Medieval churches in Denmark

Asmild Abbey Church

The relatively large church, which predated the nunnery, was built about 1090 as a parish church dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch during the reign of King Olaf I of Denmark. It functioned as the cathedral of Viborg until the new cathedral at Viborg was finished in 1133. It was constructed of granite and limestone in the Romanesque style with rounded arches and few windows. The church was of an irregular shape with a ...
Founded: c. 1090 | Location: Viborg, Denmark

Øster Ulslev Church

Øster Ulslev Church was built around 1225 and the tower was added in 1693. The font dates also from c. 1225 and pulpit from 1625. The altarpiece was painted in 1853.
Founded: c. 1225 | Location: Øster-Ulslev, Denmark

Vestenskov Church

Vestenskov Church was built of red bricks originally between 1250 and 1300. It was enlarged in the 1400s and the church size was was nearly doubled. There is an external wooden bell tower. The Renaissance altar dates from 1590s, but it was restored in 1650. The pulpit was carved in 1627.
Founded: 1250-1300 | Location: Nakskov, Denmark

Vester Ulslev Church

Vester Ulslev Church was built in the late 13th century. The late-Gothic tower was erected later in the Middle Ages. The Romanesque font is probably made in Gotland. One of church bells date from 16th century, other from 1860. The altarpiece was painted around 1616 and is very similar to near Fuglse Church altar. The pulpit dates from c. 1610.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Øster-Ulslev, Denmark

Nørre Alslev Church

Nørre Alslev Church dates from at least 1308, a date found on its early frescos. Built in the Early Gothic style and painted pink according to local tradition, it is best known for its fresco of the death dance. In the Middle Ages, the church was dedicated to St Nicholas. The Early Gothic chancel and nave are built of brick on a 60 cm high sloping foundation. The chancel, with a three-sided end, has a stepped friez ...
Founded: c. 1308 | Location: Nørre Alslev, Denmark

Karleby Church

Karleby Church was built in c. 1130. It was restored in 1863.
Founded: c. 1130 | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Sindal Old Church

Sindal Old Church dates from the 13th century with choir, nave and porch, beautifully situated with the old cemetery and a newly forested churchyard. It has not been altered substantially since its foundation, and has no tower. A bellframe holds two bells, the oldest of which was cast in the sixteenth century. The altarpiece is a fine piece of Renaissance work and holds a picture by distinguished Skagen artist Michael Anc ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sindal, Denmark

Stokkemarke Church

Stokkemarke Church dates from the mid-1200s. It was built in the Romanesque style with later additions in the Gothic period. The church was dedicated to St. Clement in 1396 although it was later associated with St. George, probably as a result of a panel from St Jørgens Hospital in Bregerup which hung in the church until 1878. A reliquary found in the high altar was a gift from Bishop Gisike of Odense (1286–1 ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Stokkemarke, Denmark

Femø Church

Femø Church was built around 1500. It was consecrated for Sankt Nikolaus, the patron saint of mariners. The remarkable crucifix has been made in c. 1300. It was placed in the church in 1939. The former altarpiece is standing in the steeple room. The font is a piece of Gothic limestone creation with tip curved sepals, which are fetched from Gotland. There are a birth basin made of brass in the year of 1859 and a bir ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Maribo, Denmark

Fjelstrup Church

Fjelstrup church is a big whitewashed church built in late Romanesque style. It was built with large medieval bricks and consists of a chancel and a nave. The church has been expanded with several extensions in late gothic style: an expansion of the chancel, an addition to the north and a tower to the west. At a later period a vestry was added to the north. The nave has a flat plaster ceiling and the big chancel has been ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Jegerup Church

Jegerup church is a whitewashed Romanesque church with choir and nave. Two late-Gothic buildings were added later: A tower on the western side and a weaponhouse to the south. In 1905 a sacristy was added to the northern side of the church. The inside of the church is also whitewashed and the flat ceiling is in plaster with stucco, the choir arch has been changed into a pointed arch. The alterpiece is from 1614 and was ...
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Skanderup Church

Skanderup Church was built probably around 1200 and is mentioned first time in 1280. The church contains a number of monuments, epitaphs and some magnificent Baroque style oak wood carvings, also produced in the workshop of Peter Jensen Kolding.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Kolding, Denmark

St. Ib's Church

St Ib's Church (Sankt Ibs kirke or Ibsker) is a fine 12th century Romanesque building. The church was originally known as Beati Jacobi (1335), in 1429 it became Sancti Jacobs kirke (St Jacob's Church) and later evolved to Ibs Kirke (Ib being the familiar Scandinavian form of Jacob) which in turn became Ibsker (ker meaning church). Today the parish is officially known as Ibsker. The church consists of a Romanesque tower, ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Svaneke, Denmark

Snoldelev Church

Snoldelev Church was built around 1100 to the site of older wooden church. The frescoes date from the 1550s and pulpit from 1594.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Gadstrup, Denmark

Ejby Church

The Romanesque nave of Ejby Church dates from c. 1150–1200. It was extended to the east in the Gothic period, and tower, vestry and porch wered added around 1500. The baptismal font dates from c. 1300. It was created in Gothland limestone and decorated with engraved figures of apostles and saints. The canopy type altarpiece was painted in 1596 with catechism tablets.The pulpit in auricular style dates from 1625.
Founded: 1150–1200 | Location: Lille Skensved, Sweden

Uggeløse Church

Uggeløse Church was built originaly around 1150 and reconstructed in 1330s. The original altar (1597) and pulpit (1629) disappeared in the restoration made in 1841, but the original medieval font still exists.
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Lynge, Denmark

Torup Church

Torup Church dates from the 12th century and it was restored in 1746 and 1839. The church has, among other things, a granite Romanesque baptismal font, frescoes from about 1250, a crucifix from about 1300 and the nave from 1750.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hundested, Denmark

Reerslev Church

The oldest parts of the Reerslev Church, nave and the chancel, date back to the 12th century and are in the Romanesque style. In the 15th century, a chapel, a vestry and an extension of the nave to the west were added in the late-Gothic style. Cross vaults were also added during this period. The cross vaults were decorated by the Isefjord school around 1450. After the Reformation, they were covered with limewash for cent ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hedehusene, Denmark

Vesterø Søndre Church

Vesterø Søndre Church was built around 1250 by monks of Vitskøl monastery. The tiptych dates from around 1475. The arches are decorated with beautifully with murals depicting the Three Wise Men (made around 1510 by Sæby Workshop).
Founded: 1250 | Location: Læsø, Denmark

Bursø Church

Bursø Church was built in the 12th century. It doesn’t have much decoration, but there is a fresco in the chorus. The altarpiece dates from 1689. It was a gift from prefect H.U. von Lutzow and his wife E.C. von Schager. Their coat of arms is displayed on it. The church has no tower.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Maribo, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.