Medieval churches in Sweden

Hjortsberga Church

Hjortsberga church, built in the 1100s, is one of the oldest in Blekinge Region. The current nave ad chancel date from the early 1200s. The magnificent pulpit was made by Åke Truedsson in 1684. The altarpiece dates from 1745. Hjortsberga church is located in the middle of the Iron Age burial ground.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ronneby, Sweden

Ludgo Church

The nave of the Ludgo Church dates from the late 1200s. The chancel was enlarged and two chapels (for Drakenhielm and Sifverstjerna families) were added in 1673-1678. There are two sandstone sculptures probably from the 1400s. Two runestones from the 1000s are located to the church entrance.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nyköping, Sweden

Alunda Church

Alunda Church originates from the 1200s and it was enlarged in 1400s. It was badly damaged by fire in 1542 and 1715. The ruins were left to decay until the reconstruction made in 1780-1787. The font is the main item of inventory retained from medieval times. There are also the remains of medieval frescoes made in 1465. The altarpiece is from 1862 painted by Johan Zacharius Blackstadius.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Östhammar, Sweden

Frötuna Church

Frötuna Church was built of grey stone in the 12th century. It was extended to east between 1250–1275. The tomb dates from the mid-1600s. There are several medieval aftefacts in Frötuna church, including a triump crucifix (1275), font (1200s) and sculpture of St. Olaf (early 1300s). The pulpit was made in 1640s and the altar dates from 1773.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Norrtälje, Sweden

Kumla Church

Kumla Church was built around 1300 and included a longhouse and a small bell tower. In the end of the 15th century the wood roof was replaced by a brick star vaults. In the 18th century they made the windows bigger and built the bell tower. The church is famous for its beautiful frescoes by Albertus Pictor painted in 1482. The stained glass windows in the choir are the work of the Västerås artist Nils-Aron Berg ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Sala, Sweden

Ivetofta Church

Ivetofta Church was probably built in the 12th century, the tower (built in stone and decorated with carved sandstone) on the western side being added in the 13th century. The altar, pulpit, pews and the baptismal font were donated by Sophia Brahe in the early 17th century, who had moved to the area with her second husband and was known for her work in Danish genealogy. These features have been retained in the renovated c ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bromölla, Sweden

Skegrie Church

Skegrie church was constructed in the end of the 12th century. What remains from that time are the choir and parts of the nave. In 1844 Carl Georg Brunius made a large renovation and the west tower among other things was built. The pulpit originates from year 1611 and the baptismal font, made of oak, from 1661. There are also tin candlesticks from the beginning of the 17th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Gislöv Church

Gislöv Church chancel and naves dates back to the 1200s, and the tower was built in stages between the years 1760-1824. The original font descends from year 1656 and is the oldest inventory in the church. In year 1936 the vaults were reconstructed. They are richly decorated with frescoes and date from the 15th and 16th centuries. The renovation restored the church almost entirely in the condition it had been 500 year ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Gylle Church

Gylle Church dates from the late 1100s, but it has been reconstructed several times. The tower was erected in the 1400s or early 1500s. The nave was rebuilt in 1875. The altar and pulpit date from the 1500s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Hejdeby Church

Hejdeby Church was built in the 13th century, the choir and nave first (in late Romanesque style) and the tower later (showing early Gothic influences). The interior of the church is richly decorated with medieval frescos. These date from two periods: the oldest are from the 13th century and depict apostles, the crowning of Mary, and various saints. The other set of frescos date from the 15th century and depict scenes fro ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Visby, Sweden

Vist Church

Vists Church was probably built in the 1200s according the dating in baptismal font. It was restored and the tower added in 1891-93. The crucifix dates from the 1600s and bells from the 1700s (the smaller one from 1704 is probably a war trophy from Poland). The altar was made in 1939 by Gunnar Torhamn.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ulricehamn, Sweden

Norra Björke Church

Norra Björke Church was probably built in the early 1400s. It was enlarged in 1754 and the tower was demolished in 1817. The font dates from the 13th century and the altar from 1772. It is probably painted by master Nubbe in Gothenburg.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Trollhättan, Sweden

Skörstorp Church

Skörstorp Church was built in the middle of the 12th century, and is the only remaining medieval round church in the Diocese of Skara. It derives its shape from originally being built to serve several different purposes; apart from a place of worship, it also served a defensive purpose, i.e. it was a fortified church. The church has been altered successively throughout the centuries. The church porch is not original ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Fleringe Church

Fleringe Church dates from the 13th century, and the nave and choir are the oldest parts. Somewhat later during the same century the tower was added. The church has not been substantially altered since, but suffered damage in a heavy fire in 1676. The church is located in a cemetery surrounded by a low wall in which a remaining medieval lychgate still sits. Outside, the church stables still stand, which is uncommon. The ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fleringe, Sweden

Hellvi Church

The choir portal of Hellvi Church carries a runic inscription which proclaims that a man called Lafrans Botvidarson built the church. The oldest part of the church is the tower, Romanesque in style. The upper part of the tower collapsed following a storm in 1534, hence its unusual shape. The nave and choir date from the middle of the 13th century and display an early form of Gothic style. The nave consists of two aisles, ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hellvi, Sweden

Lokrume Church

Lokrume Church history dates back to the 12th century. The northern wall of the presently visible church nave dates from this century. Parts of the northern wall of the choir also date from this church. However, later reconstructions have reshaped the church and nothing more remains of this first, Romanesque church. During the second quarter of the 13th century, the larger part of the presently visible choir was built, w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lokrume, Sweden

Vallstena Church

The western part of the nave and the church tower are the oldest parts of the asymmetrical Vallstena church. They date from the early 13th century. A new chancel arch was built at the middle of the same century, and around circa 1300 the new choir was built. Reconstruction of the nave also started around this time; the original plan seems to have been to replace the entire nave with a new, larger nave but for some reason ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vallstena, Sweden

Ekeby Church

The oldest part of Ekeby Church is the Romanesque tower, dating from the end of the 12th century. The nave and choir were built around a century later in Gothic style. The tower was also heightened to its present height at the end of the 13th century. Most notable in the exterior of the church are the two southern portals, which are richly decorated with stone carvings. These were originally painted, and fragments of co ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ekeby, Sweden

Räpplinge Church

Räpplinge church was originally built in the middle of the 12th century, but rebuilt and widened as late as 1802. The votive ship in Räpplinge church is the most authentic in the churches of Öland. It date back to the middle of the 17th century and surprisingly well preserved even though it has demonstrably been in the church since 1692. The model is of a three-masted naval ship with 42 cannons on the gun d ...
Founded: ca. 1150 | Location: Borgholm, Öland, Sweden

Jumkil Church

The medieval church of Jumkil was originally built in the early 13th century. The vaulting was made in the 16th century and detached bell tower was added in the mid-18th century. There are wooden sculptures and triumphal crucifix from the 16th century. Baptismal font is from the 12th century, made of Gotland sandstone, with many carved motifs, such as the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the Three Wise Men. The medieva ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.