In the crypt of Budolfi Cathedral visitors can see the remains of the large stones used for the original church that was built at the direction of Bishop Eskil of Viborg no later than 1132. The first church was much smaller than the current church since it was a parish church. It consisted of a short nave and choir built in Romanesque style. That means it had half-round arches supporting a flat timber ceiling.
The existing Budolfi Cathedral was built in the last decades of the 14th century over and around the original St. Budolfi Church and was listed for the first time in the Atlas of Denmark in 1399. The church was named after St Botolph, an English abbot and saint. His reputation as a learned and holy man in Anglo Saxon England as the patron saint of farmers and sailors made him a popular saint in pre-Reformation Denmark.
The church was constructed in the Gothic style out of Denmark's most common building material, large bricks. The nave and choir measure at present 56 meters in length and 22 meters wide, exclusive of the weapons porch and extensions.
In 1554 Aalborg was made a diocese and after consideration St Budolfi Church was made the seat of the Bishop of Aalborg. The tower was added to the west front in 1779 with funds given by Jacob and Elisabeth Himmerig. The square 28 meter brick tower is topped with a 35 meter metallic Baroque cupola and spire. Four identical clock faces were installed on each of the four sides of the tower in 1817. The south side has a sundial mounted on it as well. The tower houses four bells. The oldest cast in 1681 by Rudolph Melchior. The largest bell was cast by B. Løw and Son in 1892. In 1899 a sacristy was built onto the north side aisle. During 1942 and 1943 the choir was extended 14 meters and the ceiling vaulting raised. A chapel was also added to the north side.
The main altar piece was added in 1684, a gift of Niels Jespersen and his wife Margareta Erichsdatter. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen of Essenbæk Cloister near Randers. He also carved the pulpit. The altar was restored in 1980. The altar candelabras were gifted in 1686 by Jens Christense and his wife, Mette Christensdatter. Budolfi Cathedral received the gift of an altar carving from c. 1450 which is placed in the north transept. It came from the estate chapel of Holckershavn also known as Elleborg in southern Jutland.
The black and white marble baptismal font was given to the church in 1728, a gift of the widow Maren Grotum Von Pentz. The pulpit (1692) was a gift from the first apothecary at Jesn Bangs Hus in Aalborg, Johannes Friedenreich and his wife, Magdalena Calow. It was carved by Lauridtz Jensen. The ornate Baroque organ facade was constructed for the Hartvig Jochum Müller organ in 1749. The organ has been restored and expanded several times, the latest in 1959 by Th. Frobenius & Sons.
Several epitaphs have been preserved as examples of what once lined the aisles of the church. The 1583 epitaph for Karine Hansdatter is a fine example of renaissance work. The epitaphs for Jacob and Elizabeth Himmerig in 1773 and 1774 are examples of neo-classical design and commemorate the churches greatest benefactors.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.