Medieval churches in 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

Daugård Church

The large white-washed church in Daugård has a Romanesque choir and nave with late Gothic additions: a tower to the west and a porch to the south. The choir arch seems expanded in the late Gothic period and like the eastern part of the choir rebuilt in monk bricks. Upon the north wall of the choir were in 1956 found fragmentaric Romanesque frescoes from c. 1200. The altarpiece is a typical work by Jens Hiernøe from c. ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Daugård, Denmark

Egen Church

Egen Church dates from the 12th century and free-standing bell tower from the late Middle Ages. At the cemetery of Egen Church, near Guderup, the memorial stones of the fallen in World War I (1914-18) is found at the clock tower. Here 66 memorial stones in marble is placed in memory of the fallen sons of Egen parish.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Guderup, Denmark

Hejls Church

Hejls church was built in the Romanesque style in 12th century. The tower was added in the 15th century and all other buildings from 1780 to 1950. 
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kolding, 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

Lysabild Church

Lysabild Church was built around 1100 is one of the oldest in the region. The frescoes and baptismal font made of Gotland limestone are notable. The altarpiece is from the 1780s, chancel arch crucifix from 1450s. There are historic war monuments of 1864-1920 in the churchyard.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Hasle Church

Hasle Church was built around 1460 and it was restored in 1758. The porch was added in in 1882. The late Gothic altarpiece was made in 1510s and the pulpit around 1600. There is also a Viking age runestone in the churchyard.
Founded: ca. 1460 | Location: Hasle, 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

Harte Church

Harte Church was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style. The entrance and tower dates from 15-16th centuries. The old altarpiece was given by Abildgaard, the lord of Vranderupgaard. In the cemetery you will find a soldiers grave from the battle at Kolding (1849). In this battle, Harte church served as headquarter and observation post for the army led by general Rye.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kolding, Denmark

Ketting Church

Ketting Church was built in the 12th century. The original tower is one of the best-preserved towers built also for defensive purpose in Denmark. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1773, due to bad maintenance of the original church. In the tower there is two bells: one has been cast around 1350. The other, with a weight of 1.000 kilo is from 1554. From 1851 to 1854 Ketting church was closed because it was used as gun ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Augustenborg, Denmark

Egeskov Church

The Egeskov Church chancel and nave are Romanesque, whilst the west tower and the porch on the south side date from the late Gothic period. Externally the chancel is highly ornate, the east wall including an attractive gable recess. After the Swedish wars 1657-60 the church was in ruins. The crucifix, which now hangs on the north wall of the nave, was the only thing to be spared. The altar piece, the pulpit and the font c ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Fredericia, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".