Medieval churches in Denmark

Gundslev Church

Gundslev Church situated 1 km from the town Gundslev, because the village was moved in the 14th century. The church was founded pribably in the 12th century. It has a neat and harmonious appearance, and is constructed of red brick. The interior contains some early frecoes, dating probably from around 1300. They include depictions of the twelve apostles, in good condition, perhaps because they are likely to have offended P ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Nørre Alslev, Denmark

Tingsted Church

Tingsted Church, located on high ground in the village of Tingsted, dates from c. 1200. Built in the Romanesque style, it is best known for its frescos from the end of the 15th century. At an early stage, the pink-plastered church was dedicated to St Peter. As the name Tingsted implies, the place was originally associated with early lawmaking in the area. In 1329, King Christopher II concluded an agreement with Marsk Ludv ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Horbelev Church

Horbelev Church dates from c. 1200. The chancel and nave were built in Romanesque style and the church has unusually high walls. It is one of the oldest churches in Falster. The Gothic tower and porch were added in late medieval times.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Horbelev, Denmark

Randrup Church Ruins

Randrup Church was built probably around 1200. Very little is known of the church origins, not even when it was demolished. Today fragments of foundations remain.
Founded: 1200 | Location: Spentrup, Denmark

Torkilstrup Church

Torkilstrup Church was built of hewn fieldstone rather than brick, indicating it is one of the oldest churches on the island from before 1160. The western part of the chancel and the nave from the Romanesque period are built of hewn fieldstone with a few limestone trimmings. Rounded-arch friezes, sometimes with ornamental lilies, decorate the north and south walls of the nave, indicating an early design. The round-arched ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Eskilstrup, Denmark

Horreby Church

Horreby Church probably dates from the 12th century. Annexed to Falkerslev, it was set to be demolished in 1688 but the decision was retracted. It did however close in 1696 but was reopened the following year by order of the king.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Idestrup Church

Idestrup Church built in the Romanesque style dates from the 12th century. With its whitewashed walls, rounded windows and a red tiled roof it stands in the middle of the town. There is a crucifix from the 14th century and memorial epitaphs from the early 17th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Idestrup, Denmark

Lillebraende Church

Lillebrænde Church has a Romanesque chancel and the nave has been constructed of red monk bricks in th 14th century. It has never been whitewashed. There has been lacerated on the chancel window, which has been covered behind the altarpiece since 1944. The altarpiece has now been removed and today the mural paintings function as altar pictures. Late Gothic chancel arch crucifix date from 1450.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stubbekøbing, Denmark

Arninge Church

Arninge Church is a Late Romanesque church built of red brick in the 13th century. It has an intricately carved auricular altarpiece created by Henrik Werner in 1644. The church was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Built of red brick, the church consists of a Romanesque apse, chancel and nave and a Gothic porch. There is a free-standing 14th century timber bell tower adjacent to the church. The chancel has traces ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dannemare, Denmark

Maglebraende Church

The whitewashed church in Maglebrænde was built of monk bricks (large medieval bricks) with a Romanesque choir around 1400. There is no tower, but a little spire on the roof. The church has a few murals from 1300s and 1500s with religious motifs.
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Stubbekøbing, Denmark

Nørre Ørslev Church

Nørre Ørslev with Romanesque choir and nave was built around the year 1250. The Gothic tower and modern porch were added later. The church is now painted pink and red.
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Skelby Church

Skelby church was built originally around the year 1200 and the tower was added in 1400s. In 1857 the church was in bad shape and the nave and choir were rebuilt of yellow bricks. On the northern side of the nave, the ruling body of Niels Amager set up a chalk stone epitafium. There is an interesting octagonal limestone font from 1175-1200, made in Gotland.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Gedser, Denmark

Sønder Alslev Church

Sønder Alslev Church was built around the year 1200, but it has been altered several times. It has a Romanesque nave, Gothic tower and chapel from 1796. The latest restoration of choir and apse was made in 1861.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Sønder Kirkeby Church

Sønder Kirkeby Church dates from the 12th century, but it was strongly altered during the restoration in 1865.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark

Vålse Church

Vålse Church was built around 1100 and it is consecrated to Sankt Olav, whose figure can be seen on the triptych altarpiece dating from 1450. Furthermore there is a relief of the crucification and the 12 apostles and 4 saints.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Norre Alslev, Denmark

Elling Church

Elling Church was built in the first half of 13th century. It was made of large bricks. There are beautiful details in the church, like the votive ship from 1757 and pulpit from 1766.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Frederikshavn, Denmark

Astrup Church

Astrup church was constructed of granite and bricks between 1200-1250. The tower was mentioned in 1639 but today it doesn"t exist anymore. There is a grave of Bøgsted family members in the east side. In 1908 some rune carvings were founded from the wall.
Founded: 1200-1250 | Location: Hjørring, Denmark

Fuglse Church

The medieval church of Fuglse was originally dedicated to St Lawrence but after it was rebuilt in 1595 it was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. After the Reformation it was owned by the Crown until it was transferred to the prefect Henning Ulrich von Lützow in 1689 who gained ownership of nearby Søholt the following year. It later came into the ownership of Raben Huitfeld Levetzau til Kærstrup (1835) and th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Holeby, Denmark

Gloslunde Church

Gloslunde Church was built in the 13th century. Built of red brick but now whitewashed, the church consists of a Romanesque chancel and nave and a Gothic porch and sacristy. A 14th-century timber bell tower stands close to the church"s northwest corner. There are two small Romanesque windows on the chancel gable, now both bricked up. The east gable is also decorated with a round-arch frieze. The original flat wooden ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dannemare, Denmark

Fjelsø Church

Fjelsø Church oldest parts date from the 1200s, built of granite ashlars. The interior was decorated with paintings in 1895. The pulpit dates from 1736.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Aalestrup, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.