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:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.