The church on Hjarnø is one of the smallest churches in Denmark; it currently serves 87 parishioners. The church building appears to date from the 16th century. Although it originally lacked a bell tower, one was added in 1877 with a bell dating from 1425. Within the church, the granite baptismal font is made in the Romanesque style and dates from the 12th century. The altarpiece was carved by Jens Hiernøe in 1805. Hanging from the ceiling, there is also a model Viking ship, which was donated to the church by the Glud Museum in 1955.

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Founded: 16th century
Category: Religious sites in Denmark
Historical period: Early Modern Denmark (Denmark)

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4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anders Nielsen (11 months ago)
Super nice little church
Lars Pedersen (12 months ago)
A nice little church. Nicely well maintained. Only 42 seats.
Peter Kristensen (13 months ago)
Charming little church
Arthur den haas (2 years ago)
Old small church on a charming island
Jan Fredslund (3 years ago)
Fantastic island. The church is very nice for entry into Horsens fjord. Definitely worth a trip
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Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).