Balkåkra Church Ruins

Ystad, Sweden

Balkåkra stone church was built around 1200. It was abandoned in 1867 when Marsvinholm church was completed. The restoration was done in the 20th century. Today it is occasionally used for worship services.

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Details

Founded: ca. 1200
Category: Ruins in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Diana & Rune Quipus Kennel (9 months ago)
Mycket vacker plats!
Andris Mednis (15 months ago)
Sevärdheter Skåne (2 years ago)
Balkåkra kyrka är en romansk stenkyrka från ca 1200 med ett kraftigt västtorn från senmedeltiden. Kyrkan övergavs 1867, då Marsvinsholms kyrka, gemensam för Balkåkra, Snårestad och Skårby, invigdes. Bakgrunden är följande:År 1773 fick Ebba Christina Siöblad på Marsvinsholm patronatsrätten till Balkåkra och Snårestad. (Hennes initialer E C S finns f.ö. på kyrkoruinens torn.) Vid hennes död övergick patronatsrätten till sonen Eric Ruuth, den mäktige industriman som blev Sveriges finansminister. Han anhöll hos Kungl. Maj:t om patronatsrätten också till Skårby och planerade att ersätta de tre dåligt underhållna kyrkorna med en ny stor gemensam kyrka. Hans ansökan bifölls 1787, men Eric Ruuth kom på obestånd och den nya kyrkan, Marsvinsholm, började inte byggas förrän 1862 och invigdes 1867. Eric Ruuth dog 1820 och begravdes i det ”Ruuthska gravkoret” bland forna ägare till Marsvinsholm.År 1892 murades valvet igen och kyrkan lämnades att förfalla. Inventarierna skingrades på olika håll. Den magnifika predikstolen signerad AS – en skicklig men till namnet okänd bildhuggare benämnd Borsöemästaren – står numera i Vallösa kyrka. Altaruppsatsen och apostlabilderna uthuggna i trä finns på Historiska museet i Lund.Koret, som har sitt medeltida valv kvar, restaurerades 1916. Ombyggnaden bekostades av Höganäsverket för att hedra Eric Ruuths minne. Denna restaurering har utan tvekan bidragit till att räddat själva ruinen. Under 1800-talet revs nämligen många av de medeltida kyrkorna.Den välbevarade ruinen konserverades 1929 med hjälp av frivilliga medel. Tornet belades med gammalt tegel, mittskeppets långsidor återuppfördes i någon mån och drogs fram till gravkoret. Tornets bottenvåning fick nytt golv och portalerna i söder och norr återupptogs. Samma år hölls ”en stämningsfull högtidlighet” inne i ödekyrkan, berättas det.Den senaste restaureringen skedde 1966, då målningarna i koret konserverades.
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The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

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