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.

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Founded: c. 1200
Category: Religious sites in Denmark
Historical period: The First Kingdom (Denmark)

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Heraclea Lyncestis

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.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

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.