Medieval churches in Sweden

Marka Church

The Romanescue style Marka Church was built in the late 1100s or early 1200s. The sacristy was added later in the Middle Ages. The original tower was demolished in 1750 and the new wooden belfry was completed in 1752. The great bell date from the year 1583 and the small one from 1751. The altarpiece date from the late 17th century as well as the Baroque-style pulpit.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Hemse Church

The current stone church in Hemse dates mainly from the 13th century. However, about a century earlier there was a stave church built at the same location. The surprisingly well-preserved stave church was found by chance under the floor of the stone church during a restoration in 1896, where the wooden planks of the church had served as an earlier floor. The wooden church, known as Hemse stave church, is the most well-pre ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hemse, Sweden

Ås Church

The medieval stone church of Ås date back to the 12th century. It is the only church in Öland where the tower is located in the east side. The church was enlarged in 1770 and the interior is mainly from the 18th-19th centuries. The pulpit is very unusual; this nineteenth century work is directly above the altar, an arrangement rarely seen in Swedish churches. The church is long established as a landmark for sea ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Mörbylånga, Öland, Sweden

Hedared Stave Church

Hedared Stave Church is Sweden's only preserved medieval stave church. For a long time it was assumed Hedared stave church dated to early medieval times because it was built as a stave church. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the archaeologist and architectural historian Emil Ekhoff argued that the church was considerably later than the stave church in Hemse on Gotland, fragments of which he had found under t ...
Founded: ca. 1500 | Location: Borås, Sweden

Färentuna Church

Färentuna Church was built around the year 1175. The nave was enlarged in the 15th century when the church was under the protection of Karl Knutsson Bonde. The enlargement was made for his daughter’s weddings because the church was too small for all people. The latest notable reconstruction was made in 1732, when the medieval tower was replaced by the present wooden cap. The pulpit of Färentuna church was ...
Founded: 1175 | Location: Ekerö, Sweden

Hall Church

Hall Church is a medieval Lutheran church in Hall on the Swedish island of Gotland. Hall Church dates from the 13th century. Oldest are the nave and choir, built in the second quarter of the century. The tower is somewhat later. Stylistically it is transitional between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. With one central column and four bays, forming two aisles, the nave of the church is the simplest structure fitting the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hall, Sweden

St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas' Church was built in the 15th century as a three-nave hall church. It was badly damaged by fire in 1619. The font was made in the 15th century, pulpit in 1630 and altarpiece in 1675 (J. H. Wedekind).
Founded: c. 1432 | Location: Halmstad, Sweden

Levide Church

Levide Church is a largely Romanesque church of a character unique for the countryside of Gotland. Parts of the choir, notably the area around the portal, is however comparable to the northern portal of Visby Cathedral in Visby, the main town of the island. The oldest parts of the church are the aforementioned choir with its apse, dating from the late 12th century. The nave dates from the early 13th century while the tow ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Levide, Sweden

Rinkaby Church

Rinkaby Church, made of brick, dates probably from the mid-1200s. The most interesting detail are rich mural paintings in vaults. Frescoes were done by so-called Vittskövle master or his students in the 15th century. The paintings describe year seasons in peasant"s life. The pulpit dates from the 17th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rinkaby, Sweden

Kågeröd Church

Kågeröd Church was built in Romanesque style probably in the late 1100s. Vaults and the tower was added probably in the 1400s. The church has been enlarged in 16th and 18th centuries. The interior is decorated with murals dating from the late 1400s. The pulpit was made in 1696 and altar in 1703. There is also a crucifix and font dating from the Middle Ages.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kågeröd, Sweden

Raus Church

Raus Church was completed in the mid-1100s and is one of the best preserved medieval churches in Scania. The nave was enlarged in the 1400s and belfry rebuilt in 1782. The altar, made of oak, dates from 1624. The richly carved Renaissance pulpit was made also in the 1600s.
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Helsingborg, Sweden

Tingstäde Church

A wooden church was built on the site of the current one in Tingstäde during the early 12th century. The church has later been replaced by first a Romanesque church, of which the portals survive, and later once more rebuilt in Gothic style during the 13th and 14th centuries. Few alterations have been made to the church since. The church was one of three so-called asylum churches on Gotland during the Middle Ages, a ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tingstäde, Sweden

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church (Mariakyrkan) is the oldest still used building in Sigtuna. The brick-made church was constructed in the mid-13th century and inaugurated in 1247. It was, however, completed probably in 1255, when the archbishop Jarler was buried there. The church was enlarged and sacristy added in the 1280’s. Due the Reformation King Gustav Vasa ordered to demolish the adjacent abbey in 1530 and St. Mary's became ...
Founded: 1230-1255 | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Stånga Church

The oldest parts of Stånga Church were built in the 12th century. The middle nave date from the early 1300s and it was designed by master Egypticus. The font, made by master Hegvald, date from the 12th century and crucifix from the late 13th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gotland, Sweden

Grötlingbo Church

Grötlingbo church was built in the early 1200s and it was sanctified to St. Luke the Evangelist in 1296. The present nave and apsis were added in the mid-1300s. The tower date from the first church. The pulpit, made in 1548, was originally situated in the Visby Cathedral and brought to Grötlingbo in 1699. The font and triumph crucifix date from the 13th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Grötlingbo, Sweden

