Welcome to this website about Niels Steensen, one of the most fascinating Danish personalities of the 17th century. Steensen was born in Copenhagen in 1638, and went abroad to study in the Netherlands when he was 21. There he made a reputation for himself within anatomy. His discoveries gained him the patronage of the Medici court in Florence, where he lived and worked from 1666-1674. His work in Florence laid the foundations of the science of geology. Steensen converted to Catholicism, was ordained a priest and bishop, and worked in northern Germany until his death in Schwerin in 1686. He was known for his exemplary integrity, self-sacrifice, and service to others. In 1988 Niels Steensen was beatified by holy John Paul II.