Medieval churches in Denmark

Olstrup Church

Olstrup Church is a Romanesque church built around 1200. In the Middle Ages, the church was originally dedicated to St Lawrence. Built of red brick, the relatively small church first consisted of a Romanesque chancel and nave. It was later extended to the west in the Late Gothic period with a stepped gable. The chancel"s cross-vaults and the round chancel arch may date from the church"s original construction. Th ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Errindlev, Denmark

Dommerby Church

Dommerby Church was built in the Romanesque style around 1200. The red-brick parts were added in 1880. There is a beautiful silver-made chalice from c. 1300. The pulpit was made in 1751 and altarpiece in 1858.
Founded: 1200 | Location: Skive, Denmark

Tågerup Church

Tågerup Church is a Romanesque parish church dating from the beginning of the 13th century. Its nave is richly decorated with early 16th-century frescos painted by the Brarup workshop. The church was originally dedicated to Our Lady as documented in a letter of indulgence from 1470. An altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary attracted large numbers of pilgrims on the Feast of the Annunciation until 1636. Little is known ...
Founded: 1220 | Location: Rødby, Denmark

Tillitse Church

Tillitse Church was built in the first half of the 13th century and extended towards the west in the early 17th century. Little is known of its ownership in the Middle Ages but the Crown had clerical appointment rights at the time of the Reformation. In 1648, it was transferred to the ownership of the Rudbjerggård Estate where over the years it was governed by F.B. Bülow and Gustav Smith. It came into the owner ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Dannemare, Denmark

Bjolderup Church

Bjolderup Church was built in the 12th century probably to replace a wooden church. It was expanded in the 15th century and and the tower was added in 1589. It was burned in the war or 1624-1627. In the church there are many paintings from 1778 painted by the Aabenraa artist Jess Jessen. The church greatest treasure is the "Bjolderup-stone", a tombstone from the grave of Ketil Urnes that now lies in as a part of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bolderslev, Denmark

Bramdrup Church

Bramdrup Church dates probably from the late 12th century or 13th century and was rebuilt in 1880. In the cemetery is a memorial for fallen soldiers of Battle of Kolding (1849).
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kolding, Denmark

Eltang Church

Eltang Church was built around 1100 and enlarged later in the Middle Ages. The church bell dates from 1588.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Kolding, Denmark

Bevtoft Church

Bevtoft Church is located in the heart of Southern Jutland, and began its life as a romanesque chapel, which was expanded to a real parish church in the 1100s. Visit the church and the past, as you see the ancient features. The vaulted ceiling above the high altar is an octagonal crossed vault, which opens towards the nave in a pointed arch, where the organ is placed. The choir also has an octagonal crossed vault, whil ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Bevtoft, Denmark

Bjerning Church

the exact foundation of Bjerning Church is unknown, but since the original part of the church, nave and choir is a typical Romanesque ashlar-church, it is reasonable to assume that is was erected around the year 1200. Fixtures in the church also confirms this, like a figure of an archbishop in wood, which has been dated to around 1250, and a figure of Mary and child from around 1350. On November 17th 1937, a violent fire ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Hjerting Church

Hjerting Church is Romanesque church from c. 1200. It is very small and is constructed of raw granite. It has no tower but does have a rigde turret, where the bell is. There is an interesting, and very small chancel arch leading into the chancel with its (for the size of the church) unusually large altarpiece.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Vejen, Denmark

Holbøl Church

Holbøl Church was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style, Gothic features were added later. The bell tower dates from 1753. One pulpit dates from 1641 and another from 1870.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kruså, Denmark

Herslev Church

The western part of the chancel and the eastern part of the nave are the oldest parts of Herslev Church dating from the Romanesque period. The chancel and the nave were extended in the late Middle Ages, when the porch was presumably also built. When the chancel was extended, a vault was erected. The church was restored in 1881: the porch was rebuilt, the large windows were put in and a wall was put round a belfry at the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Fredericia, Denmark

Kværs Church

Kværs Church has a Romanesque chancel and have two newer extensions. West of the church stands a wooden belfry, built in 1815. An early Gothic figure of John the Baptist, from the 14th century, stands in the church and on the late Gothic bell is a primitive relief of one of the district"s most revered saints, St. Helper.
Founded: 1150-1200 | Location: Gråsten, Denmark

Moltrup Church

Moltrup Church is mentioned for the first time in 1460 but it was erected probably in the 12th century. The sacristy was added in 1728. The altarpiece is from the 17th century and pulpit from 1882.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Nustrup Church

Nustrup Church consists of a Romanesque nave, choir and apse with late-Gothic tower and an unusually large weaponhouse towards the south. The church is rich in exciting fixtures, like a St. Hjælper (Saint Helper) crucifix from the early 1400s. The altarpiece dates from 1475 and Renaissance pulpit from 1575.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Nybøl Church

Nybøl Church dates from c. 1150 and is typical Romanesque stone church. It was expanded later in the Middle Ages and again in 1582. The font is original from the Romanesque age. The pulpit dates from 1608.
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Rinkenæs Old Church

Rinkenæs Old Church was built in 1158 in the Romanesque style. The church is found at the top of a hill. Originally it was surroundd by a village, however this disappeared around year 1300. In several places a close examination of the bricks will reveal marks which are traces of the many wars in the region: in addition, the church yard contains several historical relics, in particular of the Schleswig battles of the 19th ...
Founded: 1158 | Location: Gråsten, Denmark

Seest Church

Seest Church consists of a Romanesque choir and the ship, originally the apse, and a late medieval tower in the west. A late medieval porch in front southern door was demolished by the mid-1800s. The walls of chancel and nave is of field stone, and space has retained his flat beam ceilings. Arc is a brick wall on the Renaissance, possibly from 1539. During restoration 1963-64, led by architect JK Jepsen, Kolding, was afte ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Kolding, Denmark

Sønder Starup Church

Sønder Starup Church is a Romanesque church dating from c. 1100.  The tower was erected around 1450.
Founded: c .1100 | Location: Haderslev, Denmark

Tandslet Church

Tandslet Church was built around 1200. The wooden bell tower was built also in the Middle Ages and it is situated in the Bronze Age burial mound. Frescoes dates from the late Middle Ages and pulpit from 1576. Altarpiece was made by Aabenraa artist Jes Jessen, from 1798. Organs were built 1863 by Marcussen & Son, Aabenraa.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.