Medieval churches in Sweden

Hagby Church

Hagby Church is one of Sweden's few preserved round churches, and is considered by many to be the best preserved one in the country. The predecessor of Hagby stone church was the wooded Saint Sigfrid chapel, which was located about two kilometres south of the present church structure. The construction of this stone church began in the late 12th century. The structure was meant to serve both as a sanctuary and a fortified ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ljungbyholm, Sweden

Norrsunda Church

The eastern tower of Norrsunda stone church was completed in the late 1100s. The nave was extended to the west and the porch and sacristy were built in the late 1400s. The chapel of Sparreska was added in 1633. The red brick chapel was built by Ebba Oxenstierna after her husband Johan Sparre. The tower got its present appearance in the first half of 1800s. The church was restored in 1902 and 1954. The wall paintings have ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Nederluleå Church

Nederluleå church is the largest medieval church in Norrland. It was built during the 15th century and inaugurated by Archbishop Jacob Ulfsson in 1492. The church has a very rich interior and furnishings. The late-mediaeval frescos in the chancel were by the school of Albertus Pictor. The richly decorated triptych was made in Antwerpen around 1520 and it is one of the finest in Sweden. The font and cruficix date al ...
Founded: 1492 | Location: Gammelstad, Sweden

Norra Fågelås Church

Norra Fågelås Church is first mentioned in 1225, but it has probably been built already in the 1100s. It was largely restored in 1650s. The Stackelbergska family grave chapel was added 1749 and the next restoration was completed in 1754. The cruficix from the 1400s is today in Stockholm Historical Museum. the font is made of sandstone and donated to the church in 1651 by M.E. Sparre of Almnäs Castle. The ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hjo, 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

Aspö Church

The tower and northern wall are the oldest parts of Aspö Church (dating from the 12th century). The chancel was completed in 1300s and the church was enlarged in 1400s. It has an interesting inventory; the fine iron-made door between nave and porch dates from the original church, font is from 1200s and the large altar triptych from 1472. There is also a runestone from the 1000s in the church porch.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

St. Gertrud’s Church

St. Gertrud’s Church was built in the 1450s after King Eric of Pomerania had ordered to move the town of Västervik from Gamleby to the present location. The city and the Stegeholm castle were destroyed in a battle in 1517 and inhabitants moved back to the old city. After King Gustav Vasa ordered them to move back, the church was restored as a Lutheran church. It was once again destroyed in 1612 during the battl ...
Founded: 1450s | Location: Västervik, 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

Heda Church

The oldest parts of Heda Church were built in the early 1100s. It was renovated to the Cistercian style in the late 13th century. The church was enlarged between 1855-1858. The most interesting detail in Heda church is the fine collection of medieval wooden sculptures. The most famous of these is a remarkably well preserved wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven, which is more than eight hundred years old ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ödeshög, Sweden

Husby-Ärlinghundra Church

The stone church of Husby-Ärlinghundra was built in the mid-12th century. The porch and sacristy were added later. The bell tower was erected in 1717 and restored in 1819 to the present appearance. The sculpture of St. Michael, crucifix and mural paintings date from the Middle Ages. The Baroque-style pulpit was made in 1721.
Founded: ca. 1150 | Location: Märsta, Sweden

Vansö Church

The oldest parts of Vansö Church were built in the end of 12th century. It was enlarged to east in the 14th century and again around 1450. The tower cap was demolished in 1765 and rebuilt 1901-1902. The interior consists of a medieval altarpiece (1400s), crucifix (1270-1300), font (c. 1300) and two reliquaries (1400s). Vaults were decorated with murals in the 1460s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

Roslags-Bro Church

Roslags-Bro church was built of granite in the 13th century. The tower was added in the 1400s and restored in 1700s. The church is famous due its fine sculptures. The wooden sculpture of Eric IX of Sweden, made in France in 1200s, has been model to Stockholm city coat of arms. The crucifix made in Gotland and font date also from the 13th century. The altar and other saint sculptures date from the 15th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Norrtälje, Sweden

Ardre Church

The oldest part of the Ardre Church is the tower, dating from about 1200. The tower originally belonged to an earlier church building from the 12th century, the nave and choir of which was replaced with the current building circa 1250. The sculptured choir portal originally also belonged to the earlier church. The interior of the church was heavily remodelled after plans by artist Axel Herman Hägg in 1900-1902, in a ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Ljugarn, Sweden

Selånger Church

The old Selånger Church was built around 1200, but today it is in ruins. There is a runestone called Selångerstenen from the Viking Age outside the ruins. The current church was completed in 1780-1781. The limestone-made font was moved from the old church (c. 1200). The pulpit dates from 1790.
Founded: 1780-1781 | Location: Sundsvall, Sweden

Rya Church Ruins

The first Rya church was completed in the late 1100s. It might by built by monks from the Herrevad Abbey. Today impressive ruins of this church remain. The new brick-church was inaugurated in 1875. The original font (1100s) has been brought from the old church.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Örkelljunga, Sweden

Gammelgarn Church

The chancel and middle nave of the Gammelgarn Church were built in the early 1300s. The fortified tower date from the previous church built in the 1200s. The southern portal is beautifully decorated with mural paintings, made probably by master Fabulator. A pulpit was probably carved by the carpenter master Jochim Sterling from Visby in the 17th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Katthammarsvik, Sweden

Fru Alstad Church

A Romanesque Fru Alstad church was built in the 12th century, and later it was rebuilt to a magnificent Gothic style temple. The church was originally a pilgrimage church and below the cemetery are still remains from a spring made for sacrifices. The baptismal font is made of sandstone and descends from the 1100s. The triumph crucifix and mural paintigs date from the 1400s, altar from 1689 and pulpit from 1730s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Gryta Church

The age of Gryta Church is unknown. The first church, probably a wooden one, was built there in the 1000’s. How old present stone church is impossible to say, the remains of earlier church can be hidden in the gray stone walls, covered by a thick plaster layer. The church is richly decorated with mural paintings and they are well preserved. The paintings might have been done by Albert the Painter (Albertus Pictor). ...
Founded: 11-12th century | Location: Örsundsbro, Sweden

Mästerby Church

Mästerby Church dates largely from the 13th century. The nave, choir and apse were built first, at the beginning of the century. In the middle of the same century, the tower was also built. The nave was made higher about a century later, and at this time both the nave and choir received vaulted ceilings. The church has remained relatively unaltered since the end of the Middle Ages. Only the sacristy is significantly late ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mästerby, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania was built originally in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Royal Palace in the Lower Castle evolved over the years and prospered during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. For four centuries the palace was the political, administrative and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Soon after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was incorporated into Tsarist Russia, Tsarist officials ordered the demolition of the remaining sections of the Royal Palace. The Palace was almost completely demolished in 1801, the bricks and stones were sold, and the site was bowered. Only a small portion of the walls up to the second floor survived, that were sold to a Jewish merchant Abraham Schlossberg around 1800 who incorporated them into his residential house. After the 1831 uprising, the czarist government expelled Schlossberg and took over the building as it was building a fortress beside it. Before the Second World War it was the office of the Lithuanian Army, during the World War II it was the office of the German Army, and after World War II it was used by Soviet security structures and later transformed into the Palace of Pioneers. Fragments of Schlossberg's house have become part of the Eastern Wing of the restored Royal Palace.

A new palace has been under construction since 2002 on the site of the original building. The Royal Palace was officially opened during the celebration of the millennium of the name of Lithuania in 2009.