Medieval churches in Denmark

Majbølle Church

Majbølle Church was constructed around 1270. The tower and large chapel which were added around 1470. There has been a holy well in Majbølle churchyard (no longer existing), which considerably attracted more pilgrimages. The holy well was dedicated to Saint Anne (the Virgin Mary"s mother). The church was originally called St. Anne"s church. An object of interest is the stock of the church tower fro ...
Founded: c. 1270 | Location: Guldborg, Denmark

Musse Church

There may has been a church on the site of current Musse church since 11th century and it is one of the oldest Christian sites on the Lolland island. The current church was built around 1200 and since Reformation it has been a chapel of Døllefjelde church. The altar dates from c. 1585 and pulpit from 1625.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Nysted, Denmark

Nebbelunde Church

Nebbelunde Church was built around 1200 and it consists of a Romanesque main body, with a Gothic vestry and small tower. The building material were large medieval bricks known as 'monk stones'. The altar was painted in c. 1625. There are pictoresque medieval mural paintings in vaults, made probably by so-called Brarup workshop.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Rodby, Denmark

Nordlunde Church

Nordlunde Church was built in c. 1300 of red bricks. The chancel gable is embellished with brick ornaments. The church bell was set up on the west gable due church has no tower. The altarpiece dates from 1864 and was painted by N.A. Lutzen.
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Nakskov, 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

Ringsebølle Church

Ringsebølle Church is a small church built in c. 1220. According a legend it was built by Irish monks. The Gothic choir and porch were added later. The church was originally placed on an island, whereby the church´s yard is octagonal shaped. Over the door there is a stone with a motif of a rider who was hunting a pagan and a bear on the run. The altar and pulpit date from 1870.
Founded: c. 1220 | Location: Rødby, Denmark

Skørringe Church

The whitewashed Skørringe Church was built of so-called monk stones around 1200. The tower was not added until in 1700s. The church has a beautifully kept churchyard. Inside there is a plaster relief of a famous work by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvalsen.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Maribo, Denmark

Slemminge Church

Slemminge Church was built in the 12th century. The unusually big tower was built in the late Middle Ages in Gothic style. The spire was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1901. The frescoes in choir vaults were made between 1475-1500. The altarpiece dates from c. 1585 and pulpit from 1610.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sakskøbing, Denmark

Søllested Church

Søllested Church was built of granite originally in c. 1100. It has no tower. The pulpit dates from the early 1600s and the altar was painted by Peter Raadsig in 1855. In the churchyard is a rare small bell campanile from the late Middle Ages.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Søllested, 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

Våbensted Church

Våbensted Church was built in the 13th century and the tower was erected in 1674. The southern chapel is from the Baroque period. The altarpiece dates from about 1620 and is painted by August Jerndorff.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sakskøbing, Denmark

Vindeby Church

The nave and choir of Vindeby Church were built in c. 1300 and it was dedicated to St. Andreas. The tower was erected around 1505. Gothic vaults were decorated with mural paintings around 1400 and they were restored in the 20th century. the altar was made in Netherlands around 1550 and pulpit dates from 1602.
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Horslunde, Denmark

Falkerslev Church

Falkerslev Church was built around the year 1300. The altar dates from 1766 and the altarpiece was painted by Aug. Thomsen in 1845.
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Horbelev, 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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.