Medieval churches in Sweden

Revinge Church

Revinge Church was built around the year 1200 and enlarged in the 1400s with a tower and porch. There are some mural paintings survived from the Middle Ages. The pulpit was made around 1600. It was painted as brown in 1870, but restored to the original appearance in 1950.
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Södra Sandby, Sweden

Barsebäck Church

The nave of Barsebäck Church was built in the 1100s and the tower in 1300s. The church was enlarged in the 15th century. The baptismal font and iron parts of the door date from the original church. The pulpit was probably made in 1637.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Barsebäck, Sweden

Gumlösa Church

According the first written record Gumlösa Church was inaugurated by archbishop Absalon of Lund in 1191. It is the oldest church in the Nordic countries built of brick. The vaulting and the tower were built already to the original church, which has been very unusual. The top of the tower was added in the 14th century. Due the documents there were even 96 relics in Gumlösa church in the Middle Ages. The font, ma ...
Founded: 1191 | Location: Vinslöv, Sweden

Stångby Church

Stångby Church dates from the 12th century and consists of a half-round apsis, nave, choirs and tower. It was rebuilt in the 19th century by C. G. Brunius and the porch was demolished. The tower was erected in 1869-1870 and the middle nave was then enlarged.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stångby, Sweden

Stora Råby Church

The first stave church in Stora Råby lied probably on the same site as the current one, stone church from the 13th century. The porch and was added in the 1400s and the tower was reconstructed in 1770s. Windows were extended in 1773 and in 1843 C. G. Brunius restored the church. The baptismal font, made of sandstone, dates from the 13th century. The pulpit was made in 1909.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lund, Sweden

Degeberga Church

Degeberga Church was built in the end of 12th century and it consisted of nave, choir and apse. The tower and vaults were added in the early 1400s. The tower is survived, but the other exterior dates mainly from the restoration made in the 1860s. The unique detail in the church is a pulpit, which was donated to Degeberga already in 1592.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Degeberga, Sweden

Röstånga Church

Röstånga stone church was built around 1200. The small tower was added in 1813 and the church was enlarged in 1832. The medieval porch was replaced with a new one in 1715. Inside the church the sandstone font dates from the Middle ages.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Röstånga, Sweden

Yttergran Church

Yttergran granite church dates from the late 1100s and it is the smallest one in the diocese. The church had originally no tower, although one was added relatively early in the 13th century. The interior decoration dates mainly from about 1480, when famous medieval master Albertus Pictor painted murals. The paintings are in a good condition and are well worth seeing.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bålsta, Sweden

Kläckeberga Church

Kläckeberga Church was built in the early 13th century, but was subsequently burned by the Danes in 1611. Today, the interior of the church consists mostly of furnishings and objects from the 18th century and later. The church originally had three floors: a cellar, main floor (the present church hall) and a larger hall above that. In addition, there was once a shooting attic above that hall. So Kläckeberga Chur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kalmar, Sweden

Tidersrum Church

Tidersrum old church is one of the Sweden"s oldest and oddest wooden churches. It was built originally around the year 1260 of timber with very sharp dimensions and seamlessly. The red colored timberbuilding is covered with patterns of global wood chips. The vestry is built of stone and white limestone. Tidersrum church has a sculpture of St. Olav, once a great figure of popular devotion throughout Scandinavia, whic ...
Founded: c. 1260 | Location: Tidersrum, Sweden

Älgarås Church

Älgarås Church is a rare medieval wooden church. It was built in the 15th century, the porch was added in 1647 and choir in 1684. The church has lot of survived medieval items, like a unique altar screen, a triump crucifix (c. 1250) and a wooden bell with runic writing.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Älgarås, Sweden

Rinkaby Church

Rinkaby Church, made of brick, dates probably from the mid-1200s. The most interesting detail are rich mural paintings in vaults. Frescoes were done by so-called Vittskövle master or his students in the 15th century. The paintings describe year seasons in peasant"s life. The pulpit dates from the 17th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rinkaby, Sweden

Ramdala Church

The Romanesque Ramdala Church, built in the mid-1200s, is the only survived medieval church in East Blekinge. It had originally also a defensive purpose; the church had probably two towers with loopholes. The another tower was demolished in th 16th century. The most significant detail Ramdala church is a decorated and gilded pulpit, which is a gift from Kristian IV of Denmark (1637). The altarpiece dates from 1624.
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Ramdala, Sweden

Bärbo Church

Bärbo Church was built around 1200. Although it has been enlarged in the 15th and 18th centuries, it is still one of the smallest in the Södermanland region. The belfry dates from 17th century and was restored around 1740. The font is original from the early 1200s. Also the chandelier and triptych dates from the late Middle Ages. The pulpit was carved ion 1640. The unique detail is also a gallery for nobles, add ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Nyköping, Sweden

Skalunda Church

Skalunda Church might be built in the late 100s or around 1140. It is anyway one of the oldest in the region. The sandstone church has Anglo-Saxon features, and it is possible that it was built by unkown English or Norwegian missionaries. The porch and sacristy were added in the 15th century as well as vaults. The belfry dates from 1772. There are also two runestones in the churchyard.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Skalunda, Sweden

Strö Church

The nave of Strö Church was built in the 12th century and arches were added probably in the same time with tower in the 15th century. The pulpit dates probably from the late 1500s. There is a runestone attached in tower wall.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strö, Sweden

Sunnersberg Church

Sunnersberg medieval church dates back to the 1200s, but it has been enlarged and reconstructed several times. Fire damaged it badly in 1583. The most remarkable detail is an altarpiece, which is painted by famouse Flemish Baroque artist Anthony van Dyck in 1620. It was donated to Sunnesberg church by Clas Julius Ekeblad in 1779. The pulpit was donated by Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie in 1670.
Founded: 1200-1250 | Location: Sunnersberg, Sweden

Gillstad Church

Gillstad Church dates from the 12th century, but the current exterior is mainly from the 1700s; in 1702 part of the wall collapsed and the church was rebuilt.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gillstad, Sweden

Rimbo Church

Rimbo Church was built in the late 1400s. It is well-known for its finely mural paintings made around the year 1500. There is also a font (13th century) and crucifix (c. 1275) dating from the earlier church.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Rimbo, Sweden

Rö Church

The oldest parts of Rö church dates from the late 1200s. Somethimes around 1475 brick arches were added to the roof. The church was badly damaged by fire in late 1500s or early 1600s. The most interesting detail is a Madonna sculpture made probably in England around the year 1200. The font originates also from the same ages and other sculptures and cruficix from 1400s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rimbo, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.