Medieval churches in Sweden

Västra Sallerup Church

The church Västra Sallerup, built in the late 12th century, is famous of its medieval frescoes. The fresco of Queen Margrethe I has been used on a Danish stamp. The beautiful pulpit is made by Jakob Kremberg, who lived in Lund between 1596-1641. To west of the church is a former vicarage built in 1867-1868.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Eslöv, Sweden

Medelplana Church

The oldest parts of the Medelplana church date from the 1100s, with the tower added in the 1300s and the choir and armory coming later. At one time the church may have been dedicated to St. Helena (Elin) of Skövde and Götene. What is believed to be St. Helena's altar is currently the baptismal altar. In the village as it was in the middle ages, there was also a St. Helena's spring, which was later excavated and ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hällekis, Sweden

St. Olaf's Church

The medieval church of St. Olaf (Sankt Olofs Kyrka) was built originally in the 12th century. The nave was enlarged to west in the mid-1200s and the present western tower was added later. The church is a well-preserved sample of medieval architecture.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Tosterup Church

Tosterup Church was originally built in the 12th century and rebuilt in 1598. The interior is covered by wall frescoes dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. In the church you will find the gravestone of Tycho Brahe the Elder, the father of the world famous astronomer.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tomelilla, Sweden

Skivarp Church

Skivarp Church was made of limestone probably in the 1150s. The vaulting was added in the 15th century and crow-stepped gable date also from the Middle Ages. The interior is decorated with frescoes made around the year 1500. The original medieval font is moved to the historical museum in Lund. The altar wall and pulpit date from the 17th century.
Founded: 1150s | Location: Skivarp, Sweden

Hörup Church

Hörup church was built in the 1100s and it was dedicated to St. Anna. The tower and part of the original nave walls have survived. The restoration and enlargement was made in 1848. The most interesting detail inside is the altarpiece painted by Carl Bloch. The font dates from 1100s and the wooden crucifix from the early 1500s. The pulpit was carved in the 17th century by Jacob Kremberg.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Löderup, Sweden

Mattmar Church

Mattmar Church was built in the 1300s to the site, where before was a wooden stave church from the 11th century. The porch was restored and enlarged in the 18th century. The pulpit dates from 1662 and font was acquired to the church in 1686. There are also several wooden sculptures from the Middle Ages. The external belfry was erected in 1765 and the lychgate dates also from the 18th century.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mattmar, Sweden

Silvåkra Church

The choir of Silvåkra Church dates from the 12th century. Since it has been reconstructed several times. Medieval font and sculpture of Virgin Mary holding Jesus are the oldest items inside the church. The pulpit dates from 1578.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Veberöd, Sweden

Ytterselö Church

According the legend the first church in Selaön island was built by St. Olaf (Olaf II of Norway) in early 1000s. The current Ytterselö Church dates however from the 1100s. In the late Middle Ages it was changed as a square form hall church with vaults. The funeral chapel of Soop på Mälsåker family was added in 1650. The new choir was completed in 1728. The beautifully carved triptych dates from ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stallarholmen, Sweden

Alskog Church

The oldest part of the Alskog church is the nave, dating from the first quarter of the 13th century. It displays an unusual southern portal, decorated with sculptures. Inside, the nave is divided in two parts by two central columns and has a vaulted ceiling. The tower is somewhat later but also from the early 13th century. Its portal show similarities with the tower portal of Visby Cathedral. The much larger choir and ves ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ljugarn, Sweden

Fardhem Church

The current Romanesque church in Fardhem was built originally in the late 1100s and it is one of the oldest churches in Gotland. The nave was built in c. 1200 and tower in late 1200s. The sacristy dates from restoration made in 1871-1872. The font pedestal is the oldest inventory in the church, dating from the 1100s. The pulpit was made in 1720 and organs in 1899.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hemse, Sweden

Näs Church

Näs church was built in the middle of the 13th century, and remains today largely unchanged. The interior was changed during a renovation made in 1910, and according to tradition the tower was originally higher. However, few of the original furnishings have survived. The altarpiece dates from 1692, and made in Burgsvik, while the pulpit is from the middle of the 18th century. The triumphal cross is a copy of a medieval ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Näs, Sweden

Sproge Church

The presently visible stone church at Sproge dates from the 13th century. The nave and choir are the oldest parts of the church, built during the first half of the century. The tower was added at the end of the same century. On the south facade of the church there is a plaque claiming the construction date of the church to be 1058, but this date appears to be pure fantasy. The church however had a wooden predecessor, a st ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sproge, Sweden

Funbo Church

The Funbo Church is a medieval stone church, built in the late 12th century. It consists of a rectangular nave, a narrow choir and an apse. The sacristy and the porch were added in the 15th century. The porch was used as the main entrance until 1745, when the current entrance in the western wall was built. The bell tower was erected in 1675. The church interior includes some notable items, such as a 13th century baptisma ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Hedared Stave Church

Hedared Stave Church is Sweden's only preserved medieval stave church. For a long time it was assumed Hedared stave church dated to early medieval times because it was built as a stave church. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the archaeologist and architectural historian Emil Ekhoff argued that the church was considerably later than the stave church in Hemse on Gotland, fragments of which he had found under t ...
Founded: ca. 1500 | Location: Borås, Sweden

Stånga Church

The oldest parts of Stånga Church were built in the 12th century. The middle nave date from the early 1300s and it was designed by master Egypticus. The font, made by master Hegvald, date from the 12th century and crucifix from the late 13th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gotland, Sweden

Sövestad Church

The choir and apse of Sövestad Church date from the 12th century. The brick vaulting and tower were added in the 15th century. The altarpiece is made of white limestone and alabaster. It was donated by Otto Marsvin and Mette Brahe (who lived in Krageholm Castle) in 1626. The crucifix and pulpit date from the 1729.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Ödeby Church

Öbeby Church was entirely reconstructed in 1680 by Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie. The tower date from the original church built in the 13th century. Ödeby Church is richly decorated, probably by the workshop of Albertus Pictor in the 1470s. The altar is a significant attraction, made in Mechelen, Belgium, in the beginning of the 15th century. The pulpit date from 1681.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Glanshammar, Sweden

Stora Mellösa Church

Stora Mellösa Church was buit in the late 1100s. It was enlarged to the east in the 15th century and the porch and sacristy were added in the 16th century. The chapel of near Göksholm castle owners was built in the mid-1600s. The spire and some other parts were destroyed by fire in 1743. The restoration was made between 1830-1836. The interior date mainly from the 1600-1800s. The font is original from the 12th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stora Mellösa, Sweden

Väversunda Church

The Romanesque Väversunda church date from the 12th century. It is decorated with murals made in the 13th and 17th centuries. The triumph crucifix is a replica of original, which is moved to the Stockholm Historical Museum. It is unique in Sweden and reminds of one in Lucca Church in San Marino.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Borghamn, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.