time of turmoil and a time of peace. EGWE 209.5