Medieval churches in Denmark

Sakskøbing Church

Sakskøbing Church was built in the late 1200s and during following centuries the original church was extended with a nave and tower. The present 48m high tower was built in 1852. The altarpiece from the 1500s is a late Gothic wood carving from Lübeck. The pulpit dates from about 1620.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sakskøbing, Denmark

Keldby Church

The imposing red brick church in Keldby is one of the three Møn island churches decorated with frescos by the Elmelunde Master, probably towards the end of the 15th century. In the so-called Biblia pauperum style, they present many of the most popular stories from the Old and New Testaments. There are also a number of earlier frescoes in the church dating back to about 1275. The original nave and choir were constr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stege, Denmark

Nysted Church

The present building of Nysted Church dates back to c. 1300. Originally it consisted of a central nave with a three sided apse to the east. The impressive tower was built a century later. In 1643 a spire was added, and in 1935 this was covered by copper. The Raben-Levtzau family of Aalholm Castle had their own chapel built in 1782. According a rumour there is a secret underground passage from the castle to the church. It ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Nysted, Denmark

Vallensbæk Church

Vallensbæk church was built between 1150 and 1200. The tower was added in the 16th century. The altar was destroyed by fire in 2007. The Romanesque style baptismal font dates from the beginning of the 13th century and is the oldest item in the church.  The church in Vallensbæk Village dates back to the 1100s, built in the years 1150-1200. It is a typical village church, which originally consisted of cows and ships i ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vallensbæk, Denmark

Balling Church

Balling church was built of stone in Romanesque style around 1200. The tower was added in the late Middle Ages, but today only the lower part of it exists. The chapel and porch were added in 1500s. The current tower was erected in 1945. The altar table dates from 1580s and the painting from c. 1600. The pulpit was built around 1800.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Spøttrup, Denmark

Dronninglund Castle

Dronninglund Castle is a former royal residence located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Its history goes back to the 12th century, when it was the Benedictine monastery of Hundslund Priory. After the last nuns left it in 1581, it was first owned by the Lindenow family. In 1690, Queen Charlotte Amalie acquired it. It is from her that the palace takes the name Dronninglund, meaning 'queens forest'. ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Dronninglund, Denmark

Kippinge Church

Kippinge Church is known for its rich Renaissance furnishings and its frescos from the mid-14th century. By 1338, the villages of Vester- and Østerkippinge had grown up on either side of the parish church, which remained on an isolated site in the countryside. In the Middle Ages, the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Crown had calling rights for the appointment of cl ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Nørre Alslev, Denmark

Sulsted Church

Sulsted Church, located in Sulsted, a small Danish town in northern Jutland, just north of Aalborg, was constructed c. 1150-1200 and features a large number of frescos or kalkmalerier, all created in 1548 by Hans Maler from Randers. Unlike other frescos in Danish churches, Sulsted"s murals were not concealed with limewash after the Reformation and have survived to this day. The frescos, which decorate the ceiling of ...
Founded: 1150-1200 | Location: Sulsted, Denmark

Gunderup Church

The choir and nave of Gunderup Church were built in the 1100s, but the church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1445. The chapel was added around 1500. The altarpiece is a triptych from 1537-1538. The pulpit dates from 1800s. The Gothic frescoes from around 1500 were revealed in 1930s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gistrup, Denmark

Nexø Church

The actual building time of Nexø Church is unknown, but the construction was probably started around the year 1346. It represents the late Gothic style and is dedicated to St. Nicholas, the saint of seafarers. The church tower was added in the 16th century and the spire in 1910. The pulpit and gilded cruficix date from the 17th century.
Founded: ca. 1346 | Location: Nexø, Denmark

Gedesby Church

Gedesby church is built with a longhouse in the Gothic style with with pointed arch windows and a Gothic tower base, of brick in monk bond. Originally the church was crown land, that is royal property until 1767, when it along with the main church in Skelby was sold along with the rest of Falster equestrian goods. The altarpiece of the Dutch wing type from 1573 is pretty and well preserved with a figure rich crucifixion ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Gedser, Denmark

Odden Church

Odden church dates from the 14th century and it was painted red in 1874. The crucifix in the belfry room is as old as the church. On the other side is a painting 'Christ in prayer in the garden of Getsemane' painted in Rome by a Ziegler a donated to the church in 1878. The pulpit is from 1821. The font contains of two parts. It is believed, that the one below is from the old chapel and was the holy water stoup. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Sjællands Odde, Denmark

Gjellerup Church

Gjellerup Church, built in the 12th century, is unique for its Latin inscription in the tympanon above former door facing to the south. The inscription, carved in 1140, makes Gjellerup Church the oldest dated building in Denmark. The church is consecrated to the Roman martyr St. Laurentius. There are traces of a Romanesque tower, and the sheer size of the church is remarkable. The oldest parts are the chancel and nave. Th ...
Founded: c. 1140 | Location: Herning, Denmark

Braaby Church

The precise date of the Braaby Church"s construction is not known but it was first documented around 1370 when it consisted of the current Romanesque nave and a smaller chancel, both built of limestone blocks. In about 1500, the tower, porch and north chapel were added with decorations consisting of belts of brick and limestone. The present chancel was constructed in c. 1570. After Steward of the Realm Peder Oxe had ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Haslev, Denmark

St. James' Church

St. James" Church or Skt. Ibs Kirke is a travertine church from around 1100. In 1808 it was transformed into a field hospital for Spanish soldiers. In 1816 the church and the graveyard were sold to a local merchant and used as warehouse until 1884. The porch, tower and chancel were demolished, however, the church was restored in 1922. Today, only the aisle is left. The famous Danish painter L.A. Ring is burried in th ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Præstø Church

The current Præstø Church was built in the mid-1400s to the site of earlier church. There was also a monastery from the end of 1200s to Reformation (1530s). Abbey buildings were demolished in 1563. The finest detail in the church is an altar donated by Laurits Nielsen in 1657.
Founded: c. 1450 | Location: Præstø, Denmark

Kalvehave Church

Kalvehave Church was built around 1225-1250 of large bricks near to a holy spring. The church is rebuilt and extended several times. The altarpiece was made in Renaissance style in the end of the 16th century. The Baroque pulpit dates from 1639.
Founded: 1225 | Location: Kalvehave, Denmark

Graeshave Church

Græshave Church was constructed in the Middle Ages of the large bricks known as 'monk stone'. It contains a chapel that was owned by the local noble family Porses. This was converted into a sacristy in 1637. The altarpiece is of the cathechetical variety associated with the post Reformation period.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dannemare, Denmark

Venø Church

Venø Church"s age is difficult to date but it was probably built around the time of the Reformation (1536), making it the oldest building on the island. According to tradition, it is the smallest church in Denmark measuring only 9.8 by 4.2 meters. The low ceiling and the limited seating capacity (only about 50 places) reinforce this impression. The church is built of fieldstone while brick has been used for th ...
Founded: c. 1536 | Location: Struer, Denmark

Skive Old Church

Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady) is the old church of Skive, built around 1200. It still have its original nave and choir. The church was enlarged around 1500. In the 1800s it became too small and new church was built next to it in 1898. The old church became however again a parish church in 1930. The murals in church walls date from 1522.
Founded: 1200 | Location: Skive, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.