In contrast to near St. Lawrence's Church, Drothem church was referred to as the 'peasant's church' and used as a parish church by the rural population rather than the strictly urban. The present church was probably preceded by a wooden church on approximately the same site. Remains of a Franciscan monastery have been excavated in the close vicinity of Drothem church, leading scholars to believe that the church started its history as part of the monastery, which in turn was founded on land donated from the royal manor nearby.
The first written records mentioning the church date from 1307, but construction of the church started sometime during the second half of the 13th century. The present-day vestry is the oldest part of the church. Later alterations have been plentiful, as the church has been damaged both by fire on several occasions, and also in war, during the Northern Seven Years' War when Danish troops under the command of Daniel Rantzau caused damage to the church. In 1586, the church was still in disrepair and the congregation pleaded to the king (John III of Sweden) to help funding the repairs.
The church is built of stone with some details made of brick, and whitewashed. Both the west and the east façades are decorated with blind arches and crow-stepped gables. Heavy buttresses support the building. The roof is made of shingle. The church has an external belfry.
Inside, the church is divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of pillars, carrying Gothic vaults. The altarpiece is from Germany, made in 1512 and, according to a note written in medieval German found in the altar, by a craftsman called Vlögel. The baptismal font is from the 13th century. Other noteworthy interior details include the pulpit, from 1704, and an altar painting from the 17th century, originally forming part of an epitaph.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.