Medieval churches in Sweden

Tensta Church

The impressive church of Tensta is one of the oldest brick churches in Uppland. The oldest parts originate from the late 13th century. The sacristy and porch were built during the next century and arches between 1420-30. There are many fine medieval frescoes in the church. These are signed by the painter Johannes Rosenrod in 1437. They depict various religious themes including scenes from the life of St. Birgitta. The al ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Västeråker Church

Västeråker church is one of few medieval churches in Sweden, which age, builder and building donations are well-known. The curch was built in 1331 and donated by Lady Ramborg, chatelaine of the near Wik Castle. Fine lightweight arches of the church are well-preserved and made with high quality, because Lady Ramborg hired labour who had been building the Uppsala Cathedral. Most of the mural paintings date from ...
Founded: 1331 | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Ärentuna Church

The grey-stone church of Ärentuna was built around the year 1300. It was probably inaugurated in 1302, when archbishop Nils Allesson visited in Ärentuna parish. The original barrel vault of wood was replaced by brick-made cross-vaults before the church's reopening in 1435. The well-preserved mural paintings, made by unknown “Ärentuna master” date also from 1440-1450s. The bell-tower was reconstructed in 1772.
Founded: ca. 1300 | Location: Storvreta, 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

Säterbo Church

The stone church of Säterbo was originally built in the 1100’s. The tower was added probably in the 13th century and sacristy in 15th century. The triumphal crucifix date from the beginning of 13th century. The pulpit was made in 1796.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Arboga, Sweden

Medåker Church

Medåker Church was probably built in the late 13th century. The vestry and porch were added during the 1300’s. The church was widened to the north around 1490. The tower and tall, slender spire date back to 1652. The limestone fonts were made in the 13th century and the altar in the late 15th century. The pulpit was carved in 1627.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Arboga, Sweden

Dannemora Church

The stone church of Dannemora was built in the late 1400s. The porch was added few decades later. The bell tower was erected in 1753. The mural paintings are well-preserved. The are couple of medieval artefacts, like crucifix in the church. The Baroque-style pulpit was carved in 1680.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Österbybruk, Sweden

Film Church

The oldest parts of the Film Church were built probably in the late 1400s. The large stone-made annex outside was built in 1767 for the labour of near Österbybruk Ironworks. The altar and pulpit were made in the Baroque style in 1732. The triumphal crucifix date from the Middle Ages.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Österbybruk, Sweden

Lannaskede Old Church

The old church of Lannaskede is one of Sweden's oldest Romanesque churches. It was built in 1150. Inside the church there is an organ that is the country's oldest working organ. Like other organs from the 16th and 17th centuries, it has a carillon. The mural paintings dating back to the 12th century are also well-preserved.
Founded: 1150 | Location: Vetlanda, Sweden

Hacksta Church

The stone church of Hacksta date from the 13th century. It has been enlarged and restored several times. The mural paintigs were overpainted, but restored in 1981. There are several valuable artefacts in the church, like two medieval sculptures. The pulpit was made in 1680 and restored in 1822.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Enköping, Sweden

Villberga Church

The original Villberga church consisting of nave and chancel was built probably between 1227-1280. Until the mid-1300s the vaulting of brick and current vestry were added. Simultaneously with the arches were added probably. The porch has been dated to the period 1250-1350. The original frescoes were made probably in the mid-1400s by an unknown artist associated with Mälardalen School. At the end of the 1400's them we ...
Founded: ca. 1227-1280 | Location: Grillby, Sweden

Bringetofta Church

The oldest part of Bringetofta Church was built in the late 12th century. It was rebuilt in a cruciform style in 1754. The chancel is is richly decorated with mural paintings dating back to the 1200s. The crucifix date from the 1300s and and pulpit was made in 1659. The wooden bell tower originate from the 18th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sävsjö, Sweden

Näsby Church

Näsby church was built in the 12th century, and the cristening font dates back to that time. Näsby is the parish of country seats, something that has influenced the design of the church. Today, this can be seen in the magnificent coats of arms of the Silversparre, Silfverhielm and Patkull families. During the 1720s, the church was extended with a cross-arm to the north when the altar was moved to the southern wa ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vetlanda, Sweden

Kungs-Husby Church

Kungs-Husby Church date from the 14th century and it was enlarged between 1755-57. The medieval frescoes in walls were overpainted in the 18th century, but restored in 1859. The triumph crucifix (made in the 1200s) date probably from the elder wooden church. The limestone madonna statue was made in Rheinland around the year 1340. The Gustavian Classicism style pulpit was carved in 1789 by J. C. Krüger.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Enköping, Sweden

Husby-Sjutolft Church

The oldest part of current Husby-Sjutolfts church was probably built in the 1200s or 1300s and originally belonged to an earlier wooden church. The nave was probably built during the 1300s and steeple in the early 1400s. The tower got its present appearance tower in 1783. Albertus Pictor decorated Husby-Sjutolft church with biblical subjects in the 1470s or 1480s. His signature is above the entrance to the sacristy. The ...
Founded: 13-14th century | Location: Ekolsund, Sweden

Föra Church

Föra Church was established in the 11th century, but the oldest still remaining parts date from the mid-1100s. The massive tower was built some decades later. The octagonal lantern was added in 1828. Fonts date from the early 1200s. There are several tombstones in the floor. The crucifix and couple of images of saints were made in late Middle Ages. The reredos was made in 1776. Pulpit was made in 1762 by Jonas Bergg ...
Founded: ca. 1150 | Location: Borgholm, Sweden

Kinneved Church

The medieval Kinneved church was made in the Romanesque style between in the late 1100s. It have thick limestone walls. The vestry was added in the 18th century, and the tower built in the 19th century. Much of the interior furniture and ornamentation dates from the 18th century. There is also a medieval gravestone embedded in the wall outside the nave.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Abild Church

The oldest parts of Abild Church were built in the 12th and 13th century. It is said to previously have had the name Saint John's church after John the Baptist. Most of the inventories are from the 17th century, during which the church was prolonged to the east. The church was painted in 1767. These paintings were later covered by new paintings, until they were restored in 1953. The church has been refurbished in 1927 and ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falkenberg, Sweden

Tumbo Church

The medieval Tumbo church is very well-preserved. It was built in a Romanesque style in the 1100s. The sacristy and porch were added in the 15th century. The original tower was collapsed in 1734 and the new one was built couple of years later. The pulpit was made in 1630. The sandstone-made font date from the 1100s and polyptychs date also from the Middle Ages.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kvicksund, Sweden

Löt Church

The sacristy is the oldest part of the Löt Church. It was originally built for the previous wooden church in the 1100s. The present nave and apsis were added in the late 1200s and the church was enlarged in the late 1400s. One of the key attractions is the collection of frescoes on the walls. These were painted by the master Albertus Pictor in the 15th century. The pulpit date from 1657. The separate bell tower was e ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Grillby, 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.