Medieval churches in Denmark

Stubbekøbing Church

Stubbekøbing Church was built of limestone in the Late Romanesque period (c. 1200), with brick trimmings. In addition to its Renaissance altarpiece and pulpit, it has a variety of old frescos and wall decorations (1300–1500). The church was originally dedicated to St. Anne, for whom there is also a chapel, possibly created by the lords of Halskovgaard in the parish of Horbelev as they were remembered in the p ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Stubbekøbing, Denmark

Højby Church

Højby Church dates back to the beginning of the 12th century and it is constructed in granite. Several modifications have taken place since the original construction including a porch in the 13th century, Gothic cross-vaulting in the nave and chancel in the 14th century, a tower around the year 1400 as well as a vestry, a chapel and a new entrance porch towards the end of the Middle Ages. The church is recognised for it ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Højby, Denmark

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church (Sankt Peders Kirke) is a well-preserved sample of Romanesque building style. The oldest parts nave and apsis were built around the year 1100. The church has been enlarged and modified in the 17th and 19th centuries. The bells were made in 1574 and 1701. The font is original and made in Gotland. The interior date mainly from the 19th century.
Founded: ca. 1100 | Location: Aakirkeby, Denmark

Jyllinge Old Church

The old church of Jyllinge was built around 1100 and it belonged to Eskilsø Abbey. There is a war memorial and paving stones in the church yard.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Jyllinge, Denmark

Birket Church

Built around 1350, Birket church is rather younger than many country churches in the area which are typically from the 12th and 13th centuries. Until 1687, it had its own parish priest but it was then annexed to Vesterborg until 1914. After the Reformation it came under the ownership of the Crown but in 1686 was transferred to Pedr Brandt til Pederstrup. The church became independent in 1914. The church, built of brick o ...
Founded: 1350 | Location: Torrig, Denmark

Byrum Church

Byrum Church is the largest in Læsø island. It was built in 1269 by monks of Vitskøl monastery. The Romanesque architecture was later transformed to the Gothic style. The interesting detail is a triptych made around 1450.
Founded: 1269 | Location: Læsø, Denmark

Halsted Church

Halsted Church dates from the second half of the 12th century, the church has a Romanesque chancel and nave, a large burial chapel from 1636 and a tower from 1877. The church was closely associated with Halsted Priory, which has not survived. The granite church is first mentioned in 1177. It is therefore older than Halsted Kloster, the Benedictine priory with which it was associated from the 13th century until 1536. The ...
Founded: ca. 1100 | Location: Nakskov, Denmark

Engestofte Church

Engestofte Church was built around the year 1100. The whitewashed Gothic church was restored in 1856-57. Pews, organ case and pulpit in modern Gothic style are painted to look like oak, and the pulpit, decorated by Willie the carver - Copenhagen, furthermore with gilt. The altarpiece is a late Gothic cabinet with double side panels, certainly a work from Lübeck from about 1510. It is considered to be among the most b ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Maribo, Denmark

Kappel Church

Kappel Church was constructed as a chapel around 1464. It was as a pilgrimage site believed to have healing properties. After the Reformation there were orders to pull down the building, possibly owing to Catholic connections. This never occured and it became a parish church. The pulpit was introduced in the 17th century. The altarpiece is an 1860 painting by Jørgen Roed.
Founded: c. 1464 | Location: Nakskov, Denmark

Tystrup Church

Tystrup Church was built in the first half of 12th century and first mentioned in 1370. The nave and choir were built in Romanesque style. The Gothic tower, porch and sacristy were added later. The vaults date from around 1450. The interior is decorated with mural paintings made around 1450-1475. The Baroque pulpit dates from 1635-1640 and organs from 1860.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Fuglebjerg, Denmark

St. Bodil's Church

St Bodil's Church (Sankt Bodil Kirke) was built around 1200. It was dedicated to the English saint Botulf but by 1530 it had mistakenly become known by the woman's name "Bodil" although there has never been a Saint Bodil. As a result, the parish is called Bodilsker. The church first belonged to the Archbishopric of Lund, then came under the Danish crown at the time of the Reformation. In the 19th century, it became fully ...
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Neksø, Denmark

Selsø Church

Selsø Church was originally a small round church built in c. 1150. The two bells were probably casted in 1300 and 1467. The church has some wonderful mural paintings.
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Skibby, Denmark

Aggersborg Church

The Vikings had a stronghold at Aggersborg surrounded by an enormous rampart. Towering to the north of the rampart there is a church of Aggersborg, probably erected during the 12th century. An interesting illuminated inscription of runes can be seen on the walls of the nave and the northern chancel wall. The altarpiece dates back to 1598, but it wasn"t placed in Aggersborg until 1934. The previous altarpiece can be s ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Logstor, Denmark

Fejø Church

Fejø Church oldest part was constructed in 1240, while the chancel, nave and church porch were added over the subsequent decades. In the Middle Ages the church was dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. The church is situated right down by the water and originally served as a church for the surrounding islands, from where the congregation came to church by boat. The church has a tiled pyramidical r ...
Founded: 1240 | Location: Fejø, Denmark

Kastrup Church

Kastrup Church was rebuilt to the Gothic style around 1480 and it was dedicated to St. Clemens. The altarpiece dates from 1520 and the crucifix from 1300s. The pulpit was made in c. 1600. There are graves of 98 German soldiers and 15 civilians from the World War II.
Founded: 1480 | Location: Vordingborg, Denmark

Himmelev Church

Himmelev Church dates probably from the late 1100s and it was built in Romanesque style. The tower and arches were added around 1300 as well as Gothic style windows. The tower was rebuilt of brick around 1550. The oldest item in church is a crucifix from the 1300s. The font dates from 1625 and pulpit from 1630. The altar was made by Anders Nielsen Hatts workshop in Roskilde in the early 1600s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Vrejlev Priory

Vrejlev Priory was founded as a daughter house by canons from Børglum Abbey about 1165. It was small and built out of granite blocks. After a catastrophic fire in 1200 which destroyed the entire premises, it was decided to rebuild. 12 residential cells were built into the new north range for the Premonstratensian nuns who were to live in the rebuilt priory. Another range contained the refectory and cellars, and a t ...
Founded: 1165 | Location: Vrå, Denmark

Bogø Church

Bogø Church was originally built in the first part of the 13th century, but it was rebuilt in Gothic style in the mid-1500s. Today some medieval frescoes have survived.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bogø, Denmark

Thorsager Church

Thorsager round church is the only one of its kind in Jutland (and one of Denmark's seven medieval round churches). It was built of brick around 1200 and is one of Jutland's oldest brick buildings - perhaps the oldest. Its thick walls (1m) are an indication of the defensive role it played. The church may lie on the site of a pre-Christian sacrificial place for the god Thor. The size of the church and its architecture s ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Rønde, Denmark

Jørlunde Church

Jørlunde church is an early medieval church situated in Jørlunde, built by Skjalm Hvide around the year 1085. The church is richly decorated inside with frescos dating back to the middle of the 12th century created by the so called Jørlunde workshop.
Founded: c. 1085 | Location: Slangerup, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.