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

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.

Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.

Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.

When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.

In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.

The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.

The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.