Horne Church is the only round church on Funen. Originally constructed from granite stonework, it was modified in the 15th century with the addition of Gothic extensions on the east and west. The history of Horne Church is inextricably tied to Hvedholm Manor, located about 2 kilometres to the south and to the noble family Brahe associated with that estate. Several of the church's content items date from the 17th century and earlier; one of the original possessions is a medieval document known as the Hornebook, a national treasure of Denmark that is currently held by the National Museum, Copenhagen.
The original central round church is a ponderous looking medieval structure, attached to which are the rectilinear east and west wings. The alignment of these later extensions was not quite set at 180 degrees, so that the resulting central interior aisle does not split the congregation pews evenly, and the traditional women's side is more spacious than the men's. The circular roof of the massive central tower is constructed of lead panels, which forms an interesting colour and texture contrast to the orange-red roof tiling of the remainder. The exterior stonework has been covered over by many layers of white paint, giving a look of an almost harled coating.
There are three interesting and delicately designed weather vanes atop the church, one at the apex of each of the vaulted circular towers, but each at a different height. On one of the vanes are the initials P.B.B. (Preben Bille Brahe) to denote the association of the Brahe family of Hvedholm. The church tower bells are dated to 1568 and 1613.
The curved lines of the gables of the taller western square tower reveal the Renaissance character of that element. These gables attain a height of 32.4m, and are the highest element other than the west circular tower. The entry porch displays the Vicars' Plaque, bearing the date 1472.
The interior features a granite baptismal font, one of the oldest interior remains from the Middle Ages construction, matching the exterior stonework. The pulpit, of French Empire influence, is situated within the central round original church because of the elongated congregation seating. Perhaps the most interesting interior feature is situated at the upper level near the pulpit: a special box for the noble Brahe family, called the 'Count's Box'. This box was constructed at the behest of the earlier mentioned Preben Bille Brahe and is designed almost identically to those boxes of the Royal Danish Theatre. The nephew of Bille Brahe was astronomer Tycho Brahe, who was reared by his uncle and would have sat in this box on Sundays as a child. Not only did the Brahe nobility have its privileged seating, but the Brahe servants had their own private upper level box, called the 'Tjenerloftet' or 'Servants' Loft'. The interior has a painted wood coffered ceiling under the organ gallery.
Beside the original granite baptismal font now situated within the entrance porch is an intentionally uncomfortable bench called the 'kællingbænken', or 'hags' bench'. The present baptismal font is believed to be the work of Bertel Thorvaldsen; however, the font was loaned out in the early 20th century, and no one is able to tell whether the Thorvaldsen font was returned or a similar one from Svanninge. Other yet older treasures of the church are the ciborium from 1639 and the chalice from 1676. The bronze candlesticks dating to 1640 are another special holding.References:
The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark (Den Gamle By), is an open-air town museum consisting of 75 historical buildings collected from 20 townships in all parts of the country. In 1914 the museum opened as the world's first open-air museum of its kind, concentrating on town culture rather than village culture, and to this day it remains one of just a few top rated Danish museums outside Copenhagen.
The museum buildings are organized into a small town of chiefly half-timbered structures originally erected between 1550 and the late 19th century in various parts of the country and later moved to Aarhus during the 20th century. In all there are some 27 rooms, chambers or kitchens, 34 workshops, 10 groceries or shops, 5 historical gardens, a post office, a customs office, a school and a theatre.
The town itself is the main attraction but most buildings are open for visitors; rooms are either decorated in the original historical style or organized into larger exhibits of which there are 5 regular with varying themes. There are several groceries, diners and workshops spread throughout the town with museum staff working in the roles of town figures i.e. merchant, blacksmith etc. adding to the illusion of a 'living' town.