Medieval churches in Sweden

Hemmesdynge Church

Hemmesdynge Church originates from the 1100s, but it was rebuilt in 1400s and again in 1800s. The medieval murals were overpainted in the 1800s. The font dates back to the 1400s. The other inventory like altar, organs and pulpit were made after the restoration in the 1800s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Bunge Church

The tower of Bunge Church was originally built for defensive purposes as part of the older church. The present nave and choir were built around 1300. The interior is richly decorated with murals, dating from from the end of 14th century. These magnificent paintings were made probably by Baltic master, who arrived to Gotland with Teutonic Order. The baptismal font and limestone almsbox (with rune inscription: ”Lafra ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fårösund, Sweden

Halla Church

The oldest part of Halla Church is the Romanesque nave, dating from circa 1200. The tower is slightly later, while the disproportionally large choir is from the middle of the 14th century, in Gothic style and replacing an older on the same spot. Scholars have concluded that there were plans to replace the whole church with a Gothic edifice, but the builders probably ran out of funds after constructing the choir. The exte ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Halla, Sweden

Fridlevstad Church

Fridlevstad Church, built in the late 1100s or early 1200s, is one of the oldest in Blekinge region. The stone church could also had defensive purposes. It was burned and looted during the Northern Seven Years" War (1563-1570) by Swedish troops and only walls survived. After the war the church was completely rebuilt and again in the 18th century. The altarpiece dates from the 17th century and contains a painting dep ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Rödeby, Sweden

Rinkaby Church

The oldest parts of Rinkaby church were completed probably in the late 1100s. It was enlarged to the west and the sacristy was added sometimes in the 1200s or early 1300s. The vaulting was added in the late 1400s and the chapel in 1620. The major restoration was made 1779-1780 and in 1839 the current tower replaced the medieval one.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Örebro, 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

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

Foss Church

Foss church is first time mentioned in 1157, but it has been reconstructed several times. The tower dates from the 1870s. The altarpiece was painted by Pehr Hörberg in 1700s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Munkedal, Sweden

Ganthem Church

Ganthem church is a well-preserved Romanesque church, finished in the middle of the 13th century. The choir with its apse is the oldest part, dating from the late 12th century. The nave is slightly later, from the beginning of the 13th century while the tower is the most recent addition. Apart from an enlargement of the windows made in the 19th century, and the addition of a sacristy in the 1930s, the church has remained ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ganthem, Sweden

Bodarp Church

Bodard Church was originally built in Romanesque style in the late 1100s or early 1200s. The tower and vaults were added in 1400s. The church was enlarged in 1864 according the design of Carl Georg Brunius. The altar dates from the 1500s, pulpit and baptismal font from 1640.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Veckholm Church

Veckholm Church was built in the late 13th century and the sacristy and porch were added in 1400s. The chancel was added in the 1500s and the magnificent tomb of famous de la Gardie family in the 1600s. The font of Veckholm church date from the 12th century and the altar was made in Brussels around 1500. The pulpit has been donated by Johan Pontusson de la Gardie.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Enköping, Sweden

Hardeberga Church

Hardeberga Church was built around the year 1200. It was enlarged and the vaulted tower and porch were added in the Middle Ages. The current tower dates mainly from the restoration made in 1909-1910. The altarpiece dates from the early 17th century and the font from the Middle Ages. The decorated roof was painted by Godfrey Pettersson in 1909. In 2003 archaeologists found the previously unknown rune carving from the nort ...
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Södra Sandby, Sweden

Skee Church

Skee church was made of granite in the 1100s and it was enlarged in 1794-1795. The belfry was added in 1673. The fine detail is Madonna sculpture made of black soapstone, dating from the 1200s. The altarpiece dates from 1490s and pulpit from 1671. It was a gift from Sven Ranck, the owned of Blomsholm manor.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strömstad, Sweden

Edestad Church

Edestad church was probably built in the 1200s and it was a popular pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages due the adjacent 'holy' spring. The cruficix dates from the 1300s and the pulpit from 1600s. The Rococo style altarpiece was painted in 1763.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ronneby, 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

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

Holy Cross Priory

Holy Cross Abbey was an important Augustinian monastery located in Skåne's old capital, Dalby. It’s history began as a Viking Age royal manor. The buildings along with a granite chapel were donated for the establishment of a Benedictine monastery during the reign of King Sweyn II of Denmark, who gifted the old manor on which the abbey was to be built and two and a half other rented properties to fund its const ...
Founded: 1060 | Location: Dalby, Sweden

Fide Church

Fide Church dates from the 13th century. Oldest are the nave and choir, while the tower was added slightly later. The roof lantern which gives the top of the tower its distinctive shape is however considerably later, from 1826. The church lies in an unusually well-preserved medieval cemetery which is surrounded by a low wall in which three medieval gates still sits. The building material of the church is sandstone. The e ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fide, Sweden

Burlöv Old Church

The Old Church of Burlöv is one of the oldest churches in Scania. It has mostly remained the way it was built in the 12th century, with its oldest parts made of sandstone. There is a font from the 13th century, in Gotland style, once damaged and removed from the church, but now restored. The beautiful altarpiece contains eleven scenes from the life of Christ. It dates from the 16th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Burlöv, Sweden

Lundby Old Church

The Lundby Old Church is one of the seven preserved medieval churches in Gothenburg, and the only one of them representing Gothic architecture. The church was probably build in the late 14th century. Its Romanesque baptismal font, however, comes from an older wooden church that had existed in the same place and whose remains were not discovered until the early 20th century. Since the mid-17th century, when the bell tower ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.