Medieval churches in Sweden

Norra Fågelås Church

Norra Fågelås Church is first mentioned in 1225, but it has probably been built already in the 1100s. It was largely restored in 1650s. The Stackelbergska family grave chapel was added 1749 and the next restoration was completed in 1754. The cruficix from the 1400s is today in Stockholm Historical Museum. the font is made of sandstone and donated to the church in 1651 by M.E. Sparre of Almnäs Castle. The pulpit dates f ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hjo, Sweden

Mofalla Church

The oldest wooden parts of Mofalla Church date from the 15th century, but it has been restored several times. There are some original mural paintings survived in ceilings (made in 1480s). The church has wooden sculptures from the 12th and 15th century. The belfry dates from the 16th century.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Hjo, Sweden

Njurunda Church Ruins

The medieval church in Njurunda originates from the Middle Ages, but it was rebuilt even four times. It was anyway left to decay in the 19th century and the adjacent new church replaced it in 1865. The lightning burned the old church down in 1869 and today only stone wall ruins remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Njurunda, Sweden

Vansö Church

The oldest parts of Vansö Church were built in the end of 12th century. It was enlarged to east in the 14th century and again around 1450. The tower cap was demolished in 1765 and rebuilt 1901-1902. The interior consists of a medieval altarpiece (1400s), crucifix (1270-1300), font (c. 1300) and two reliquaries (1400s). Vaults were decorated with murals in the 1460s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

Fogdö Church

Fogdö Church was built in the 1100s and has wooden sculptures from that time. There was a Benedictine nunnery from 1233. The church was used both as a parish church and as a monastic one, as is testified by an inset opening in the south wall - a so-called 'nun"s window' ('nunneporten'). The quire was also widened so as better to accommodate the nuns" choral liturgy. Judging from the surv ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

Aspö Church

The tower and northern wall are the oldest parts of Aspö Church (dating from the 12th century). The chancel was completed in 1300s and the church was enlarged in 1400s. It has an interesting inventory; the fine iron-made door between nave and porch dates from the original church, font is from 1200s and the large altar triptych from 1472. There is also a runestone from the 1000s in the church porch.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strängnäs, Sweden

Maglarp Church

Maglarp Church was built around 1200 and is one of the oldest brick churches in Sweden. Arhaeological evidences reveal that there has been probably a stave church on the church site before. Maglarp Church medieval exterior is very well-preserved. The oldest inventory is a font dating from the 1200s. The crucifix is also medieval from the 1400s. The beautiful Renaissance pulpit from 1568 is the oldest in Scania region.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Trelleborg, 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

Dalköpinge Church

Dalköpinge Church originates from the 1200s. It was built of bricks in Romanesque style. Probably it was built shortly after Trelleborg’s city church in the year 1275. The small tower was added later in the Middle Ages. There are some medieval mural paintings survived in vaults. the altar wall and pulpit were made in the late 1500s. The sandstone font is as old as the church itself.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Krokstad Church

Krokstad Church building time is unknown but it is first time mentioned in 1391. It was enlarged in 1702 and again in 1863. The tower was erected in 1810. The octagonal wooden font dates from the 1600s. The small bell is casted in 1614 and the big one in 1844.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hedekas, Sweden

Gärdslöv Church

Gärdslöv Church was built in the 12th century. The tower dates from 1836 and current sacristy from 1836. The font was made of sandstone in the 1100s. The pulpit, altar and crucifix originate from the 1600s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Skurup, Sweden

Hammarlöv Church

Hammarlöv Church is the only church in Scania with a round west side tower. The Romanesque style church originates from the 12th century and the tower and vaults were probably added in the 1400s. It was also enlarged in the 19th century. The beautiful mural paintings from the 13th and 15h centuries in vaults have survived. The font is as old as the church and made by so-called Oxiemästaren. The pulpit originate ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, 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

Kyrkoköpinge Church

Kyrkoköpinge Church was probably built in a Romanesque style in the late 1100s. Originally it consisted of a nave, a chancel and a vestibule. It had a flat wooden roof but this was replaced with a cross vault in the Middle Ages. At the same time one more tower in the west and a porch in the south was built. Because of the closeness to Gylle church, Kyrkoköpinge and Gylle had the same reverend during a long time. ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Tierp Church

The unusual large church was made of stone and bricks around the year 1300. The sacristy originates maybe from the earlier church. The vaults were added in the 1400s and painted with frescoes around 1470 by so-called Tierp Master. The crucifix originates from the late 1200s and limestone font from the late 1400s. The Gustavian pulpit was inaugurated in 1781.
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Tierp, Sweden

Boge Church

Boge Church chancel was built in the 13th century and the tower was erected later during the same century. It collapsed in a strom in 1858 and was rebuilt between 1867-1892. The limestone font was made around 1250, pulpit in 1727 and altar screen in 1750.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Slite, Sweden

Stora Slågarp Church

Stora Slågarp Church was built in Romanesque style in the late 1100s. In the late Middle Ages it was extended and had roof with cross vaults. On the ceiling of the chancel there are medieval frescoes. The tower was added in 1883. The church has a baptismal font in sandstone from the 1100s , and the pulpit from year 1776 was earlier in Lilla Slågarp church.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Västra Alstad Church

Västra Alstad church was originally built in the 1100s, but only the lower part of the tower is from that time. The nave was erected in 1840-1841 and expanded with a new chancel in 1898. The reredos and the pulpit date from 1598, but the reredos was repainted in 1695. The baptismal font from 1944 is made of limestone and made by the artist Anders Jönsson from Stockholm.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Västra Tommarp Church

Västra Tommarp Church was built around year 1200 of flintstone. In the 17th century the gables of the chancel and nave was renovated and got a style similar to baroque. The baptismal font is made of sandstone and has a font basin in tin. Both of them and the calix originate from the 1600s. In year 1649 the pulpit was created.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Västra Vemmerlöv Church

Västra Vemmerlöv church was built in 1100s in a Romanesque style. In the 1850s the church experienced a remodeling by Carl Georg Brunius. The upper parts of the tower were changed and the vaults in the nave were demolished. Late medieval frescoes are preserved in the interior. The baptismal font is made of sandstone and has sculptured lions. It originates from the early Middle Ages.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.