The present Torshälla Church building was originally erected in Romanesque style during the 12th century at the old heathen sacrificial place of Torsharg. Torshälla was granted city rights in 1317, making the old church insufficient for the growing population of the town. A newnave was added to the west, transforming the old nave into a choir.
During the 15th century, the church tower, church porch and vaulted ceiling were added. The tower spire was rebuilt in 1614 to reach a height of 92 meters, making Torshälla Church a landmark used for navigation on nearby Lake Mälaren and one of Sweden's tallest buildings at the time. After the tower spire and the roof were destroyed in 1873, in a fire caused by a lightning strike, they were replaced with the present, lower brick gabled roof.
Wooden sculptures depicting St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Vadstena, Saint Gertrude and Saint George are displayed in the church. The preserved 15th century ceiling paintings are attributed to the master painter Albertus Pictor and include the oldest known depiction of eyeglasses in Sweden, showing Abraham as a reading man wearing glasses.
Along the south wall a burial vault was built during the 17th century for the family of the early industrialist and founder of Eskilstuna's iron-working industry Reinhold Rademacher (1609-1668).References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.