Åre Old Church

Åre, Sweden

Åre Old Church was built in the late 12th century entirely in stone, with inspiration from contemporary Norwegian church buildings, since Jämtland then was a part of Norway. It is situated at the Saint Olaf Pilgrim's Route (S:t Olofleden), and nowadays is the seventeenth stop on the route that goes from Selånger Old Church ruins at Sundsvall, situated at the Gulf of Bothnia, and crosses the Scandinavian Mountains via Stiklestad to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway — and remains the only stone church in the Scandinavian Mountains from the Middle Ages. Other remaining medieval churches in the Scandinavian Mountains are stave churches situated in Norway.

The original church's interior dimensions were only a mere 5x11 metres, with a choir of 2.5x2.5 metres. There were only three tiny windows, so it was quite a dark church. Preserved medieval artifacts in the church are two ship candlesticks, a processional cross and an unusual wooden statue of Saint Olaf. The statue does not show him as usual with an orb in his left hand and a war axe in his right wearing a crown, but only with an orb in his left hand wearing a tricorne uniform hat of the Caroleans. The wooden statue itself was dated as being from the 14th century, but it can be older.

After centuries of warfare between Denmark–Norway and Sweden, the Second Treaty of Brömsebro made Jämtland a part of Sweden. In 1673 the church had a pulpit installed at the southern church wall according to Norwegian traditions. The baptismal font and gallery at the northern church wall also dates from the end of the 17th century. In 1736 the church was extended almost 12 metres to the west. The old choir was converted into a sacristy, and the new entrance of the church was placed to the west with a porch in stone.

A mighty reredos was added over the new altar depicting the mourning Marys and the crucifixion of Christ in the centre. Higher windows were added as well as the current pews. The characteristical bell tower was erected during the 1750s by Erik Olofsson i Rännberg. It belongs to a group of typical belltowers of the 18th century Jämtland with its onion-shaped cupola.

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Address

Kyrkvägen 8, Åre, Sweden
See all sites in Åre

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Mikael Svensson (18 months ago)
Vacker historisk plats
Bengt Skagenhav (18 months ago)
Vacker kyrka som man känner historiens vingslag väl i. Kan rekommendera ett besök där.
Michael Sabatelle (2 years ago)
Gorgeous old church! Use the key hanging outside to open the locked wooden door.
Tom Middleton (4 years ago)
Really lovely church!
Shelly Venema (5 years ago)
This quaint old church is such a beautiful place to visit. Great trust is given to its visitors to unlock and relock the door before and after seeing the inside. It is well worth the time to see.
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