Medieval churches in Sweden

Adelsö Church

The stone church of Adelsö was built in the late 1100s. No traces have been found of the first church on the location, but it is assumed it was made of wood. This original structure was however replaced by a stone building, possibly initiated by the king living at the royal estate at Hovgården. If true, the church thus originally served both the local parish and the royal mansion. The stone structure originall ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ekerö, 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

Lärbro Church

Lärbro Church was probably built between 1260-1280. The unusual octagonal steeple was erected in the 1300s. The interior date made mainly from the times after Reformation. The murals in the church vaults are originals. In the chancel floor, by the chancel portal, there is a tombstone in memory of Nicolaus (Nils) Taksten from 1274. To the west of church is a defence tower, which dates from the 12th century. I ...
Founded: 1260-1280 | Location: Lärbro, Sweden

Lena Church

The church of Lena was built around the year 1300 and consisted of nave, tower and vestry. Wall paintings were added in the early 16th century. The church's eastern part is a chapel where members of the family Bielke are buried. The altarpiece was made in 1491 by carpenter Lars Germundsson in Enköping. Next to the near vicarage are ruins from the late Iron Age, namely, five burial mounds, a large number of stone for ...
Founded: ca. 1300 | Location: Vattholma, Sweden

Sproge Church

The presently visible stone church at Sproge dates from the 13th century. The nave and choir are the oldest parts of the church, built during the first half of the century. The tower was added at the end of the same century. On the south facade of the church there is a plaque claiming the construction date of the church to be 1058, but this date appears to be pure fantasy. The church however had a wooden predecessor, a st ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sproge, Sweden

Havdhem Church

While the oldest parts of Havdhem Church have been identified as being from the first half of the 12th century, graves dating from the period of the arrival of Christendom to Gotland (11th century) have been discovered in the cemetery. The choir is the oldest part of the church itself. It shows resemblances with the churches of Garde and Källunge. The choir portal is however later, from the 13th century. The nave dates f ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Havdhem, Sweden

Odarslöv Church

Odarslöv Church dates from the 1100s and is built in the Romanesque style. It was restored according the plan of C. G. Brunius in the 19th century. The font dates from the original church and is made by so-called “Mårten stone master”. The cuppa was made in Germany in the 1500s. The altarpiece was painted by Gunnar John in 1937.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lund, Sweden

Vika Church

Vika Church was built partially in the 13th century and mainly reconstructed to the late Gothic appearance in the late 1400s. The church includes frescos from the 16th century with motifs taken from the Gospels. It also contains carved statues in wood from the 13th and 15th centuries. The 16th century baptismal font is a copy of the one in Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral).
Founded: 13th century | Location: Falun, Sweden

Almby Church

Almby Church is the oldest one in Örebro. According the Dendrochronological investigation the oldest part, a choir, was built around the year 1120. The church was enlarged during the 13th century and modified again in the 15th century. The sacristy was added in the 16th century. In 1656 let baron Gustav Eriksson Leijonhufvud to build a chapel to the church. The church’s font dates from the Middle Ages. The sma ...
Founded: ca. 1120 | Location: Örebro, Sweden

Stenkumla Church

The oldest part of the Stemkumla church is the tower. It was erected at the beginning of the 13th century. Originally it was attached to a Romanesque church dating from the 12th century, but this was replaced with the current church in stages. The choir thus dates from the middle of the 13th century, while the nave of the church was built at the beginning of the 14th century. The church has remained largely unaltered sinc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stenkumla, Sweden

Mattmar Church

Mattmar Church was built in the 1300s to the site, where before was a wooden stave church from the 11th century. The porch was restored and enlarged in the 18th century. The pulpit dates from 1662 and font was acquired to the church in 1686. There are also several wooden sculptures from the Middle Ages. The external belfry was erected in 1765 and the lychgate dates also from the 18th century.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mattmar, Sweden

Torshälla Church

The present Torshälla Church building was originally erected in Romanesque style during the 12th century at the old heathen sacrificial place of Torsharg. Torshälla was granted city rights in 1317, making the old church insufficient for the growing population of the town. A newnave was added to the west, transforming the old nave into a choir. During the 15th century, the church tower, church porch and vaulted ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Torshälla, Sweden