Gerum Church

The oldest parts of Gerum Church are the choir and apse, dating from circa 1200 and Romanesque in style. The presently visible, Gothic nave dates from a later time of the 13th century and probably replaced an earlier, Romanesque nave. The tower, which was never finished, was built circa 1300. The only non-medieval part of the church is the sacristy, built in 1835. Gerum Church is constructed of limestone. The exterior is ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Gerum, Sweden

St. Nicholas’ Church

The building of three-nave stone church dedicated to St. Nicholas was started in the late 1200s, but not completed until mid-1300s. The western tower was erected in the 15th century. Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, a Swedish rebel leader against Kalmar Union and later statesman, was probably buried to the church after he was murdered in 1436. The church was restored in 1860-1899. The appearance has been influenced by English ...
Founded: Late 1200s | Location: Örebro, Sweden

Rone Church

Rone church originate from the 1200s and it was built in a Romanesque style. The present appearance was constructed around the year 1300. Mural paintings in vaults were made also in the 14th century and the ones in main nave about a century later. There is an exceptional rich interior in Rone Church. The church bell, made in 1345, is the oldest in Gotland. The pulpit was made in 1595, the font and epitaph in 1664.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gotland, Sweden

Stora Råby Church

The first stave church in Stora Råby lied probably on the same site as the current one, stone church from the 13th century. The porch and was added in the 1400s and the tower was reconstructed in 1770s. Windows were extended in 1773 and in 1843 C. G. Brunius restored the church. The baptismal font, made of sandstone, dates from the 13th century. The pulpit was made in 1909.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lund, Sweden

Othem Church

Othem church was built in Romanesque style in the 13th century to the site of older 12th century church. There are medieval frescoes in walls from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The altarpiece dates from 1693 and pulpit from 1730s. 
Founded: 13th century | Location: Slite, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a former Spanish royal residence. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After the Christian conquest, Aranjuez was owned by the Order of Santiago and a palace was built for its Grand Masters where the Royal Palace stands today. When the Catholic Monarchs assumed the office of Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Aranjuez became part of the Royal estate. This fertile land, located between the Tajo and Jarama Rivers, was converted into the Spanish monarchy's most lavish country retreat: during Spain's Golden Age, Aranjuez became a symbol for the perfection of nature by mortal hands, as El Escorial was for art.

Such excellence was based on strong Renaissance foundations, as Charles V envisaged this inherited estate as a large Italian-inspired villa, a desire continued by Philip II who appointed Juan Bautista de Toledo to design leafy avenues that ran through the gardens and farming land. A series of dams was constructed in the 16th century to control the course of the Tajo River and create a network of irrigation canals.

The splendour of the estate was only enhanced by the Bourbon monarchs, who would spend the whole spring, from Easter to July, at the Palace. Phillip V added new gardens and Ferdinand VI designed a new system of tree-lined streets and created a small village within the estate, which was further developed by Charles III and Charles IV. As Ferdinand VII and Isabella II continued to visit Aranjuez during the spring, the splendour of this site was maintained until 1870.

The Royal Palace, built by Phillip II on the site of the old palace of the Grand Masters of Santiago, was designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo –under whom construction began in 1564– and later Juan Herrera, who only managed to finish half the project. Although glimpses of the original layout still remain, the building itself is more characteristic of the classicism favoured by the Hapsburg monarchs, with alternating white stone and brick. The original design was continued by Phillip V in 1715 but not finished until 1752 under Ferdinand VI. The rectangular layout that Juan Bautista de Toledo had planned, and that took two centuries to complete, was only maintained for 20 years, since in 1775 Charles III added two wings onto the Palace.

Real Casa del Labrador

As the Prince of Asturias, Charles IV was a frequent visitor to the pier pavilions built by Ferdinand VI and grew up playing in the Prince’s Garden. When he became King, he decided to build a new country house at the far end of these gardens, known as the Casa del Labrador (the labourer's house) due to its modest exterior that was designed to heavily contrast the magnificent internal decor. It was built by chief architect Juan de Villanueva and his pupil Isidro González Velázquez, who designed some of the interior spaces. These rooms, developed in various stages until 1808, are the greatest example of the lavish interior decor favoured by this monarch in his palaces and country retreats. Highlights at this Site include the combination of different types of art and the luxurious textiles, in particular the silks from Lyon, as well as wealth of original works on the main floor, where Ferdinand VII added various paintings and landscapes by Brambilla.

King's Garden, the Island Garden, Parterre Garden and the Prince's Garden

Phillip II, a great lover of gardens, paid special attention to this feature of the Aranjuez Palace: during his reign, he maintained both the Island Garden, designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, and the King's Garden, immediately adjacent to the Palace and whose current layout was designed by Philip IV. The majority of the fountains on this island were commissioned by Phillip IV, while the Bourbons added other features such as the Charles III benches.

Phillip V made two French-style additions to the existing gardens: the Parterre Garden in front of the palace and the extension at the far end of the Island Garden, known as the Little Island, where he installed the Tritons Fountain that was later moved to the Campo del Moro park by Isabella II.

The Prince's Garden owes its name and creation to the son and heir of Charles III who, in the 1770s, began to use Ferdinand VI's old pier for his own enjoyment. He also created a landscaped garden in the Anglo-French style that was in fashion at the time and which was directly influenced by Marie Antoinette's gardens at the Petit Trianon. Both Juan de Villanueva and Pablo Boutelou collaborated in the design of this garden.