Tingsted Church, located on high ground in the village of Tingsted, dates from c. 1200. Built in the Romanesque style, it is best known for its frescos from the end of the 15th century. At an early stage, the pink-plastered church was dedicated to St Peter. As the name Tingsted implies, the place was originally associated with early lawmaking in the area. In 1329, King Christopher II concluded an agreement with Marsk Ludvig Eberstein, head of the armed forces, after his surrender at Hammershus and in 1329 made peace with Count Johann of Holstein. In 1511, Falster's landsting (regional council) was held in the churchyard and the following year King Hans presided over a dispute between his vassal and the bishop. Jacob Christian Lindberg, who translated the Bible into Danish and, together with Grundtvig played an active part in religious reforms, was named parish pastor in January 1844.
Built of local fieldstone with limestone framing around the windows and doors, the church initially consisted of the nave,chancel and a half-domed apse. Traces of the original rounded windows highly positioned in the nave and apse can still be seen. Around 1500, the Late Gothic tower and porch were added and the flat ceiling in the nave was replaced by cross-vaulting. The windows were later adapted to the positioning of the vaults. The tower probably had stepped gables until it received the pyramid-shaped spire. It is thought the relatively steep roof above the nave resulted from the need to provide room for the top of the arches used for the vaulting.
The panel on the 17th-century altar is the work of Antonius Clement, Queen Sophia's court painter. Its three niches have female figures representing Faith, Hope and Charity and are bordered by slim figures representing the cardinal virtues: Temperance, Justice, Prudence and Fortitude. The elaborately-worked Renaissance altarpiece (1616) contains a painting of the Last Supper. The carved baroque pulpit (1633) by Jørgen Ringnis with paintings by Anthonius Clement bears similarities to the one in Kippinge Church. The Romanesque font has a wide, rounded bowl.
The frescos in the chancel and the nave from the late 15th century are the work of the Elmelunde Master and his workshop. Rediscovered under the whitewash in 1877, they depict the baptism of Jesus, the suicide of Judas, the rich man and the poor mantogether with the Fall and the Expulsion. It is interesting to see how the rich man, kneeling before Christ, wears a long-tailed hood, an article of clothing reserved for the more affluent of the time.References:
Steinvikholm Castle is an island fortress built between 1525 to 1532 by Norway's last Catholic archbishop, Olav Engelbrektsson. Steinvikholm castle became the most powerful fortification by the time it was built, and it is the largest construction raised in the Norwegian Middle Ages.
The castle occupies about half of the land on the rocky island. The absence of a spring meant that fresh water had to be brought from the mainland. A wooden bridge served as the only way to the island other than boat. Although the castle design was common across Europe in 1525, its medieval design was becoming obsolete because of the improved siege firepower offered by gunpowder and cannons.
The castle was constructed after Olav Engelbrektsson returned from a meeting with the Pope in Rome, presumably in anticipation of impending military-religious conflict. As Archbishop Engelbrektsson's resistance to the encroachment of Danish rule escalated, first with Frederick I of Denmark and his successor Christian III of Denmark, Steinvikholm Castle and Nidarholm Abbey became the Catholic Church's military strongholds in Norway. In April 1537, the Danish-Norwegian Reformation succeeded in driving the archbishop from the castle into exile in Lier in the Netherlands (now in Belgium), where he died on 7 February 1538. At the castle the archbishop left behind St. Olav's shrine and other treasures from Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim). The original coffin containing St. Olav's body remained at Steinvikholm until it was returned to Nidaros Cathedral in 1564. Since 1568 St. Olav's grave in Nidaros has been unknown.
From the 17th to 19th century, the island was used as a quarry and some of its masonry was sold and removed from the site. This activity was condoned by the Danish-Norwegian authorities as a way of eliminating a monument to the opposition of the Danish–Norwegian Union.
Steinvikholm fort is owned and operated today by The society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments. The island has been the site of the midnight opera which details the life and struggles of the archbishop. The opera is held in August annually. The opera is organized by Steinvikholm Musikkteater since the beginning in 1993.