Igelösa Church

The Romanesque style apse of Igelösa Church was built in the 12th century. The tower and vaults were added in the 15th century. Two choirs were added in the 17th century. There are two sarcophagi in the so-called “Gyllenkrookska koret”, which is the grave of Axel Gyllenkrook and his wife. The current appearance dates from 1859, when the church was restored by the design of C. G. Brunius. The altarpiece an ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lund, Sweden

Kräklingbo Church

The choir and its apse-like projection to the east are the oldest parts of Kräklingbo Church. This part of the church originally formed the nave and choir of an earlier church; an inscription mentions its inauguration in 1211. The present nave and sacristy were built around 1300, and thus incorporated these earlier elements. The east window in the apse-like projection dates from the reconstruction circa 1300. The two mai ...
Founded: 1211 | Location: Kräklingbo, Sweden

Odensala Church

The church of Odensala was built in the late 1100s. The sacristy and tower were added later. The brick-made portal dates from the late 1200s. The arches were added in 1300s. Odensala church is famous for its colorful and expressive lime paintings from the 1500"s by Albertus Pictor or his workshop. The altarpiece was made in 1514, but is today in museum. The pulpit is a gift from Count Karl Gyllenstierna (1714).
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Hovsta Church

Hovsta church is a brick church and its oldest parts date from the 12th century. The western portal and tower were added in the 1200s and the sacristy in 1500s. The font pedestal, made of sandstone, dates from the 1100s. The font itself was made in the end of the 18th century, as well as the altarpiece. The pulpit was constructed in 1830s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Örebro, Sweden

Glanshammar Church

The tower of Glanshammar church dates originally from the 12th century. The choir and naves were rebuilt later in the Middle Ages. The crypt of family Reuter was added to the church in 1678-1679. The interior is very beautiful and richly decorated with medieval mural paintings. There are three of Närke runestones in the church.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Glanshammar, Sweden

Rolfstorp Church

The nave of Rolfstorp Church was built in the 1200s in Romanesque style. In 17th century the church was enlarged and the current tower was added in 1926. It replaced the earlier wooden belfry. The interior is decorated with medieval mural paintings, dating from from the 14th and 15th centuries.The Baroque-style altarpiece dates from 1655 and is made by master Jonas Abilla. The pulpit was also made in 1655. The stone-made ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rolfstorp, Sweden

Tuna Church

Tuna Church is a brick-built medieval church dating from the 1200s. The porch was added in the 1400s and arches in 1500s. The present tower was erected in 1877. The interior is decorated with frescoes (oldest date from the 1300s, choir murals were added in 1620). The remarkable wooden Madonna sculpture is probably a North German work from the 1400s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nyköping, Sweden

Husby Church

Husby Church is one of the oldest churches in the Dalarna region. Beautifully situated on the banks of the Dalälven river, this building can trace its origins back to the early 14th century. It contains a fine collection of medieval inventory that is bound to fascinate the visitor. It also contains one of the most interesting organs in the country, the Nils Söderström organ.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dala-husby, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Ananuri Castle

Ananuri was a castle and seat of the eristavis (Dukes) of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles. The current ensemble dates from the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1739, Ananuri was attacked by forces from a rival duchy, commanded by Shanshe of Ksani and was set on fire. The Aragvi clan was massacred. However, four years later, the local peasants revolted against rule by the Shamshe, killing the usurpers and inviting King Teimuraz II to rule directly over them. However, in 1746, King Teimuraz was forced to suppress another peasant uprising, with the help of King Erekle II of Kakheti. The fortress remained in use until the beginning of the 19th century. In 2007, the complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.

Architecture

The fortifications consist of two castles joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower, known as Sheupovari, is well preserved and is the location of the last defense of the Aragvi against the Shamshe. The lower fortification, with a round tower, is mostly in ruins.

Within the complex, amongst other buildings, are two churches. The older Church of the Virgin, which abuts a tall square tower, has the graves of some of the Dukes of Aragvi. It dates from the first half of the 17th century, and was built of brick. The interior is no longer decorated, but of interest is a stone baldaquin erected by the widow of the Duke Edishera, who died in 1674.

The larger Church of the Mother of God (Ghvtismshobeli), built in 1689 for the son of Duke Bardzem. It is a central dome style structure with richly decorated façades, including a carved north entrance and a carved grapevine crosson the south façade. It also contains the remains of a number of frescoes, most of which were destroyed by the fire in the 18th century.