Medieval churches in 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

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 tho ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.